Thursday, March 6, 2014

Way Too Cool 50k Tips

I've broken down the WTC course for some athletes and thought I'd share them here.

Miles 1-8 (Single Track)
It's going to be a conga line like you have never experienced (1200+ people). After the first 3/4th of a mile a bottleneck will happen. It will be single file on rolling hills for 6 miles. You won't be able to run the pace you want, take that time (approximately 1-2 hours depending on pace) to fuel and hydrate (drink often and eat at least twice, 100 calories or more before mile 6). Get on top of it early, front load it, because later in the day when it gets hot you will likely underestimate the needs of your body. Temps are to be roughly 68 degrees, a bit a of wind and clear. This is a humid 68 not a Reno 68, drink often!!!!!

Miles 8-11 (The Downhill)
This is a big downhill (1,000 foot drop in 2.5 miles). Don't burn yourself out on this. This will be the first time you get to run free (fire road not single track) and you are going to want to let it loose. Be patient, the race will come to you much later. Do not run more than 1 minute a mile faster than you would on the flats. That will seem slow, but unless you have aggressively trained downhills it is where you need to be.

Miles 11-16 (Quarry Road)
There are a couple of tricky hills that last less than a minute in this section. If you have a walk/run strategy use it on every hill. If you are a sub 5 hour 50k runner you probably should be running these, however, don't go into any lactate threshold type efforts. If you feel the burn start, slow down and walk for a couple steps. It will pay off big time later.

Miles 16-21 (The Climb)
Buckle down, this is a 1,000 foot climb in 7 miles (make sure to eat once, twice if you can). This is when you will start to feel like it is getting hot. It is not all climbing, rather it comes in waves. You need to get to the ALT (Auburn Lake Trails) aid station before you start accessing your time/finish goals.

Miles 21-25.5 (Drag Strip)
This section is where you will start separating yourself from the masses. Its a sharp DH followed by some flat and another sharp DH. It is very easy to over run this section. You are going to feel great because to the difference in elevation, stay true to your plan. Do not start thinking "this is the day the rules do not apply to me!" Use the flats to eat and drink. You'll hit Goat Hill at the end of this section and any over exuberance will be on full display at the top of it.

Miles 25.5-29.5 (Roller Coaster)
Up, Down, Up! This is where your training and patience will pay off. If you can run here, you are going to make up a ton of time. Stick to your strategy on the uphills and do not kill the downhills too much. You will hit Hwy 49 at the end, get into the aid station, and out quickly. .

Miles 29.5 to the Finish (31.2)
This climb will be tough, try to visualize a climb in Reno you have done numerous times. This will make it easier. You will get to the top and start to hear the announcer, that means .75 left. Give all you have at that point.

Go straight to the food, you will be under nourished and if you stop to talk to friends it will be a half hour before you get anything into your body. Go get that cupcake, pizza or soup that this race is known for then come back and talk to friends and family...better yet have them come with you and purchase anything they can it all goes to a good cause! A, 3 to 1 carb to protein ratio is ideal, but realistically shove whatever you can in your mouth!

Can't wait for the 2014 season to start, hope to see you at Cool!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Ultimate Pace Card - Way Too Cool Edition

With technology, specifically wrist GPS devices, pace cards for races are not nearly as important as they once were. However technology has its limits, battery life, GPS accuracy, satellite linking and an array of other issues can impede the usefulness of these devices. With a handy pace chart in your pocket you can always be assured of having the information you need on hand.

My biggest problem with GPS is a lot of the races I compete in take me longer then the 18+ hours my Garmin 310xt will last. I started running ultras before I owned a Garmin so I compiled a list of things I wanted to know at all times when I was on the course. Some of them can be calculated or shown on your watch, but many of them cannot.

The essentials
  • Aid stations and mileage point
  • Which aid stations have drop bags
  • Full aid or partial aid (sleep station...etc)
  • Distance between aid
  • Pace for a given finish time
  • Pace to a given aid station
  • Any cutoff times if you think you will be near them
  • Elevation chart to see what is ahead of me
  • Time of  day (used for 100 mile races)
  • Mantras and/or strategies to remember

You can download it here. That is the full copy from a 3:30 finisher to the cutoff at 8:30. Feel free to use it for WTC 50k or just use the format for any event of your choice. I'll also be posting all the pace cards of the events I do on here as the months go on. Simply take out the times you know you won't be hitting. For me I'm shooting for 5:15-5:30 so I want everything from 4:30 to 6:00 on there.

I use to calculate the times. Their pace calculator is easy and quick. I’m sure there is a nifty excel formula one could put in but I don't know it. Kudos to anyone who wants to relay that info in the comments section.

If the elevation chart is online I copy that and cut it out in paint. Then I print it and paste it to the back of the pace card. I also use the extra room on the back for my various mantras or strategies that I want to make sure to remember.

Of course the chart is no good if it’s not water/sweat/and snow proof, plus it needs to be durable beyond that. I like to fold and bend them into smaller squares so they fit into my pocket. This problem is easily overcome by the beauty of clear packing tape. Cut out your pace card and place it on the table. Grab your packing tape and cut a piece so that it is a half inch longer on each side of the card. Apply the tape to the front of the card and then flip it over. Do the same to the back. Cut around the edges leaving only a small border. Make sure not to have any 90 degree edges as they tend to dig into the skin through fabric, I round the corners instead of squaring them.

Now you can fold the chart into any size you wish and you will always have all the information you need for any race!

WTC is only 10 days away and I feel like I'm running about as fast as ever. I'm only doing a short 2-3 day taper since it's not my goal race for the year so I'll be going in with tired legs. That week should be the largest week mileage wise I've had in years.

For more tips and tricks of the Ultra world head over to Facebook and like DeyFit Endurance Training. As always if you'd like to venture into the Ultramarathon world but are not sure where to start, I do offer coaching services. Head over to either BrandonDey or DeyFit Endurance Training and shoot me an email. Happy trails and fast feet!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Branching out and waging war on sitting!

One of my resolutions for this year was to branch out and help share my knowledge of fitness in the hopes of inspiring others to get active and improve their health. I've had the opportunity in my many years of competing in various sports to work with many talented trainers, athletes and coaches.

I decided in December to stop thinking and start doing. Over the next few months I'll be launching DeyFit Endurance Training.  My focus will be helping those 8-5ers, the working athletes, the cubicle cowboys and cowgirls learn more efficient ways to work fitness into their lives. 

We as a nation sit far too much. I’m considered active, yet I sit for at least 50% of my day. The only way to combat the health consequences of a sitting lifestyle is to be active more often.  Choosing not to sit is not an option for most of us so we need to come up with practical techniques that are engaging and fun.

I’m currently creating a workout program to counter the effects of sitting in our lives. I intend to give it away free once I’m done. It is going to be simple and comprehensive. I'd love to know if there are any techniques you use in your life that I might be able to include.

If you'd like more information head over to my website Learn a little bit about my journey, what I'll be up to this year and what is in store with my racing.