Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Preparing for Blackfoot

The training is complete, now the big thing is to arrive at the start line well rested, relaxed ready to run. Continue to complete easy runs each day and make all your plans early in the week in terms of what you are going to wear and what you are going to use for nutrition and having everything set out ready to go so all you have to do is wake up, dress, have breakfast and then pick up your bag and depart for the race.

The big thing here, the take to the trail message, "the rule of 15", 15 grams of carbohydrates every 15 minutes in 150ml of fluids.

Rule of 15 or 20 if you plan on going long:-)
  • 2-3 hr: up to 60g/hr, carbs that are oxidized rapidly like glucose or maltodextrin
  • 15 grams of carbs every 15mins
  • 3-20 hrs: up to 90g/hr, combination of carbs
  • glucose or maltodextrine combined with fructose at a 2:1 ratio
  • 20 grams of carbs every 15mins

Key Points
  • No difference in absorption rate for bars, gels and fluids
    • so you can mix and match to find what your stomach tolerates best
  • You can consume food like soups, potatoes but keep to the rule of 15
    • do not consume more than 20 grams of carbs in 15 minutes
    • do not come into transition and sit down and consume a pizza
    • have the pizza cut up into small pieces in a zip lock and consume in small portions
  • Start right from the start utilizing the rule of 15
    • so start 15 minutes into the race and continue to the end 

Mixing & Matching
Here is some numbers to help with planning;

  • 2hour loop
    • 120mins / 15mins = 8 x 150ml = 1200ml of sports drink 
      • with 8 x 15grams = 120grams of carbs
      • 1200ml = 2 regular sized water bottles 
  • 3hour loop
    • 180mins / 15mins = 12 x 150ml = 1800ml of sports drink 
      • with 12 x 20grams = 240grams of carbs
      • 1800ml = 3 regular sized water bottles

Simply look at the carb content of your favourite sports drink, gels and bars and then mix and match based on your requirements, i.e for the two hour loop you would need two handhelds with 60grams of carbs per bottle or two handhelds with 30grams of carbs and two 30gram gel or carry one hand held and obtain the equivalent of the second bottle from the aid stations.

Aid Stations
The aid stations for Blackfoot are located as follows and will have Hammer Heed, water, fruit and gels and some other goodies like cookies and chips.

  • 4km
  • 11km
  • 21km
  • 25km
You need to carry a hand held as part of the race rules so over and above that you need to decide how much nutrition you wish to carry and much you would like to use the aid stations. I would suggest carrying a hand held or small bladder pack and then supplement at the aid stations.

The take home message is not so much what you use as fuel but how you consume that fuel and if you can take small sips, small bites and start early you will stay well stocked and energy levels will remain even throughout your event. 

Shoe Choice
Your shoe choice will depend solely on the weather, if it is wet you will need a trail shoe with some bite, it can get slippery out there, trust me on this:-). If it is dry and hard packed you will want a fairly non aggressive tread patterned trail shoe or road shoe.

Good luck at Blackfoot and if you have any questions stop by the shop and we can guide you in the right direction.