Nowhere to hide…

Nowhere to run to, baby
Nowhere to hide
Got nowhere to run to, baby
Nowhere to hide

It’s not love
I’m running from
It’s the heartaches
That I know will come

‘Nowhere to Run’
Martha and the Vandellas

Nice hair. Probably not very aero on the bike though...
Nice hair. Probably not very aero on the bike though…
Martha Reeves. Motown Legend.
Martha Reeves. Motown Legend.

Well, the other option was ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe. But that was quickly ruled out on several counts. Firstly, the band name is crap. Only a bunch of Swedish peroxide-haired rockers would come up with such an appallingly naff name as Europe. Secondly, it was too obvious. Thirdly, it contains some of the most dreadful lyrics ever put to paper: “We’re heading for Venus (Venus)
And still we stand tall
Cause maybe they’ve seen us
And welcome us all, yeah..”

Having English as your second language is no excuse.

Fourthly… well, look, there is no fourthly, okay. I was just thinking that it’s the last week before the big race (oh look, no caps!) and we needed a song to start the week off.

So I admit the first few corny keyboard stabs of that Scandinavian hit popped into my head. But then the Motown sound kicked it out the door. Nice one, Martha.

And her lyrics are probably more apt. I was pondering a few things this week whilst out training. Training last week has been a taper week. I did get in another mile at the pool, and then a reasonable spin of about 35kms followed by a quick 2kms on the road, as a brick session.

And yesterday was a 45 minute jog in the park with a bit of tempo thrown in. All of which was tricky to fit in around all the rugby on the telly, and the All-Ireland GAA Football Final on in Croke Park. Which Dublin won on a day in which you wouldn’t put a dog out.

And today I am resting.

And the pondering I was doing whilst out training was along the lines of ‘what sort of pace should I try and do on the bike?’

No point in going out too hard and then crashing on the run. And what about the gel strategy? The Gel Strategy (it rather calls out for caps, doesn’t it?) was rather heavy going, but that was largely due to the fact that I was making mine up based on the instructions on the back of the gel box. Odd that the company who makes and sells gels would actively encourage us to consume more of their product!

Anyway, I have decided my fueling strategy for the race will go something like this:

Night before: carb-loading is not so much about eating lots, but eating a good amount of good carbohydrates, and laying off the bad ones, and avoiding too much fibre. Plenty of water to pre-hydrate, obviously. A good dinner the day before the race. Snack away on nuts and energy bars, which I do anyway.

Morning of race: Bowl of porridge and maybe some tea (with a spoon of sugar which I normally don’t take anymore; not since I tipped all the sugar into a glass from a typical day’s tea consumption. Jaysus!), and possibly toast. Banana. Sip away on a bottle of Energy Source (High5 powder; essentially a carbohydrate drink with fructose and maltodextrin. If you are not sure about how the body absorbs sugar, and who can blame you, then do some research. Here’s a good link). This is a learning curve for me too. I’ll get about 500ml into me before the off. All of which means a definite pee in the wetsuit once I hit the water, but that’s okay. It’ll be cold enough in the sea! I’ll also take one caffeine gel before the gun, and maybe chew on an energy bar. I will be swimming for at least 45 minutes, if not more.

Once out of the water in T1, I should get another plain gel in, and then it’s on to the bike and 90kms around the Ards Peninsula. Another gel every half hour, alternating between plain and caffeine. On board I should have two water bottles, one with water and electrolyte tablet, and the other with Energy Source mix. I may or may not get through both of these. I find I don’t hydrate well when cycling, and by that, I mean I don’t drink enough. My fault. But I had best be mindful of that this weekend.

Once on the run course, I hope to continue the same gel regime every half an hour. By my rough calculations, assuming my legs don’t fall off, I will need 10 gels for the race, five plain, and five caffeine. I have loads of both, thanks to the Lidl box deals over the summer. That, along with the various tablets and powders, all of which I have lots of too.

Plus, there will be well-stocked water and food stops along the run route every 4kms, so I won’t need to carry any water, just a few gels.

Sugar on tap...
Sugar on tap. There’s a triathlon version of this box too. It’s red, but that’s about the only difference.

So that’s the plan anyway. All we can do now is get ourselves up there on the Saturday, relax, settle in, and enjoy the weekend as much possible.

And once again, a huge thanks to Avril from Groomsport for putting us up for the weekend. That is a legendary gesture, and much appreciated.

I wonder what tune will pop into my head when I finally hit the run course next Sunday? I do like the Motown sound, but I’m kinda’ hoping it won’t be a case of ‘nowhere to run, nowhere to hide’…

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