Imagine you are a first-time or novice Crim runner. You are so excited about the race that you hardly slept the night before! You can’t stop thinking about all the hard work and preparation you’ve put into training for the last several months to make this ten mile race a reality, and now the race is finally here!
As you are standing at the starting line you realize you totally forgot to eat anything because you were so excited and nervous about the race. It also crossed your mind that the only fluid you drank before the race was a small drink of water after you woke up. Knowing there are water stations across the course and that guy that offers free doughnuts near Kettering, what is there to worry about?
Fast forward to mile nine; you somehow missed the doughnut guy a few miles back and your pace has been declining rapidly ever since the Bradley Hills. Your muscles are really getting tight and it feels like your run has reduced to a trot, maybe even a fast walk. Your goal is now not to finish in a certain time, but just to finish the race. Then something happens and it feels like you literally hit a wall.
The phenomena when you suddenly run out of energy is referred to as bonk, or hitting the wall. This is caused when glycogen is depleted from the muscles and liver. Since glycogen is the primary fuel source for endurance athletes, a pure bonk won’t happen in shorter distances but it is definitely possible for first-time or novice Crim runners who finish in over two hours.
You’ve put a lot of time and energy into training for the Crim, so you don’t want to have to walk across the finish line, or not finish at all due to a bonk. Here are a few tips to keep you from bonking at the Crim.
Make sure you are ready to run the ten mile race. Your training should include at least one ten mile training run a week or two before the race. Don’t just show up assuming since you can run five miles you can make it another five.
Don’t Start Off Too Fast
Even if you are feeling great, make sure you keep to your pace as best as you can. If you start off too fast you will use up your stored energy faster, increasing the chances you will end up hitting the wall later down the blue line.
Proper Pre-Race Nutrition
Make sure you load up on carbs a few days before the race, not just the night before. Also, especially with the possibility of warmer temperatures in August make sure you are staying hydrated. Don’t forget to eat before the race either, preferably a natural meal replacement energy bar that will sit easy on your stomach and also give you the proper nutrients.
Keep Fueled During the Race
If you are planning on taking over two hours to finish the Crim you may want to consider taking some energy chews or gels with you to consume during the race. Most come in easy to use packaging, or you could even have someone you know be out on the course and hand this to you as you run by. If you use a water belt many of these have small pouches to store your race energy as well.
By being a smart runner and following these tips you will have a more enjoyable Crim experience and reduce your chances of bonking considerably.