Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Preparing for the CDR

Weather you are a relay runner or soloist getting ready for next weekends CDR you will want to dial things back and focus on relaxation and rest and aim to keep your race planning as simple as possible, the keys things being apparel, shoes and your hydration system. Your apparel needs to be light and provide ventilation and your shoes need to be comfortable and match the conditions of the day and your hydration system needs to match your volume needs and be comfortable.

Mental Game
The mental game is huge at this point. If you can focus on the positive and turn any set backs into positives you will be so far ahead come race day you cannot imagine. Focus on the positive completion of your leg or race and use every set back along the way as a reminder of how hard you have worked and nothing stands in your way.

Once your run begins take each moment as it comes and stay in the moment not focusing on the outcome and your event will be enjoyable the entire way. Once you focus on the outcome that is when things become overwhelming.

There will be moments of weakness and fatigue but if you slow the pace and focus on working through the period will pass and you will rebound in time. The disappointment of stepping off the trail is far harder at the end of the day than working through a rough patch and waiting for your energy to return.

In terms of training, the big thing is to arrive at the start line well rested, relaxed ready to run.
  • Saturday - Tempo run or light intervals
  • Sunday - Medium long run using the shoes and hydration system you plan on using
  • Monday - Recovery workout
  • Tuesday - Tempo run or light intervals
  • Wednesday - Recovery workout
  • Thursday - Recovery workout
  • Friday - Recovery workout
  • Saturday - Death Race
  • Sunday - Recovery workout
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.

Race Basics
If you listen to your body and remove expectations you will have a wonderful day on the trail following these basic rules of ultra running;
  • Pace by feel
  • Drink when thirsty, but not before
  • Eat when hungry, and only consume small portions
With the above basic rules in mind and your equipment sorted out your last consideration is your race nutrition. Basically you want to focus on drinking based on thirst as your body will notify you when you need more water and then based on the following guidelines plan out your nutrition strategy.

Pre-Race Hydration
There is no need to over do pre-race hydration simply drink your normal levels of water, otherwise you will feel bloated and lethargic for the start of the race.

You will need 150ml of your preferred sports drink every 15mins or 600ml per hour
Your sports drink will provide electrolytes and a portion of your needed carbohydrates

You will need 15grams of carbohydrates every 15mins or 60grams per hour
In addition to the carbohydrates you receive from your sports drink you will need to supplement this with gels, bars, cubes or real food.
  • No difference in absorption rate for bars, gels and fluids
    • 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 15 grams of carbs in 15 minutes
    •  do not come into transition and sit down and consume a pizza
    • have the pizza or other cut up into small pieces and consume in small portions
  • Start right from the start utilizing the rule of 15
    • start 15 minutes into the race and continue to the end  
Aid Stations
There are not as many aid stations in the CDR as with S7 so you will need to be more self sufficient. I would suggest going lighter for the shorter legs of leg 1,3 and 5 with just your 2L bladder pack and carrying more for leg 2 and 4 with your 2L bladder pack plus two hand helds.

Simply look at the carb content of your favorite sports drink, gels and bars and then mix and match based on your requirements, i.e. for a two hour leg you would need 60grams of carbs from your sports drink or 30grams of carbs from your sports drink and 30grams from your gels and or bars.

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. If it is dry and hard packed you will want a fairly non-aggressive tread patterned trail shoe or road shoe.

If you feel you are overheating and are starting to feel the effects of your effort your body is giving you cues that your pace is too fast based on terrain, heat and other factors, your best course of action is too slow the pace, drink based on thirst and with time you will start to feel better and will be able to slowly increase your pace again.

A Few Extras
Here are a few things that can make the race easier;
  • Lube, use sports slick or body glide in areas of friction.
  • Have a small tub in transition with face clothes to wipe away sweat and dirt.
  • Have a cooler of ice in transition to use in water bottles and face clothes.
  • Do not sit down in transition, always keep moving and ask your support crew to walk with you.
  • Have spare singlet, short sleeve, long sleeve so you can adjust based on temperatures.
  • Have spare shoes with tread options so you can adjust based on weather and trail conditions.
  • Have spare socks, especially if it is a wet year and change socks in transition.
Good luck at the CDR and if you have any questions stop by the shop or send me an email and we can guide you in the right direction.