Leading up to the Wirral Ultra race my nutrition was OK. Low sugar but, as always, a bit too much cereal. A funny thing is that I ate pizza and chip shop Fish'n'Chips the day before, but in my defence the pizza was homemade and I only really ate the fish and not too many chips.
On race day, I had cereal and coffee for breakfast. On route I stuck to Tailwind mixed in with my water, it worked out well, no stomach problems at all. I was, unusually, too hydrated which made me wee four times on the run. I was worried about the temperature getting hot but it stayed cool. I’ve been using Tailwind a lot this spring for long runs and races and have found it to be convenient as it has enough calories in to remove the need to have to take in food. Also, it sits nicely on the stomach, no gas or gut aches.
I’ve also been using TrueStart coffee a bit. The handy thing about this is that you know how much caffeine you’re getting in each scoop.
I started the race going about 20 seconds per mile too slow for about 13 miles but I had good company and was enjoying the chat. It would have been boring to have run alone all the way and I wasn't really looking for a particular time. Partly why I wanted to do this race was to fall in love with Ultra running again after putting too much pressure on myself at the nationals and it worked. I also just wanted to see if I could do the distance without my hamstrings being weak which they had been in the last couple of races.
I have had the pleasure of having Zach Bitter coaching me this spring and he gave me a great plan between the 100km and the Wirral Ultra. We recognized that my weak hamstrings were probably the result of doing too much MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function) at one pace so Zach had a bit more variety in the last four weeks to give that muscle group a chance to recover. It worked out well.
Post Race Summary
I will certainly keep using Tailwind for upcoming races and cut down a bit on breakfast cereal.
I was really pleased to have run well and won the Wirral Ultra in a time of 4 hour 8 minutes for a distance of 36 miles. I was pleased with the pace considering four wee stops (toilet) and other stops to navigate the route.
The best thing was how I felt; strong throughout and was able to pick up the pace.