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1 week before (ski) Marathon- tips ?? LONG post!

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by D.P., 14 Apr 2010.

  1. D.P.


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,535

    On the 22nd I am taking part in the Patrouille des Glaciers, an infamous ski mountaineering race/marathon from Zermatt to Verbier.

    (youtube has some vids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqoQxuyJGwA)

    There is a big race (53km effort) and a very big race (110km effort), I am merely doing the big race since I am not a robot or an alien.
    2000m to climb up over 3 passes, 200m of ski descent, lot of running, bootpacking, skating.

    I've been training all winter and think I have put in enough training, although last month bad weather and snow limited the big expeditions and high altitude training. On Saturday I did a massive training day following the route of the race with some additional km and 700 meter ascent) due to avalanche concerns requiring a different safer route. (we did about 37km and 2700m in 11.5 hours with lots of breaks due to saftey concerns, lunch, etc.)

    Now I have 1 week to go and need some advice on what is best to do.

    I wont be doing any hard training., aiming to let my body recover fully from last weekend. I aimed to do some general exercise (swimming jogging) and yesterday I went swimming and lightly injured my left shoulder so I might not do any more as I can't risk any injuries.
    Is it worth doing some gently running, or even some interval training to force my heart rate up? There are parts of the race that have a time limit, some of these sections require a strong pace which i ahven't training much for (mostly I trained endurance).

    My plan is to sleep a lot, especially in the last few days. I start the race at 4:30 am but will be at the start line 3:30 and will have breakfast at 2:30. Material check and safety instructions go on to 11pm the day before so there is just a few hours to relax but i doubt I will sleep. Since I can't sleep the night before the race any tips?

    I also intend to eat loads of carbs, but have no idea on details here. Should I eat as much as possible, or just a reasonable amount. the day before, 2 days, 3,4 when should I start carb loading?

    Will try to get GF to massage my muscles and back as much as possible. I still have some aches form the last weekend, and I often suffer bad back pain during such races.

    What should I do in the preceding hour before the race? I need to eat food but I sometimes find that I feel sick eating early or get strange stomache acid issues. I want to really hydrate before the race start but at the same time can't afford to have to pee in the first 1hr:45m before the checkpoint.

    What about energy gels/packs? I picked up some energy gel of different sorts, some with caffine some just sdium + Potassium + glucose. I take the caffine ones are best left to towards the end pf the race, or if I am really on a low? They claim that I need to drink them with 400ml of water ever 20 minutes but I might be racing for 8-10 hours, can't take that much water or gel packs! (my backpack will already be loaded with clothing, helmet, avalanche gear, rope, etc.)

    I will take some bread and honey and a bag of dried fruit with 1 l of water, there is a refill station half way. AT the refill station there are lots of foods and drinks available (soup, orange wedges, tea, sandwiches). I will try to grab the sports drinks, any foods to avoid or to try to eat?

    Any general tips???
  2. 6thElement


    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,055

    Location: In my penthouse, Park Ave

    Your taper should have started earlier, no way would I be doing a big training day only a week before a race. Just get a good nights sleep two nights before the race, that's always my objective before an early start the next day for 12 hours of racing. You don't need to start eating everything in the house 3 days before the race, just have a decent dinner the day before, proper hydration is probably more important in these last few days.

    If you've done long races before you should have an idea what you can stomach while exercising hard. Ski marathons aren't my area of expertise but I aim for about 300cals and 700ml of fluid per hour while cycling in a long race.
  3. D.P.


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 31,535

    I know the tapering should have started earlier, but the weather was bad on the preceding weekends and we needed to do at least 1 large trip to see if we can cover the distance and we always really wnated to do the same route as the raxce so we are prepared. I wanted to go at a slow pace but the weather codnitions emant we had to go very fast to be safe, and it was very unfortunate we had to extend the distance and climb by 30% due to avalanche danger.

    Never done a big race before, only big day trips that don't have such a high pace.