Racing nutrition and support from Shotz UK

What an exciting couple of weeks; work is busy busy, home is frantic too. A reasonably grotty, snotty cold has stopped me from running heaps, but I’m feeling back to a point where I can go out and run the cold off.

I’m really excited to see an actual physical copy of Pete Bursnall’s 2nd Edition of Mountain Bike Guide-North Wales. It’s a great legacy though one heavily shadowed with sadness. That said, it’s time that proper Mountain Biking was back on the agenda, trail riding from centres is great fun, but nothing competes, in my opinion, with a good ride out over the mountains. Pete was such a great advocate for the Welsh countryside, I hope this inspires more people to explore their OS map.

My main bit of exciting news comes from a chance discussion with Steve Raven at Shotz Sports Nutrition at Trail Marathon Wales this year. It turns out a lot of the staff at ShotzUK are paddlers and I’m really hopeful that in my day job with Canoe Wales we’re going to build a strong partnership.

For me though, the excitiement is that Shotz have come on board to support my Marathon des Sable campaign in 2014. Sports nutrition is going to be important for me, especially in the heat. As we sweat we all lose vital electrolytes that rapidly impact the bodies ability to keep up a high work rate. Little fizzy tablets can be dropped into water, and this disolves to put vital bits back into our system. Water is great, but if you’re sweating at all on a 5k run or in the gym, then getting these electrolytes back stops cramps and also helps the body recover quicker.

I’m going to be running the Helly Hansen “Beauty and the Beast” trail marathon on the 22nd of September and I’ll be using the Shotz Energy Gel and Shotz Electrolyte to fuel me round. I wrote a while back about finding my wall and I’m now convinced that having an energy gel every 45 minutes and some electrolyte every 20 minutes keeps fatigue at bay for a lot longer.

This translates to energy gel every 6 miles, so as the Beauty and the Beast is laps I’m going to take a get every lap. I’ll post a full write up on the race and the Shotz after the weekend.

You can have a read about Shotz at their website www.shotzuk.com

Can’t say thank you enough for their confidence in me and the support to get this race done.

Prizes and Events

Its been a funny month, frantically busy at work, lots of miles in a van, but not as much training as I would like. Really pleased to receive my prize from Trail Running Magazine for the video I posted on YouTube. See my blog post for the video. The rucksack I got sent is the TNF Enduro rucsac. My immediate thought was that technology and design has come along way since I bought my last running rucsac. Even unladen the sac is stable, close fitting and super light. I decided to load it up and give it a long run whilst I was out searching for my
Its been a funny month, frantically busy at work, lots of miles in a van, but not as much training as I would like. Really pleased to receive my prize from Trail Running Magazine for the video I posted on YouTube. See my blog post for the video. The rucksack I got sent is the TNF Enduro rucsac. My immediate thought was that technology and design has come along way since I bought my last running rucsac. Even unladen the sac is stable, close fitting and super light. I decided to load it up and give it a long run whilst I was out searching for my “wall” more about that in a bit! I headed out, up through Coed y Brenin and out on to the moors by Trawsfynydd, I mixed the route up with a bit of road and a bit of trail and the sac was easily adjustable. I struggle a bit with the mesh pockets on the side of the sac, but this is my range of motion issues from kayaking, throwing and crashing bikes and not a big criticism of the sac. I’m keen to see if I can get a front pack to fit onto this as that will sort my carrying issues out for Marathon des Sable. Like my blog about the Salomon XR Crossmax trainers, the biggest compliment I can give the bag is that I didn’t notice it. I’ve been trying out various bits of nutritional stuff to try and help me out. Since Trail Marathon Wales in June, and the cramps I got after about 20 miles, I realised I’ve got to get my feeding strategy right. I’ve been trying electrolytes from Shotz – http://shotz1.com/ that I find pretty tasty and easy to glug down. They definitely get into the system quickly and I think keep me going longer. I’m trying to sort some energy gels that I find easy to get down. I’ve tried a few over the years and I don’t enjoy them but they definitely work. First of all I wanted to know where my “wall”is now I’m a bit older. The wall is effectively where all the stored energy (glycogen) in your muscles runs out and the body struggles for an energy pathway. Knowing where this point is helps inform you what your feeding strategy needs to be in longer races. I do things the simple way, to find my wall I skipped brekkie, only took a bit of water and went out running. My track is here. From 35km on I knew I was coming close to feeling the effects, and then at 37km it came at me like a steam train. My vision distorted, I started struggling with co-ordination and in my “Mary had a little lamb” voice check my speech was definitely not clear. I got home, blithered around the kitchen making some self made isotonic 50:50 Orange Juice and Water with a few tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Glugged this down with some crystalised Pineapple and felt normality return. I now know that when I’m relatively well prepared I can deal with 30km without extra fuelling. Hope I can stretch that out a bit! That run was the third day of the Strava Speedgoat 50km challenge. The aim was to run 50km in three days in “celebration” of the trail race in the states. I was pretty chuffed to rack up 79km and finish the challenge in 15th (out of 1282). Just heard that we’ve definitely got a place at the Original Mountain Marathon, and before then I’ve got the Helly Hansen “Beauty and the Beast” trail marathon in late September. For someone who isn’t mad keen on races its looking good. I’m also hoping this year to finish all of the Meirionydd winter series fell races for the first time. I often managed one or two but never the whole series. Finally, a quick update on 2012 miles in 2012, logged 1327 Miles so far. Starting to feel like it should be possible to get back on track. I’ve caught up from my month and a bit off so pretty chuffed. Head back down and on with life.