Kevin Tilton is a certified mountain runner and all around good guy.  The certification comes via his membership on two USA national mountain running teams.  The good guy part was verified via a recent 9 mile trail run I had with him.  On that run I really came to respect his outlook on not only running but life as well.  He is very knowledgeable about our sport and there is a method and principle behind his workouts.

The workout outlined below was constructed and executed in preparation of the Mt Washington Road Race.  Last weekend at the rock pile, Tilton ran an impressive 65:54 for 18th place in a stacked field.  This below is what he did in preparation for it.

Kevin Tilton charging up Mt Washington. Photo by Scott Mason

Uphill fartlek

This is a workout I started doing every other week this spring as prep for Mt. Washington. The first three times I did it, it was 3 miles of 1:00 on, 1:00 off  on a 10-15% grade. The key to this workout is that the off segments are also uphill, so you learn to recover while running up a steep grade. I started doing this workout 1.8 miles up Hurricane Mtn. Rd. here in North Conway. From there is it 1.2 miles on hiking trail to the top of 2,367 foot tall Black Cap. The whole climb is close to 1,700 feet in 3 miles. As I got closer to race day, I did the workout on the auto road itself. The first time was on May 11. I went to the 3 mile mark covering each mile in 6:52, 8:22 and 8:49. Each mile ends up being a little slower than race pace, but you get plenty of faster running. I didn’t feel particularly good on this one, but the splits were fast and I pushed through some dead legs to get to the 3 mile mark. Good training for the later miles on race day. The last time I did the workout was on May 26 and I was able to make this workout 4 miles long. My splits were 7:00, 8:33, 8:52 and 8:50. The splits were slightly slower than the last time, but I felt much better and was able to push the workout to 4 miles.

A pretty simple workout but effective.  That could just be one of the takeaways from this Negative Splits Session: keep it simple and work hard, very very hard.