Sunday, April 16, 2006

10 miler and equipment tests

I did a 10 miler today. I've posted the route above. You can see there's a few nasty climbs in there. I also ran with my pack loaded up with about 2 Kilo's. 1.5 of that was Vitargo electrolyte which i'm trying out. I also tried out my camelback water pack in the Raidlight Sac Runner rucksack I've been using since January.

Very interesting all in all. I ran it a little faster than I should really, but I felt so good I couldn't resist. The first thing I noticed was that even just the extra 2 kilo's raised my heart rate at least 10 beats or so. So, there was never any chance that i'd keep it under 138. On the flat and downhill I kept it around 140, but on uphills it climbed as high as 160. I could have kept the average down had I have run a little slower but I didn't, so in the end I ended up with an average of 148. I felt fine, but that's a little high for what should have been my easy-long-slow run!

I still took it fairly easy though. I averaged just 5.8 mph, that's 10:15 minute miles. The total distance was 10.23 miles. 1:44:58 time to complete.

Onto the electrolyte and camelback. Interesting stuff. I've decided that despite the convenience and the specially made compartment in the rucksack, the camelback (seen here is just not suitable for the Marathon Des Sables.

Two reasons:
Firstly, it adds extra weight into the rucksack at the back. Given that the pack will already be about 10k, the last thing I need is more weight tugging on my shoulders.
Secondly, as you are running and drinking there's no way to tell how much water you have left in your camelback. That's very important for the MDS. You need to ration your water for the distance between checkpoints. Not too much, not too little. The rucksack's compartment does have a see-through sheet, but you have to take the rucksack off your back to see it!

So, i'll use them for some training to add weight into my pack, but as far as the MDS is concerned, they're out!

Sucessful though was the electrolyte. I tried out Vitargo after reading some good reviews. I bought a couple of sachets of the Carb-loader product (which I've not used yet), and a couple of sachets of the electrolyte. I tried the pink grapefruit flavour, which I read was easy on the stomach. I used it on my walk yesterday too. Despite a couple of early gurgles as I get used to taking in fluid as I run, my stomach was fine. I drained the lot (1200 mg's) by 8 miles. I made an effort to drink even and often, and when not yet thirsty. I felt good throughtout the run and not really tired at all, so I guess this stuff works.

I'm going to order a bucket of the electrolyte now. I found the cheapest place in the UK for it, here.

Sure they'll appreciate the free plug. Everywhere else costs £10 more for the 2kg bucket!

Flying to Scotland and back on Tuesday for work. 5am start - 9pm home, no chance of Tuesday training!
Luck this week coming is consolodation, so I'm supposed to be taking it easy. Should manage Wednesday ok though. Speak to you soon!

So in summary, from this weeks sessions.

Good Stuff:
Vitargo Electrolyte.
Over the 10 mile mark again!
My Inov8 trail shoes are working out OK so far, on off-road routes.

Not so good:
Camelback - useless for MDS
Some left knee pain, more noticeable with weight added.
Few issues with GPS and PDA

How to improve:
Need to replace of the Saucony motion control road shoes I bought in November. I have orthotics now, so I need some neutral shoes for them, and I know I need more cushioning.
Check out power settings on PDA to ensure constant GPS lock.
Buy these water bottles to clip on the rucksack. They attach to the front straps of the rucksack, so they will counterbalance weight in the rucksack. It's also easy to see how full they are.

1 comment:

Peter Gold said...


I've just got back from Mds and used Raidlight with 2.5l camelbak. You may want to rethink your views based on what happened out there this year.

Feel free to ask questions.