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Jemez 50 Trail Run: Flatlander Training Codes

[ 4/10/2010 Note: The chart has been updated since the original posting to correctly use grade percentage values instead of angle of inclination. Sorry about that!]

Specificity – Specificity – Specificity

This word may be the most important keyword that exists in the world of trail running training and racing. By preparing as best we can to simulate the conditions of the event, we greatly increase the odds of finishing, winning, or simply enjoying the day.

As a flatlander, specificity can be a challenge when you want to play on some of the more hilly and mountainous trail running events.


The Jemez Mountain 50 mile Trail Run is one of the more hilly/mountainous TALON races and with the event coming up in another 8-ish weeks, athletes will be putting significant time and effort in preparation. So I have put together some Flatlander Training Codes that may be useful to assist in your specificity training such as treadmill work or finding some remotely similar local terrain.

Jemez 50 km? Check out Jemez 50 km Trail Run: Flatlander Training Codes.

Using the course profile, I have broken down the significant climbs and descents to include the following:

  • Percent grade (100 * (rise/run))
  • feet of ascend/descent
  • On-your-feet miles of ascend/descent (may be use for a treadmill or Garmin)

A course profile obviously doesn’t nearly tell the whole picture with respect to the course, but I have found it still useful.

Course Profile

Jemez 50 mile profile.


(Click on profile image to enlarge.)

I have identified the major climbs and descents through out the course using a letter naming convention. Each letter represents a specific section on the course that is further defined below.

Flatlander Training Codes

Section Breakdown

The grayed sections highlight the descents.

note: miles of ascent/descent refers to actual on-your-feet miles.


Continuous Sections

Below are the sections of the course that continuously flow together. This can hopefully provide additional clarity on the amount of get-serious climbing or enjoy-the-ride downhills that will be strung together.

The grayed sections highlight the descents.

note: miles of ascent/descent refers to actual on-your-feet miles.


What do you think? Could this be useful?

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

(Photo: Courtesy of / CC BY-ND 2.0)

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

8 Responses to “Jemez 50 Trail Run: Flatlander Training Codes”

  1. on 01 Apr 2010 at 8:03 pm Mark

    This is great information, David!! Jemez is an absolutely gorgeous and fun course but it will absolutely smash you if you haven’t trained for it. I’m doing interval runs on the treadmill at a 10% grade, running long, doing squats with my 12 year old son on my back, lunges at the gym, and doing hill repeats out at the lake! I’d BETTER be ready, that’s for sure! Great post and thanks for the info!!
    “The Naked Runner”

  2. on 01 Apr 2010 at 9:50 pm Greg Luffey

    Thanks David; that helps me with my homework. I ran a 30 miler on Sunday to include a trip up S. Franklin Peak (6700 ft). Can’t wait for Jemez. -Greg

  3. on 02 Apr 2010 at 8:44 am David Hanenburg

    @Mark – Cool! I love the son-squats. 🙂 Good luck in your prep! I sooo want to head out there but my gimpy body isn’t ready.

    @Greg – Awesome! Glad I could help. Sounded like a great training run and look forward to reading about your Jemez adventure.

  4. on 04 Apr 2010 at 9:17 pm Jeff L

    That section G switchback after you go up the first of the three mountains is real nasty. I blew my 50-mile race apart last year by not getting my race back together at the aid station at the base of the climb after finishing it, thinking I would go to the mile 16 aid station and refuel/restock there where I had a drop bag. Section N is some of the most beautiful, runnable downhill singletrack you will ever see, next to a burbling creek. Great place to make up time. I don’t know how it is after mile 30 🙂

    Running 10% grades on a treadmill is the smartest thing I’ve heard of to train for this race in sea-level-land.

  5. on 05 Apr 2010 at 8:09 am David Hanenburg

    @Jeff L – Great insight on the course! Very useful info, thanks for sharing.

  6. on 10 Apr 2010 at 9:59 am Glenn Mackie

    Your “Percentage Grade” in the above chart is actually the angle of inclination, which is normally expressed in degrees. Percentage grade, used in roads (and most treadmills) is slope expressed as 100*rise/run. Section A in the above chart has a 3.4 degree slope, but the grade is 5.9%.

  7. on 10 Apr 2010 at 1:12 pm David Hanenburg

    Glenn – Dang! Huge catch and thanks for making me aware of it. I am in the process of updating right now. Thanks again!! The course just got a bit more challenging. 🙂

  8. on 10 Apr 2010 at 1:59 pm David Hanenburg