Aiguillettes des Houches is now one of my favorite routes in Chamonix. We started our early yesterday with a very long climb to Bel Lachat Refuge. The climb was not difficult to Merlet Park. It got steeper with a couple of chain sections crossing a small creek towards the top. The weather held of until around 5pm so it was a blessing. The views were amazing as we approached the refuge. The trail continued on to Brevet or Aiguillettes des Houches. The traverse over to Aiguillettes des Houches was really nice and we saw Lac de Houches. There were a few small ponds formed from all the rain the day before. There were cairns guiding us along the way and they were not small ones but really big visible ones.
We reached Aiguillettes des Houches and admired the gorgeous views. It’s amazing how being up so high can feel so good. I ran towards the other end of the marker and looked down on a huge drop off the mountain. My soul was engulfed with happy feelings. The wild flowers blanket the ground and everyone was enjoying such a great day. We saw hikers coming up as we headed down a few steep switch backs. The descent down to Merle Park was not so hard and it’s a good fire road. It made me think of coming back to do home hill repeats. It’s a nice grade, hard enough for a good workout!
Straight down towards Plan Cry then all the way back to gare or train station of Les Houches.
It’s big day for us with a big climb and a long 18.3 km hike. It took us 5 hours but our spirits are good. Tired legs but fresh souls. Surprisingly, it did not tire me out as much as last year!
Doug is feeling good and even if he was really tired in the end, the knees were okay. That hike was a huge accomplishment for him and glad to see him positive about how he did from our run the day before plus this long hike.
It’s about one month and one week to go before we race UTMR stage race! It’s looking good so far with Doug’s injury so I am going to put together our training plan leading up to the race. No goals yet and right now, we will focus on being consistent and being able to do 3-days block training every week – gradually building up. This week will be interesting to see how we do.
Our last trail run race was in December last year in Thailand. It was a 30km trail race and just coming from another race in France in October before that, we were fit to run. We then headed to Vietnam after Thailand and focused on strengthening and conditioning the body doing 7 months of consistent Muay Thai and MetCon training. The last two months in Vietnam, we incorporated climbing on the treadmill and worked on leg turn over. Here is our training logs for Muay Thai and MetCon in case you are interested.
We are periodizing in order to build a stronger body for trail running and mountain biking by cross training with Muay Thai and MetCon (CrossFit). The biggest take away from both cross training is the mental aspect of the training. The bigger goal of the cross training is keeping the body conditioned and strong for the races as long as we can. The 9-days mountain bike stage racing last year crossing the Indian Himalayas and the trail run race in France made us realize that we need to maintain a strong body to survive the elements of the race. It’s a lot of mental as well as a well kept body. We’ll know more about it as we start building up for UTMR.