100 km del Passatore: race simulation, second take
the day I needed
Yesterday I went out for a second attempt at a race simulation for Passatore, after the poor attempt of 5 days ago. I had a great day out, it was my longest run ever and I felt like I could have continued.
I made all the changes I covered in this blog, and I would like to thank the people that took the time to read and provide feedback, in particular Daniel, Gordo, Davide, Martin, and Andrea (and apologies if I have forgotten others).
I am very happy with this race simulation. I decided to go out this soon after the previous attempt because yesterday was the warmest day of the week and it would be pointless to test fueling and hydration on a colder, rainy day (as the rest of the week will be). Then it will be too late next week. I did have many doubts in the first 2 hours, as my legs were maybe 80% good, especially on the downhills, but I kept running and in the second part I felt as good as any other day.
Pacing / intensity
I went out slower than 5 days ago, without bothering about pace, but keeping a heart rate cap of about 135 bpm on the uphills and flats, while I would go only slower than 5'/km on the downhills to avoid excessive muscle damage. In the second part, when in direct sunlight and going uphill, I raised the cap to 140 bpm, but always walked when reaching it.
It felt the way it should feel for this distance, at least for me: an easy jog, never uncomfortable. Grade adjusted pace (GAP) looks really nice and flat at 5’35”-40”/km, an even effort. I will do the same on race day, but go even slower if it is warmer. I have accepted that I don't have the legs to race, and I have quite enjoyed feeling good physically yesterday, as opposed to the usual drama (nausea, cramps, etc.).
I had only gels, one every 6 km. I don’t think I have a choice when it is warmer at this point, as I can’t process solid food while also dealing with the heat, but it went well with gels yesterday. I didn't get nausea or any issues, even though towards the end I was getting maybe a bit hungry.
I am aware that at this pace, I am not really fueling much with 1 gel every ~36 minutes, but I prefer to fuel less than to get nauseous and not eat for hours, then quit. On a side note, I also had Maurten bicarb between breakfast and going out, after talking to Sander at Dutch Triathlon who had a positive experience with cramps. For what it’s worth, I had no cramps yesterday. The slower pace obviously is the main factor here, but I’ll use the bicarb on race day too.
I had 1 sodium / electrolyte pill every 6 km, and 2 later on when it got warmer and warmer. I drank 5 liters of water I think, but I am not sure, I kind of lose track after a while. Maybe I had more, but mostly depending on availability on the road and thirst (and I got quite thirsty in the second part, but the race will be different, as it gets a bit cooler in the evening as opposed to warmer like today during the day). I stopped twice to pee (at about 25 and 50 km).
I simulated the race as much as I could, with a steep short climb at the beginning, then a very long (10 + 10 km) climb and descent. I'm feeling really good on the climbs at this point, I haven't spent much time in Holland after all this year. I was happy to see I could run the same pace after 5 minutes, 3 hours, and 5 hours when going up at similar grades.
Temperatures are not particularly high (17-22C), but it was quite warm around midday, and I was always in direct sunlight. This is why I went out today, and I think it was a good exercise, but I hope it won't get as hot as last year, or it will be really difficult to run for me.
I didn't have any. I felt maybe 80% when starting, in terms of legs, due to the very long run ended poorly last week, but towards the 4 hours mark, I felt as good as any other day. I don't think this limited me eventually.
I ran 7 hours on asphalt with trail shoes :) Apparently, with my flat feet, the Hoka Torrent are currently the most comfortable shoes I have, which beats any other feature when you have to keep them for so long. I might still swap them for Rincons when I'm back in Romagna, as those are also comfortable for me.
I feel more confident now, and less stressed about fueling and pacing, which was the whole point of doing this.
200 km in a week. 2 weeks and a half to race day.
Marco holds a PhD cum laude in applied machine learning, a M.Sc. cum laude in computer science engineering, and a M.Sc. cum laude in human movement sciences and high-performance coaching.
He has published more than 50 papers and patents at the intersection between physiology, health, technology, and human performance.
He is co-founder of HRV4Training, advisor at Oura, guest lecturer at VU Amsterdam, and editor for IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine. He loves running.
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