Session Athletics and Lululemon have teamed up to make sure all participants are ready to take on the Grind in preparation for the Grouse Grind® Mountain Run, taking place on September 15th, 2018. In order to achieve your best time it is important to train appropriately, be prepared, have a plan, and enjoy all that is the GRIND.
Any time you are trying to achieve a personal best, it's important to ensure both cardiovascular and strength based training match the goal; practice makes perfect. Two activities that will improve your Grind time are hill or incline treadmill sprints and weighted step ups.
Hill or incline treadmill intervals will increase your cardiovascular capacity by improving your body's ability to clear lactate and sustain longer bouts of high intensity exercise. After a good warm up, try a 20sec sprint followed by a 40sec jog and repeat for 6-10 rounds. Once this is comfortable you can progress to 30sec work with 30sec rest.
Weighted step ups are the best way to improve your strength endurance because they mimic hiking. Stand in front of a box or step, holding two dumbbells at your sides, and perform 3-5 sets of 20-30 step ups per leg. To improve your endurance while working on strength, minimize rest to 30-60sec. The smaller calf muscles in your legs tend to burn out on the Grind before the larger leg muscles, so practice step ups with your whole foot on the step (see photo). Push through your heel and stand tall to activate your glutes and quads and avoid loading the lower back.
SHOW UP PREPARED
The Grind consists of 2,830 stairs and has an elevation gain of 853 metres, therefore, it is important that those who choose to attempt it don’t underestimate its difficulty. Ensure you have a nutritious meal with ample hydration that will help provide the energy needed to reach the top. Wear appropriate clothing (this isn’t a casual stroll in the park so dress for the climb) and bring water if you are used to drinking while exercising.
HAVE A PLAN
It is recommended to find a consistent pace to work at for the entire trail, rather than having spikes in your heart rate, which might result in unexpected resting periods along the way. The trail is mapped with ¼, ½, and ¾ bench marks, as well as check points up to marker“40” along the way to remind you how far you have come, and how far you have left. Use these as a tool to track your speed and make sure you are on pace for your goal time. Try not to come out of the gate too fast, we all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. If you can plan to have a faster second half of the Grind, you will set yourself up well for a record breaking pace.
Make time to warm up before starting. This will help make sure you are using the larger muscles first while taking your steps up to the summit and will limit small muscle groups from taking over and potentially cramping.
The Grind is unique to Vancouver. It is rare to have such a beautiful playground in your backyard to use as an exercise tool. Take advantage of the mountain, but remember to also respect what it is. Be courteous and respectful to other hikers and keep right unless making a pass. Make friends along the way and help cheer each other on. Ultimately everyone shares a common goal of reaching the top! Encourage friends to go with you! The Grind is a lot of fun with friends, especially when they might help push you to your best time yet!
Pushing through ball of the foot activates calves and encourages you to lean forward
Pushing through the heel allows better activation of glutes. Remember to stand tall