With less than two days before the running of the Coastal Classic, all preparations are on track for a good race. I did my final pre-race run today – an easy 8km jaunt from Martin Place around Farm Cove and Circular Quay through to Darling Harbour and then up King St. The legs felt great and eager to run hard, and it took a conscious effort to drop back from a 4:25 min/km pace at a pulse rate of around 165 to something more moderate.
It feels good going into a race when your legs have the feeling they want to surge forward, and my preparation has been quite difference toLinda’s experience preparing for her race.
In terms of food, I had an extra bowl of muesli last night and two bagels with jam in addition to the normal recovery shake I have after a run. I don’t plan to have any huge carb binges before the race. There is a maximum of about 4500 glycogen calories that can be held in muscle and in the liver, so it’s not necessary to stuff in meal after meal of food in preparation for a race. The best timing for carb intake is after the last training runs as well, and I’ve focussed on post-exercise re-fuelling this week. With a couple of hundred calories along the way from sport gels and the GuBrew, the risk of running out of energy during the run is very low.
On race morning, I’ll have my favourite of 4 large coconut-banana pancakes and 500ml of GuBrew with some Beta-Alanine, and a 500ml lo-carb Monster drink. This mixture has worked well for me over the last three races, delivering energy, hydration and caffeine to get me to the start line feeling great.
The footwear for the Coastal Classic is a simple choice – Salomon XT Wings 2 all the way. These shoes are wonderful for trail running – they have an aggressive grip that gives you a lot of confidence on steep and slippery trails, the toes guard is great for preventing damage to the toes and nails from whacking rocks and sticks, the lacing system makes getting the correct tightness easy and also avoids the issue of laces getting caught in twigs and coming undone, the shoes are light and supportive, have good cushioning, are light, and dry quickly after water crossings.
The Wings are not as light as my Pearl Izumi Peak XC Trail shoes, but the lacing, grip, cushioning and protection make them a better choice for this race. I wore the Peak XC for the Nowra King of the Mountain run as they’re slighter faster and that race was a combination of paved road and unsealed road.
The other important piece of footwear are Injinji socks. The only downfall of the XT Wings is that they have a fairly narrow toe, and the toe guard means they have no give at all across the toes. I tend to get some blisters between the smallest two toes on my right foot, and the Injinji socks do a good job minimising this. I was initially a bit skeptical of these socks, with the concern that the extra material between the toes would accentuate the tightness in the toe of the shoe, leading to more blistering. This hasn't been the case (so far) in my running, and the feet have generally benefited from these socks.