Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Post Race Analysis / 100K World & European Championships 2011

Team Ireland. IAU 100K World & European Championships
Feeling quite confident going into this race I was sure of a good result and expected to finish between 7hr30min and 7hr45min based on previous training results.  Without doubt I had the endurance and reckon I had just enough time to work on my leg turnover after my most recent race in Belfast.  The later than usual start time of 10 am for a race of this length meant running in the hottest part of the day and for most of the day and thats where it went wrong for me.  I knew from before halfway that I was showing signs of dehydration which slowed my pace with an elevated Heart Rate and increased my stopping time to try rehydrate and deal with stomach cramps.
The stomach cramps were quite severe at times and gave me the urge to pass water even though nothing would come out.  My guess is the cramps were caused by gels that weren't dilute enough for digestion.  To correct this problem I cut back on my carbohydrate intake by switching to an electrolyte only drink until I felt able to or needed to take carbs again.  The problem did start to correct itself and I can remember having a wobble at around 79K which helped make the decision to go back on carbs.  I managed to avoid the wall and started to come around again and got back where I wanted to be and had a much stronger finish than my earlier problems would have suggested.

I can't use the race day conditions as an excuse for my performance as the finishing times show that with the right preparation and race day plan it was a race that I should have done better in.  In the days after the race I was moving quite freely and know that I didn't run to my potential so it's now back to basics and my plan is to learn from this and other races and over the next few months I'll correct what I think went wrong.  For starters, I went to Holland while waiting results of a recent blood test which have since shown that I'm borderline anaemic and regardless of whether this contributed to my performance or not it's something I need to get sorted.

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