Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Last Long Run, Race Ready, Two weeks to Plan for the Yomp and get the Legs Ready

Sunday just gone saw the last long run of this training phase before The Yomp on the 1st June.  Ironically, with all my training on the flat, the Yomp is a Cumbrian fell race with 4 big peaks of >500m each and about 1200-1300m (4000ft) of climb involved.  Last year I sort of fell (no pun intended) into it as a bit of fun and a tester before the main race of Grimsthorpe at the beginning of August. 

This year it’s a bit different; I see this as the effective anniversary of my diagnosis and I wasn’t to make a point that I can go quicker as a well controlled diabetic than I could as an undiagnosed, ketotic diabetic likely to keel over any moment.  That however is going to be a tough demonstration.  

Last year I had agonising calf cramps from about 15miles of the 23mile race distance, a combination of electrolyte imbalance, high sugars (22mmol/l vs a normal 5-6) and high levels of ketones, all of which went towards a state of severe dehydration and reduced efficiency of fuel usage however much I stuffed in my face.

This year I hope it will be different, and I hope that I am on top of the things that I can control.  Sunday was a good lesson in that, and a bit of a wake-up call about what I need to control, and how to do that for success.  In East Anglia, particularly north Cambridgeshire, Sunday dawned bright and was only ever getting hot.  So, all insulin and carb management considerations aside (I’ll cover those later) fluids were my main consideration.  It was going to be hot, it was going to be sunny and my planned route mainly on farm tracks and a bit of tarmac had very little shade apart from my Texas Longhorns baseball cap.  The camelback was therefore loaded up with the full 2l and the right dosage of Nuun this time.

The plan was a nice, steady 35km or so (race distance is 37) about as much as I think necessary two weeks out.

So let’s talk about the insulin sensitivity considerations.  As usual for a long run of this type, morning basal was taken from 3.5 to 1.0 – I’ve discussed taking this down even further with my DSN, but we both felt this was risking problems later in the day.  The one I think may take some further playing though is the bolus.  Again I took this down from 3 units to 0.5, a ratio of 60g/unit, extreme to the max.  I’m going to discuss going with zero bolus for Grimsthorpe which I estimate will take me 6.5-7 hours. 

I thought I’d over armed myself as usual with carbs, plus my back up extra emergency quick carbs.  I had 2 x 20g carb gels, 1 x 30g carb gel, 2 x small date and nut bars, 100g of dates (60g carbs), a 9-bar with 20g gels.  All in all about 180-190g, so enough for a good 3 hours plus at 40-50g per hour.

So how did it go down? Well, to start with, I dispensed with the pre-run malt loaf this time as that was clearly too low a GI to get the BG up immediately pre-run to allow for that cliff dive in the first 5km.

The porridge with extra dates had me at just 11.3 30 mins before the off, and fallen back to 10.0 when ready to set out.  The extra bolus this time was a date and nut bar.  The resulting 5km test was 4.1, about as good as it’s been at that point.  This is where the 30g carb gel comes in as expected carbs needed for the next 5km plus a bit more for good measure.  After that I was taking in between 20 and 30g carbs every 5km (25-28 minutes). Everything I had got eaten, except the emergency reserves.  The blood glucose after the first test stayed happily between 4.8 and 5.8, maybe a little on the low side, but for me and running a pretty decent record.

That’s the diabetes dealt with, what about the run?  It was tough.  The first 25km were good, easy HR, easy pace varying a bit with the terrain.  It’s all flat, but some of the tracks are so rutted you need to slow down to avoid turning an ankle or worse.  From 25-30km though, it all came off the rails a bit. Mentally and physically it got tough, it was hot, the track was hard work – sundried, rutted to hell, and the sun was beating down on me, and I was thirsty.  That’s a bad sign, the trick with endurance racing is not to drink to your thirst, that’s far too late.  Early, regular drinking is the key, which I had been doing but not enough, obviously.  I upped my slurp rate, and then a breeze sprang up as well to cool me a bit, but with the double edged sword that I was now running into it, so the pace slowed.  

I ended up at 34km, with a 500m cool down walk back to the house. Definitely dehydrated; dark yellow urine about the colour of apple juice; lost 2kg weight (some of which will be glycogen related) and over half a litre left in the camelback.  My urine was not back to the right colour until I’d had another 1.5 litre of fluid and 2 hours.

Remember the trick after the workout, reduced bolus to avoid that later hypo.  Lunch had another 50g carbs with a 1U lunchtime bolus, and a maximum post meal reading of 7.5

 Sunday 18th May
-120min- 5.6, 50g carbs, 0.5 QA, 1.0Ba, porridge with dates and berries
-30min - 11.3, 0 carbs
Start – 10.0, 10g carbs
5km - 4.1, 30g carbs, 26:41.2, 05:20/km,  AHR139, MHR150
10km - 5.5, 30g carbs, 27:48.6, 05:34/km, AHR144, MHR 152
15km - 5.4, 20g carbs, 28:03.6, 05:37/km, AHR 145, MHR 154
20km - 5.8, 30g carbs, 28:44.1, 05:45/km, AHR 147, MHR 152
25km - 5.4, 20g carbs, 28:28.5, 05:42/km, AHR 146, MHR 152
30km - 4.8, 30g carbs, 28:57.2, 05:47/km, AHR 147, MHR 152
34km - 4.8, 17g carbs, 24:14.1, 06:03/km, AHR 146, MHR 152
+30min - 6.9, 50g carbs, 1U QA
+60min - 7.5
+90min - 6.2

Next instalment; a new problem, chafing; the kit and the nutrition for the race; planning the testing and eating strategy; getting the legs ready; the taper

I’ve also been asked to write a short article for a Natural Running Centre publication, on how I manage running and T1D, very exciting.

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