Slept well last night and didn’t feel like swimming this morning so I stayed in bed. If I’m honest I just didn’t fancy the taste of salt water. I went and met up with Roger, Russell and Martyn to head to splashers for breakfast. Very relaxed as I like it. I didn’t have much planned training for the day so I was happy for it to be slow and leisurely.
After breakie I headed up to the bike shop to get my bottle of Expresso Hammer Gel (decision made for race day flavour) and a bottle cage to mount between my aero bars. I found a side entry cage which was narrower and seemed to fit the bill.
Gabriel commented on my last post that he was surprised me choosing to go with gels. Yes this is a complete change for me. For my first few Ironman races I was a marzipan guy and it worked great but then I found I just didn’t fancy it and since then I’ve really not found my ideal nutrition. I’ve had numerous cases of chucking the food I was carrying because I just didn’t want it. This culminated in IM Germany last year where I decided to carry no food and just take what I could grab at the aid stations. That certainly wasn’t any worse. Here though I really only want to be worry about getting fluids at aid stations as I don’t want to miss them. I’ve heard on several occasions friends comment on getting a boost following taking a gel or some other carbs but felt I never noticed this myself. I wondered whether it’s not that it didn’t happen to me but just that I wasn’t in tune with my reaction post food. So over the summer I decided to really focus on how I felt post food. In Lanzarote I even carried gels with me on many rides to test out my reaction. Not surprisingly to most of you I started to notice an improvement – not always but on some occasions pretty dramatic. This made me feel I had to force the carbs down in a race. How best to do this – well many friends and it seems a lot of pros just neck tonnes of gels.
How to do this. I couldn’t face the mess of opening packets. So the plan is to mount a bottle between my aero bars and stuff a 500ml bottle there with all my gels for the race. Got the gels, mounted the bottle cage – gonna test it out on my ride tomorrow.
Todays training session was really important to me. Running a couple of days ago had really knocked me for six. The way I’d faded after 8 miles had really got to me. Jeez race day was gonna be seriously tough if thats how bad my running was. Much debate was had at dinner last night about how to approach ‘training” for the race. My feeling was that resting up on my running is pointless – resting helps your performance if you’ve done some training but resting after none is not going to improve matters. I couldn’t help think if you had someone that had done zero running and had to run a race in two weeks you would advice them to run. Also on the occasions that I strung together a period of running over the summer there was a sudden step change in my running at some point. If I get to that before race day it could make all the difference.
So today had a two fold aim:
1.Run the same 10 mile route as two days ago and see if I was running better. Ie was I improving my running by running (sounds obvious when stated like that!)
2.Test out run walk.
I walked purposefully for 30 seconds at each mile marker and ran pretty solidly between. The first thing I noticed was that I ran too fast initially ~ 7:40 min miles. It felt like an interval session which encouraged running hard. I’ll have to hold that in check. I was running better though and managed to run the 10 mile route 6 minutes quicker. Also, though it did get a lot lot tougher as the run progressed I didn’t fade. I feel I should at least be able to get beyond our hotel and on to the Queen K before I crash !
At least there was a positive outcome from this and I feel a little better. It’s still unlikely to be pretty but I’ll try for a 5 miler in two days and see if I feel better still.
One significant thing is that I didn’t mention any foot pain. I’ve only just realised that ! The foot was not an issue at all, in fact it just didn’t come to my mind whilst running. To put this in perspective – other than Vitruvian the two runs I’ve done in the past 3 days are my longest runs since my surgery. What I’m really starting to think about now is how good I can get my running for Busselton. This race in a week is really about enjoying the experience and just being happy and proud to be able to be taking part despite whats happened.
The photo is a poor representation of the sunset that accompanied this evenings dinner in Bongo Bills.