Got to say right away big kudos to Noah Bider (22yo) who in order to complete the Tahoe 100km had to really stretch himself both physically and, especially, mentally. His preparation for this particular race was rather ‘squeezed’ and frankly I had hoped to have a little bit more extra time available.
Noah’s focus has been on shorter events (5k to 13.1). This year he finished the San Jose Half-Marathon with a new PB. However, he had a foot injury last year in 2021 which got me worried immediately when he shared his desire to run the Tahoe 100km which would be only 6 weeks away.
So, what do you do? We talked. And, I had to find a solution to build up his body healthily and made him feel as best prepared as possible. It also helps when someone like Noah enjoys to train and accepts challenges.
His specific event preparation took only place over a 6 weeks period which got him ready to complete 50k more or less comfortably.
“Control the controllables”, I like to tell my athletes. In addition to nutritional refinements, I also wanted to make sure that he was mentally prepared for this massive challenge.
We do gain a lot of self-confidence with the training we complete every day. Being mentally ready is just as important when competing at your top level as being in the best physical shape you can be. In the face of adversity and big challenges we need courage, an open mind set, and an understanding of the reason why we really want to do this.
Noah’s race report:
the end of April, I told Torsten about this race I wanted to do on June
18th. It was a 100k race at high altitude in Tahoe with >10,000 feet
of elevation gain. There’s no doubt that I was putting Torsten in a
tough spot as we really only had 6 weeks to prepare and I hadn’t had
much practice with longer runs. Nonetheless, Torsten mentioned “there
are many ways that lead to Rome” and found a way to help me get as ready
as possible for the race.
The race started at 6:30 am on the 18th. I woke up at 4, had my pre-race meal and made my way to the start line at Heavenly resort in Tahoe.
It was a cold day with temps in the lower 30s throughout the entire race and for a lot of the race, it was snowing. The course itself consisted of two out-and-backs. The first was 14 miles and had a long climb to Armstrong pass. My legs felt great by the time I made it back from the first segment. Up until this point, I had stuck to my race strategy of alternating between eating a gel and half a cliff bar every 30 mins. However, I started getting tired of the sugary foods so I added in some salty snacks at the aid station, quickly refueled and started the next 20 mile out-and-back up to Spooner Summit. I tried to make an effort to be at each aid station for under 10 minutes, which I think helped my legs to not stiffen up.
The last 7 miles were probably one of the most challenging experiences of my life, both physically and mentally. By this point, every step I took with my right foot shot pain up my entire leg. The long day in high altitude had also started affecting my breathing and I was coughing a lot. But something Torsten had said stuck with me at this point in the race which was that when things get really tough you have to “show passion and switch to a warrior mindset from a victim’s mindset. The Tahoe 200 (a 200 mile race) was also going on at the same time and it was inspiring to share the trails with people who had 100+ miles left in their adventure and still were pushing it.
After 17 hours, I ended the race around 11pm. Out of the 60-70 people that started the race only 28 people finished and I came in 8th place. I couldn’t have done this without the guidance of Torsten. I learned so much regarding training, fueling, and hydration throughout the process of preparing for this race. I’m looking forward to working towards the next big goal with Torsten!