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Typical routes to prepare for the Grand Raid 6666 or the Diagonale des Fous

In order to be well prepared for these two ultras, which are very similar in their types of terrain and difficulties (technicality, height of the steps, percentage of ascents and descents, tight and obstacle-laden bends, short restarts, heat, total autonomy over long stretches), it is advisable to adapt to them by carrying out a few spontaneous rides or organised blocks over a weekend.

{tab Circuit 20km}

Average duration: 20km (12.4miles)/1,100m+, 3h to 5h: Mons la Trivalle - Bardou - Col du Montahut - descent to Olargues until the Eiffel bridge, Voie Verte until Mons.

Interest: A fairly dynamic type of training, where part of the ascent allows you to trot and where the descents are not very traumatic. Ideal to start the next day on another ride.

We advise you to take your time on the descent from Olargues, preferring a good finish on the 4km (2.5miles) of very flat Voie Verte, with 2km (1.5miles) at 85% of your FCmax and then the last 2km (1.5miles) quietly.

Route: From Mons la Trivalle to Bardou, yellow and red GR de Pays signs. From Bardou to Montahut, white and red GR 7. At the top of Montahut, blue track slightly marked to the hamlet of Cros. Then road and study well the track at this place the objective being to join the Voie Verte for a flat final...


 

{tab Circuit 35km}
Long duration: 35km (21.7miles) / 2,300m+ and -5h30 to 9h: Colombières sur Orb - la Fage - Cours le haut - portail de Roquandouire - Andabre - chapelle St Eutrope - Col de l'Ourtigas - Douch by Serre d'Arrêt - climb to the plateau to descend the Esquino d'Aze to Colombières.

Interest: Perfect for a day of bouldering; the technicality is straightforward, the climbs formidable, the descent of the Esquino d'Aze fantastic, the landscape fabulous. Excellent for your mind and your muscle fibres, you will have to work on your running economy at some point.

The advice: Take a picnic, the hunger can surprise you because the course is demanding. Load up on water at the Fage refuge, as you will probably not find any more before Douch. If you feel too tired or it rains, avoid the Esquino d'Aze. At Douch, follow the road for 3km (2miles) to the car park at the entrance to La Fage and then join the refuge to descend more easily through the Colombières gorges.
GPX trace in advance.

{tab Circuit 22km}


Very dense in positive and negative altitude difference: 22km (13.7miles)/2,000m + and -, 3h45 to 5h30: Mons la Trivalle - Orientation table - Descent of the Garel to the Trappe - ascent of the Esquino d'Aze - return by the orientation table - descent of the Gardes path to St Martin de l'Arçon - ascent to Bartouyre - end of the descent of the Gardes path to Mons

Interest: Perfect to adapt to the hard terrain as most of the walk is on rock. Overall very technical, with big percentages and heights of steps worse than in Reunion Island, this terrain will make you progress in strength and muscular power.

The advice: Don't try to climb in the towers, stay wise to take advantage of the outing and avoid additional risks. If it rains, I advise you against the Bartouyre - St Martin round trip.
GPX track in anticipation

{tab Circuit 18km}

Unique work of positive and negative altitude difference: 18km (11.2miles) / 2,100m+ and -, 4h to 7h: Mons - summit of the Sentier des Gardes - descent to the Pont des Soupirs, identical ascent, identical descent, ascent to the intermediate flat (450 m+) and return to Mons, i.e. 2.5 x the Sentier des Gardes.

Interest: This is a typical outing to break the muscle fibre, maintain your patience, your running trajectory, your economy of movement and mentally project yourself onto your objective.

Advice: On the second climb, from the flat, go up by trotting more or by adapting a faster walk for 12', heart rate between 83 and 85% of your FCmax. The rest of the ride is best done in cool endurance (76-80% max).

The course: 2 dry climbs from the bridge of sighs to the first pine tree you come across around the 1,000 mark. You will be able to go around the tree :). The third climb stops at 677m at the Bartouyre pass at the beginning of the flat. Count a little more if you park behind the tourist office in Mons: 1 km by the Voie Verte and the car park of the gorges to go up.


 

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