The chart shows the pace development of my 100k Anglo Celtic Plate race in Perth 2011.
So what happened here? It all looked nice and straight until exactly half way. Plotting around the 7:10 minute mile pace and averaging 7:07 for the first 50k.
At half way I took that Maxim Gel which was a three portion pack an swallowed it all. Why? It is a sweet gel and I thought it was a good idea to have something sweet a half way. Before I only had the SIS GO Gels which are all neutral tasting.And I had good experiences with that very same Maxim Gel since it brought me easily over a 4 hour training run (50k). And I finished that training run strongly without feeling hypoglycemic.
But I had sips of it every 30 minutes or so.
But back to the 100k race though: It was certainly not a good idea to swallow it all at once. My stomach was not at its best and all of a sudden my bowels exploded which explains the two prolonged toilet stops. One just minutes after swallowing the gel. Another one later. Those stops are represented by the large spikes in the chart. Each one costing me a couple of minutes.
I cannot blame the mess of my race all on that gel though. The first half was certainly too fast. After 85k to 95k I almost bang through the 8 minute mile barrier but recover just to have a good couple of laps at the end.
Another issue was that I choose to run in Skins (long compression tights). Not my preferred choice of running long distances but it was very cold on Sunday morning and wanted to play "safe" since I hate running in the cold.
Since the weather turned out to be nice and even sunny and warm I have to say it was a mistake to wear them. My legs started to cook in the second half in particular when the sun was roasting and I made the mistake to stick with them to the finish.
Below a comparison with last years Glasgow-Edinburgh Double Marathon (not sure if it is in deed 56 miles, some runners said it is more like 55 miles) which is a similar distance. And you can see that the pacing graph from that race is much flatter (apart from the support stop spikes obviously). I started that GEDM race in 2010 slower but slowed down less. I recon the average speed is about the same in both races.
So the conclusion is that I did not actually have a better race in Perth compared to the GEDM. And I certainly suffered much less last year as far as I remember.
I still had a good race. Considering the circumstances. I know that the preparations in the last couple of weeks before the race were not according to plan. All caused by the shoe change I had to go through. Since my preferred Nike Zoom Elite 4 became unavailable I had to change to a different model and experimented with different ones. Those shoes did all "fit" but you do not know what they do to your running until you run with them for some distance.
Brooks Launch, Adidas Adizero's, Nike Structure Triax to name a few. I also tried heel pads or insoles. I developed shin pain and knee pain which were so bad that on some days I could barely walk. It was only the weekend before the race that I found the Pegasus which thankfully worked well for me. But I missed the very important long weekend runs I have done before good races.
And again I did do very little speedwork in preparation. I am now convinced that I do need more of that. But I always have to be careful with running fast on the flat since it ruins my hamstrings.
Since I will stock up the Pegasus now and NOT overdose with sweet gels again (I learned my lessons) I do hope for another chance and I am confident that I can run that 7:30. I do have to respect that distance, in particular in a race, otherwise I pay for it. But I am happy to take that (well calculated) risk, and go fast again from the start if it feels right.
PS: Another thing to add is that before the race I was confident that a couple of 30 milers would be enough to get me to the finish in good shape. And I know some runners do actually perform well with that kind of training. But next time I go for a 40 miler about 3 weeks before the race.