Sunday, 13 March 2011


This is the second week in a row that I finished off with a race (that I didn't race) and again in the vibrams. This week it was the ESB/Fota Island Hotel 5k. I warmed up with John Desmond over 12.5 miles of quite country roads between Fota and Midleton on a beautiful sunny morning. We got back in time to register for the race and hook up with Maura and Catriona (who were planning on a 2-hour warmdown after the race - Maura is also heading for Connemara, Catriona ran the Clonakilty marathon with us in December).

We started in the middle of the pack as none of us we were looking to break any records. However I did break a record during the 7:23 opening mile when I clocked my 100th mile of the week. The route was a bit undulating but nothing very challenging. Mile 2 came in 7:13 (14:36) and with a mile to go I moved up a gear passing the 3 mile mark in 21:00 (6:24 for mile 3) and pushing for the finish in 21:35 (0:35 for the last 0.11 miles = 5:18 pace). A short warmdown with John gave me 16.1 miles in the vibrams for the day and 103 total for the week. We finished off with a feed of tea and sandwiches in the Hotel (very welcome) before heading for home.


Todays sunny weather was in stark contrast to the 3.5 hours of rain and snow I faced yesterday during my long run. Leaving the house shortly before 7 it was raining steadily and while it's never pleasant to start a run in the rain it's forgotton after a few minutes.

I was trialing my fueling for Connemara which is a combination of perpeteum (primary fuel) and endurotlyes (electrolyte replacement - helps prevents cramps). Unfortunately I made the mistake of ordering the endurolyte powder as opposed to the capsules. I mixed the perpeteum with water in a kiddie size (200ml) plastic squeezy drinks container and mixed the endurolyte powder in a 500ml water bottle. Perpeteum is generally recommended for endurance events lasting several hours to several days!!! and according to the blurb

contains 75% carbohydrates (from long–chain maltodextrins—no added simple sugars), 13% fatty acids from a specially made long–chain lyso–lecithin, and nearly 10% soy protein. A small portion of fat seems to cue your body to more liberally release its fatty acids stores, which account for up to two–thirds of one's energy requirements in long bouts of exercise. A little fat in the fuel also slightly slows the rate of digestion and thus promotes “caloric satisfaction,” another attractive plus during primarily aerobic ultra distance events.

Since I had only one bottle holder on my fuel belt I jammed the small bottle of perpeteum into one of the zipper pockets - which sat well during the run but was a bummer to get back in everytime I drank from it, particularly as my hands became more numb as the run wore on. My strategy was to take a swig out of the perpeteum first and then wash it down with the endurolyte rich water (about every 4 miles). The strawberry-vanilla perpeteum tasted great but the endurolyte water, which looked like dirty dishwater, was less palatable (i.e. it was terrible). It was all I could do to take one swig from it every 4 miles - so returning from a 3.5 hour run with 150ml left in the bottle was not a good hydration strategy. I can't say the run felt good - perhaps it was the rain, cold (it snowed after 2 hours) or just an off day (early signs of a chesty cough) but I wasn't convinced my fueling strategy was working. However while fatigue was setting in earlier than expected I did notice a recovery after taking the perpeteum, particularly after 2.5 hours (maybe it takes a while to kick in). Still better to learn the lessons in training. I'll give it another go next weekend and increase the dose of perpeteum ( I was a bit light in it's application) and mix the endurolyte powder with something a bit stronger than water.

Mon 7th Mar

a.m. 5.28 miles @ 9:21 pace & 114HR (slow recovery - achy legs)

p.m. 7.35 miles @ 8:20 pace & 124HR (better)

Tue 8th Mar
a.m. 10.47 miles @ 7:50 pace & 127HR (vibrams)
p.m. 6.13 miles @ 8:01 pace & 133HR (legs stiff)
Wed 9th Mar
a.m. 7.84 miles @ 8:04 pace & 128HR
p.m. 7.82 miles @ 7:47 pace & 129HR
Thur 10th Mar
15.51 miles @ 7:22 pace & 131HR with 5 mile evaluation @6:58 pace & 140HR.
Sat 12th Mar
26.59 @ 7:54 pace & 131HR
Sun 13th Mar
16.14 miles @ 8:14 pace with 5k in 21:35 (6:57 pace & 140HR)
Base Week #7 (Run 103.1 miles, Bike NIL, Swim NIL)


  1. 103 miles is some week Grellan. Looks like you took it in your stride. I wouldn't mind that 21:35 for my next 5k race. Have heard good things about Perpetuem - find something palatable to wash it down and you should be set.

  2. If the electrolyte stuff tastes so bad, you can give Nuun tablets a try. I found them quite nice.