An Auckland based Dietitian (dietician) (West Auckland). Specialising in Diet for Sport, Diabetes, recovery, training nutrition and weightloss.
So I had finally managed to do what felt like a good solid week of running. I had clocked up a total of 62km and my long run on the sunday had been 26km on trail. It felt good. But at this stage I realised I needed to really make sure I was hydrating right. The days were hot and I was sweating alot out on the trail. The Long run days were the ones to trial anything I was going to do on race day, so I needed to start. After consulting some of my text books and looking at the current research out. I figured water alone would not be enough for long training days and not for the event itself which can take any where between 8 and a half to 15 hours of running. So I opted for a powdered electrolyte drink, that I could make up at home. Next I needed to figure out my sweat rate . So during the week when I ran , I weighed myself, then ran for an hour, then when home, weighed myself again. What I found was for me, at that time of year in that heat, I would lose about 1kg weight. This equates to about 1 litre of fluid. So roughly my sweat rate was 1 litre per hour. So this is what I needed to replace to prevent dehydrating to much. It doesn't take much dehydration to effect performance so its something I really wanted to stay on top of. With the loss of fluid through sweat comes the loss of electrolytes. This is why over long runs its a good idea to use an electrolyte drink. Trialling theses drinks during long runs is important, to make sure your stomach will not get upset and that the flavour wont become un-palatable over time.
The bonus of using an electrolyte drink is it has Carbohydrates . And this can contribute to your overall need for carbohydrate during those long runs. Its a double whammy.
I didn't get a chance in week 4 to try out my hydration strategy because I went away with my oldest daughters for a 3 day weekend ( I did surf a lot though so put that down as cross training) . In week 4 I managed to run a total of 19.5km, well under what the plan had set out. But its extremely tricky training with work commitments and family commitments.
Training for any endurance event means lots of hours by your self. Like most sport its a selfish pursuit and sometimes the training has to give a little while you delicately balance life. Its about here That Ill throw in these additional bits of info , My wife had also entered the 34km Hillary event with no running background at all. On top of this, we have 2 babies (under 1 and a half years) and 4 older kids. Both me and my wife are self employed. Life is busy......there was always going to be compromises in the training.
Week 5 came round , and although I went up north to celebrate My fathers birthday , I managed to run 74km total with a long run of 40km on trail. I managed to use my strategy , I carried a bottle and had a back pack with a bladder that could hold 3 litres. I re fuelled at a Tap around half way through my run. I didn't fade or collapse , so I deemed it a success.
Ill also add in here, I saw this training as an opportunity to reduce my weight. At the start of training I had weighed about 95kg. Which I didn't mind, but my surfboard was no longer holding me above water and a few of my favourite jeans were a lil tight! Plus something I noted was if your lighter you can run faster to a point. Plus it has a lot less impact on your joints. Now by week 5 I was 87.6kg! I had my hydration sorted, My long runs were going well and my weight had come down. Th Hillary was looking achievable at this point. Going into week 6 of training, life was getting even busier as it was only 2 weeks till xmas . I only ran twice that week one 18km run mid week and my biggest run ever at that point of 46km ! I did run out of fluid on the 46km, so I drank out of the streams. My time for the 46km was good. Things were going well and xmas was coming. I was injury free and running that 46km was a huge psychological boost for myself. I really felt like I could run this 80km event. It was time for me to get on top of my nutrition for the long runs and the race . My next blog will cover my nutrition strategies.
, I think the Some of you may know that earlier in the year I decided to enter an Ultra Marathon. Not just Any Ultra, The Hillary. I chose The Hillary because over the preceding years I had tramped different parts of it at different times, because I started surfing along the coast line that it trails, because I basically live on it , because I felt drawn to do this one. Because I got brought up in the area that it traverses. I'm not sure whether its a good idea to, not actually be a runner and, not really have run for 3 years at all and enter a 80km Trail run with 14 weeks to train , but I did. I really didn't have much of a clue about training for it. I had run a very bad and flat marathon 3 years earlier and then stopped running having supposedly ticked that off the bucket list, I had entered the Auckland half marathon to help raise funds for diabetes in Nov 2015 but I actually only trained for that for 2 weeks. And hurt my knee during the event, but when I saw The Hillary Advertised I knew ! The time was NOW! Bad knee, no training and 14 weeks to figure it out! I like the sounds of that and so I started . I found a plan on line to follow that seemed pretty good and told myself my number one rule in training for this would be “make it to the start Line” . So many times I have heard or seen people talk about training for an endurance event but never make it to the start line because they don't listen to there body and push it to hard to soon. My training plan was pretty simple 3 runs in the week Tuesday through to Thursday basically 14km, 8km, 14km . Monday and Friday were rest days and I was suppose to do 2 long runs in the weekend and slowly build them up till a peaked a few weeks before the event .
Its assumed that you are running 50-80km a week before you start this plan. Obviously I wasn't. So I did what I could and built into it, having a bung knee made sure it was impossible to run too much and my first two weeks I managed 32 km total by Sunday, I truly believe the sore knee saved me from over doing it . The following week I managed to up it to 69km. My knee had stopped aching by then. This is where I needed to start to figure out , Nutrition and Hydration . How was I going to do it. How was I going to manage the long runs (20-40km) and how was I going to make sure I was fuelled enough for the event it self. The first thing I decided to figure out was my hydration. My next blog will discuss this!