TOR DES GEANTS®: COMPLETE GUIDE TO TRAINING AND RACE
If you are participating or thinking of participating in a TOR des Geants or TORX® race in the future, this guide is what you need!
You will find dozens of valuable tips to implement immediately, both for preparation and training and during the race.
We have just completed the TRM Camp TOR, concluding the entire TOR della Alte Vie 1 and 2 route just a few days before the start. Therefore, this guide is also updated on the current conditions of the course.
Inside this guide dedicated to TORX® events, you will find indispensable tips for participating in different races and facing this extraordinary adventure at your best.
In the guide, we will provide you with practical suggestions, the result of 8 years of personal experiences from TRM Coaches and the training of over 100 TRM athletes who have participated in events such as the TOR des Geants, TOR Dret, and TOR des Glacier, crossing the finish line and achieving overall or category podiums.
A few days before the start of this incredible endeavor, we send you our best wishes for a successful “journey” and to conquer your challenge!
The TRM Team
Knowing the TOR des Geants Races
The TORX event is organized in September and includes many races: a 30km trail, a 130km ultra-trail, and 330km and 450km endurance trails. The shortest race is TOR30, and the longest is TOR450.
All the races take place in Valle d’Aosta in the Italian Alps, with the start and finish in Courmayeur.
The race traverses some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes in Europe, with peaks, valleys, and alpine refuges.
Before embarking on this adventure, all athletes know well that it is important to fully understand that the challenge of trail running that awaits you is very complex and requires professional preparation down to the smallest details.
Physical and Mental Preparation
To successfully complete the TOR, it is essential to be in excellent physical shape and have the right mental preparation to face the challenges ahead.
It is also important to have the support of your family and, whenever possible, a friend or support team during the race.
During the preparation period before the race and during the event itself, it is essential to keep in mind the following points:
Training for Long Distances
Your training plan should include long trail running sessions, high mountain hikes, and uphill training sessions.
Gradually increase both the distance and elevation gain to adapt to the race conditions.
It is also important to plan two pre-race test races, usually in June and July, to ensure optimal preparation and avoid injuries.
Nutrition for Endurance Trail
In the months leading up to the race, you should learn to manage sports nutrition for endurance, both during training and during ultratrail races.
Experiment with specific trail running products and identify foods and drinks that work best for you in terms of digestion, calorie intake, vitamin supplementation, and mineral salts.
Make sure no food causes digestion problems, intestinal issues, or rejection.
Longer races can become extremely challenging, especially in adverse weather conditions that can drop temperatures to 0 degrees Celsius.
For this reason, mentally prepare yourself to face the pain, the discomfort of being alone for long hours in the cold at night, and the uncertainty related to weather conditions and navigation.
Your determination will be crucial to success.
Race Planning: Keys to Success
Once you are ready to tackle this epic challenge, you will have already downloaded all the crucial documents for the race, including the course profile, tracks, roadbook, list of refreshment points and life bases, and other essential information for both you and your support team.
The most prepared participants may even have developed a personalized race plan and nutritional plan, or they may have sought the help of experienced professionals like those available at www.trailrunningmovement.com.
Some TRM athletes even approach perfection by preparing a “Plan B” and staying in constant contact with TRM Coaches via WhatsApp throughout the race, ensuring immediate support and advice in case of need.
Essential Equipment for TOR des Geants
Equipment plays a crucial role in ensuring your safety in high mountains and comfort during the extensive distances covered in these challenging races.
Here are some essential considerations for your equipment:
Trail Running Shoes for TOR
Choose trail shoes carefully, suitable for mountain terrain, with good traction and cushioning.
Some athletes wonder if it is necessary to have a second pair of shoes for the second half of the race when feet may swell.
In extreme situations, it might be useful to have trekking shoes with better ankle support and stability.
Backpack for Ultra Trail
A good backpack with sufficient space for mandatory equipment is essential.
Well-organized athletes prefer 12-liter backpacks to adapt the rest of the gear and supplies to life bases or assistance.
Technical Clothing for Endurance Races
Dress in layers to adapt quickly to changing weather conditions, including sudden changes.
Always carry a lightweight waterproof jacket for sunny days and thermal and technical clothing in Gore-Tex, especially the jacket, gloves, over-pants, and waterproof over-gloves for nights or days with critical weather forecasts, such as rain or snow.
In extreme cases, you may need to have winter ski clothing.
Logistics Planning for TOR des Geants
Well-planned logistics management is essential to successfully manage your gear and food during the race.
TOR Support Bases
Plan in advance where you can meet your support team, refreshment points, and life bases.
Race Plan and Nutrition Plan
If you have developed a race plan, be sure to share it with all support staff so they know the approximate times and schedules of your meetings and can reach you quickly in case of difficulty.
High Mountain Emergency Apps
For added safety, use tracking systems provided by some apps and download the “SOS EU ALP” app to receive immediate assistance in case of emergencies
Personal Management during TOR Races
Once the race has begun, it is crucial to follow these guidelines:
Avoid running too fast at the beginning. Maintain a steady pace and adapt to your physical conditions.
