31 March 2013

pre-breakfast of champions ...?

this morning my friend trevor helped me to put in my longest run in my training cycle (29km), and thereby wrap up the most mileage that i have managed to log in any one week period (110km).  if you read the previous post you'll recall that this morning's run was something of a late substitute for an originally scheduled 'simulator' run of 26.2km at marathon pace.  

i'm (still) glad that i made that switch.  whether or not it will pan out as being the best move possible for attaining that elusive BQ goal is yet to be discovered.

anticipating the strain that this particular early morning run would put on my system, i decided to incorporate a few nutritional elements that would hopefully help me stave off the dreaded wall effect, and fuel me through to a strong finish.  in particular:

  1. i brought along some hydration (water) and fuel (homemade chia gel) with me.  this may not sound unusual to you, but for me it's not normal practice to take along any food or drink on training runs.  i always run before breakfast, and i find it to be of real psychological benefit to motivate myself with the allure of chocolate milk and waffles.
  2. i did carboload a bit yesterday.  sticky rice for lunch, spaghetti for dinner - yum.
  3. i started drinking beetroot juice this week.  i'd read this week that beetroot juice is apparently a natural (i.e. not banned!) performance enhancer for endurance athletes because it contains nitrates that can help your body to require less oxygen to do more work.  now, i'm not convinced that i'm the calibre of athlete for whom the performance benefits of beetroot juice will make any more of a difference than making sure to not go out too fast at the start of a race ... but i also figure that it can't hurt me.  except that i don't find beets all that super tasty - so in order to down the appropriate amount i 50/50 blend it with apple juice.  
end result?  today's run felt really quite good.  i managed (or at least think i did) to keep decent form through all 29km, and while the legs inevitably felt fatigue i can't say that i ever felt like i hit the wall.  plus i imagined that i would do well to finish up with a 5:08-5:10/km pace, and by the time i rolled back into my driveway i'd completed at a 4:58/km pace (even with walking breaks to make sure that i wasn't wearing spreading the chia gel all over to become the marathoning chiapet).  chalk it up to what you will, but i think that i just might try downing some more beetroot juice in the next few weeks, and packing a bit of fuel for the long runs.

oh, and breakfast was still oh so good when i got home. 


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