Lake Martin 100 Race Strategy Is Formulating

Lake Martin 100 is 6 Saturday's away but the race strategy is beginning to be formulated.  Jeff and I have exchanging text messages and calls about what we think we need to look for and do as we traverse through the woods of Alabama.  There were conversations during our run at Rocky Raccoon 50 about how the 100 would unfold.  What we would do differently at the start, during the race and at the drop bag locations.  There is so much unknown about racing 100 miles that if we chose to ignore putting together a plan of attack then the race itself would be that much harder.  All of this being said we also recognize that the plan we formulate and finalize for the Lake Martin 100 may not be the one that actually gets executed on race day.  Why? First off neither of us has been passed 50 miles in terms of running.  That first step out of the drop bag area to start Loop 3 will begin the start of something completely unknown.  Secondly, the race is going to be uncomfortable and dealing with that will take our minds in direction we probably didn't see coming.  We were very clear-minded when we ran Rocky Raccoon but that was 9 hours and this will be much longer than that.  Lastly, we will be starting in the dark and racing throughout the entire day and finishing after the calendar turns to a new day.  How do you even begin to cope with that?  I am not sure we know and even if we did it wouldn't be the same because each race presents a different set of challenges. Right now I have a strategy for nutrition, pacing and drop bag area but if you are veteran of 100 mile races let me hear your thoughts.

Lake Martin 100 Nutrition Strategy

lake martin 100 - strategy - nutritionKnowing that I need to take in approximately 250 calories per hour for this race I am going with a tried and true method of liquid calories but also adding in a little bit of my learnings from Rocky Raccoon.  I will be wearing a running vest holding 1000 calories of Herbalife24 Prolong as well as Powerade Perform mixed with Emergen-C Super Orange.  I will have 4 water bottles filled with 500 calories of the same mixture in my drop bags to fill up my vest bladder at the end/beginning of each loop. In addition to the liquid I will also be carrying 2 flasks totaling 800 calories of EFS Liquid Shot (Kona and Vanilla flavor.)  I will also have refills at the drop bag to make sure that I always have at least 800 calories per loop at the ready.  In addition to the liquids I am going to have two boiled sweet potatoes (cut in bite size chunks) and a hard-boiled egg with olive oil, salt and pepper wrapped in foil.  There will be 4 packets of this concoction and will take 1 packet on each loop. Lastly, and probably most important is going to be grabbing whatever looks good at the aid stations.  It is definitely going to involve Oreos and M&Ms but who knows what else. Based on my calculations that will total:
  • 3000 calories of liquid nutrition
  • 1600 calories of EFS Liquid Shot
  • 200 calories of sweet potatoes
  • 280 calories of hard-boiled eggs
  • 5,080 total calories without the snacks at each aid station......

Lake Martin 100 Pacing Strategy

This is fairly simple to calculate but it is going to be very difficult to execute and not necessarily the last loop but most importantly the first loop.  At Rocky Raccoon Jeff and I ran the first loop in 2h40m which equated to a 9:35/mi pace.  As evidenced by the 2nd and 3rd loop paces of 2h52m and 3h21m.  Knowing that this is going to be twice as long the paces have to be adjusted so that we are not walking more than running toward the end. 24 hours seems to be a number (read my thoughts about endurance numbers here) that people point to when it comes to running 100 miles.  I think we can do it faster based on the training that we are putting in and the knowledge gained from the 50.  If we run the 4 loops at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 per mile paces we will finish in 22:30.  Again, the hardest part will not be keeping a 15:00/mi pace on the last loop but rather pacing ourselves and being disciplined enough to not go gang-busters out of the gate.  The 12:00/mi pace is going to be the number we have to focus on to ensure that our strategy is executed properly.

Lake Martin 100 Drop Bag Strategy

I have heard and read tons of stories about what people do at these drop bag stations.  From sitting down in what I refer to as 'crying chairs' thanks to my IMAZ partner Troy to taking naps.  Going in blind my thoughts are as follows:
  • 1 bag to contain the additional water bottles, EFS refills, sweet potato and egg packets only.
  • 1 bag to contain a second pair of Hoka running shoes, a couple of shirts to change into, extra pair of compression socks and a fresh hat only.
The more I am able to limit these bags to the necessities the quicker I will be in and out of the drop zone.  I do not want to spend too much time in there because it will then become a comfortable place to stay and I want to keep moving.  Not having to sort through stuff, pick stuff out, swap stuff will make the 'transition' areas much faster and get us going to stay on our pacing strategy. These are the preliminary thoughts regarding the Lake Martin 100 strategies but I am more than happy to hear your input.  What have you done during your 100 mile races?  
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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