Lessons learnt from Cateran 55

I had my first recovery run today after work. I wore my heart rate strap and made sure I kept my HR below 130. My legs felt surprisingly good but I didn’t push it!! My little toe is a little sore with the blister but I can manage that!

I spent the run thinking about the race on Saturday. I always like to note down some lessons I have learnt from each race. So in no particular order …

# Preparation

Overall my preparation was good and I’m glad I did a recce run of the final 30miles a few weeks ago. But the few days before the race weren’t ideal but I honestly don’t think it affected me too much. I only had 3 and a half hours sleep before the race but I often don’t sleep too well before any race so that was no different.

# Kit

I was happy with all my kit. The visor worked well and the only thing I changed during the race was wearing my gloves for the final section over the hill.

# Pacing

I had my mini-splits but I was working on my HR again for this race. I felt really comfortable until about Kirkmichael (45 miles). I can’t download my Suunto at the moment so I don’t have the stats (I’ve sent it away so hopefully I will get them at some point).

I was checking my watch fairly regularly and I was keeping within my range of 135-140 for the majority of the run.  I would say though that for the final 9 miles I hardly looked at my HR as I was going as hard as I could and so it didn’t really matter!

My average for the whole run was 133 which is a bit lower than my 137 target.

I have sorted the splits into positions and they confirm how I felt on the day.

  • Dalnagair – 28th
  • Glenisha – 25th (25th split)
  • Alyth – 24th (22nd split)
  • Blairgowrie – 21st (14th split)
  • Bridge of Cally – 19th (12th split)
  • Enochdhu – 20th (12th split)
  • Spittal of Glenshee – 15th (21st split)

So my best splits in relation to the field were the legs to Blairgowrie, Bridge of Cally and to Enochdhu. My final split to the end was one of my worse but it wasn’t a disaster and others around me were around the same time.

# Nutrition

I felt I ate and drank well during the race but maybe I could have eaten more over the final 2 hours. Maybe that was one of the reasons I was struggling a bit at the end. This is what I ate and drank …

  • 2 slices of brown bread with peanut butter and jam
  • handful of peanut and raisins covered in youghat
  • mashed sweet potato and cheese
  • chia bar
  • energy bar
  • half a small tin of baked beans
  • Greek style youghat
  • 1 small cube of clif shot blok
  • 6 x 500ml of Matrix Energy Boost Drink
  • 1 x 500ml of Coke

So all in all another good run.  I always felt that sub 10hrs was going to be a real challenge and everything would have to go right on the day. I feel I got most things right but not all and some of that was out of my control (build up to the race and the wind).

I’m really happy that I was able to run 4mins faster than 5 years ago. At this rate in 12 years time I will break 10hrs!!

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2 Responses to Lessons learnt from Cateran 55

  1. Caroline says:

    We passed you running when we were on our way to track. Neal was waving out the window but you were very focused!

  2. I’m surprised by your lower average HR, it didn’t sound like you were putting less effort in than for the Hardmoors 55, or perhaps it was just the last leg. It’d be interesting to look at the average HR for each hour of the race and see how it compares with Hardmoors 55.

    To my finish time prediction spreadsheet I plugged in your average HR of 133 with a time of 10:10, and then compare this to prediction it makes for a HR of 137 and you get 9:36. A bit of co-incidence with your HM55 time 🙂

    For this years Cateran averaging 137 was obviously never going to happen on the day, pushing on harder earlier in the race would just have resulted in your struggling earlier in the race. How you paced it looked to have gone pretty well overall. You beat some very capable runners. I don’t know what shape John Duncan feels he’s in, but if it compares to how he was last year for the WHWR and the Glenmore 24 then your performance at the Ceteran hints that you’d be able to do a sub 20hr WHWR. That’s a great place to be heading towards the Lakeland 100.

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