Athletes who reach Gressoney have a 90% chance of completing the race, while those who run too fast at the beginning risk inflaming muscles and tendons, leading to early withdrawal.
This race puts a significant strain on the body, especially for those not accustomed to long-duration physical exercise in the mountains with considerable elevation changes. One example is the formation of blisters.
Listening to Your Body
If you feel exhausted or experience the first signs of an injury, stop and try to identify the problem with the help of your team or, even better, the medical personnel available at refreshment points or life bases.
Preventing problems is always preferable to dealing with them later.
Remember that the race is extremely long, and problems unfortunately tend to worsen and become more complicated over time.
If you need medical support or medications, consult your doctor or the race organization’s doctor and communicate your needs to your support, avoiding having to search for products in other cities or valleys when stores may be closed.
Some areas of Valle d’Aosta may not have the products you are looking for.
Nutrition and Hydration for TOR des Geants
Continue to eat and drink regularly to maintain energy and prevent dehydration.
Foods and Meals
In this type of race, it is essential to alternate sports nutrition products with solid foods you are accustomed to. The stomach and mind need familiar foods during situations of physical stress.
Avoid experimenting with new foods, as this could lead to vomiting, nausea, or digestive issues.
The correct strategy is to alternate foods with simple sugars and complex carbohydrates during running sections, limiting proteins and fats.
Refreshments in TOR
During stops at life bases, it is important to reintroduce proteins and fats to prevent muscle catabolism and rebalance the body with all the necessary nutrients for optimal performance.
Navigation on the TOR Course
If you have doubts about the route, consult your GPS to avoid getting lost.
If necessary, go back to the last known reference point and check the direction.
Fatigue and tiredness due to lack of sleep can compromise your navigation skills, so carefully follow the directions of volunteers and your support team, checking at each meeting the critical situations that may arise in the next phase of the race, especially the weather.
After the Race: Recovery and Body Care
If you have completed the TOR, congratulations! You are true giants!
If, for any reason, you did not manage to finish, do not be discouraged and consider the experience as an opportunity for growth.
In the future, you may consider relying on experienced coaches who will guide you in pursuing your dream.
In both cases, it is crucial to pay close attention to your nutrition after the Tor Des Geants or any other TORX competition.
Your body has undergone significant physical and mental stress and has been deprived of essential nutrients, which could put it at risk even in the following months.
Many of our athletes undergo specific blood tests after a predetermined period of time to identify any problems or deficiencies that may not be immediately apparent. Contact us for more information.
In summary, after the race, give yourself the necessary time to recover and avoid competing for at least two months.
During this period, continue to engage in cross-training activities to maintain your physical fitness and prevent muscle tone loss, which could negatively impact your performance in the following year.
A typical recovery protocol might include the following points:
Devote yourself to rest and replenish the necessary energy, without time restrictions, in quiet and peaceful places.
After adequate rest, start with light walks to promote muscle recovery, stimulating blood circulation that carries the necessary nutrients to tissues.
In the following months, consider using cross-training, especially swimming and cycling, to maintain fitness and accelerate the recovery process.
Recovery Nutrition and Hydration
Continue to eat and drink regularly to promote the healing of muscle microfractures and alleviate any muscle and tendon inflammation.
During the first days, prefer protein-rich foods. Immediately after the race, make sure to nourish yourself adequately in the first 30 minutes, and then follow a feeding cycle every 6 hours until you have fully replenished glycogen and all the essential elements for the body. Time needed is 48 hours.
Celebration and Festivities
Celebrate your success and share your experiences with your loved ones, friends, and other participants.
However, limit alcohol consumption in the first 24-48 hours after the race, as it could compromise your physical recovery process.
Safe travels! TOR des Geants downhill stretch with snow and two trail runners
Participating in the Tor Des Geants TORX is an extraordinary experience that requires commitment, preparation, and determination.
By preparing properly and carefully managing your recovery, you can confidently face this challenge and experience an unforgettable adventure in the magnificent mountains of the Italian Alps.
Invest in Your Future with the “TRM Race Plan TOR” Now that you have acquired detailed knowledge of how to participate in the Tor Des Geants and prepare for TORX races, it’s time to put all the tips into practice or take a step forward in your trail running career.
Consider taking advantage of the incredible resources offered by the “TRM Training Plans” dedicated to distances of 120 km, 330 km, or 500 km, or explore the options of “TRM Race Plan” and “TRM Nutrition Competition.”
These tools will help you significantly improve your performance or simply successfully complete the race while keeping a smile on your face as you cross this extraordinary sports milestone.
The future is yours! Go and conquer new achievements… we are here to support you!
Good luck and enjoy your challenge!
AllenamentoUltraTrail, CompetizioniTrail, CorsaInNatura, endurance nutrition, endurance trail, EnduranceTrail, EscursioniTrail, EsperienzeInAltaMontagna, MontagneItaliane, nutrition in trail running races, PerformanceTrail, SfideTrail, TorDesGeants, trail, TRAIL RUNNING COACHES, trail running coaching, trail running movement, Trail Running Movement Team, Trail Running races, TrailInValledAosta, TrailRunner, trailrunning, Training, training ultra trail, Ultra distance, ultratrail, UltraTrailRunning