In my continuing look into my upcoming race, the Leadville Trail 100, today we focus on drinking!
Its going to be a long day. So I think variety will be the key to staying on the plan. Does that make sense? I routinely struggle a bit with hydration. Usually that means not getting enough down mostly because there is not water available. Like my water sources are too far apart on runs and I am lazy and don't compensate. The hope was that it will train me to run on less but its likely a losing proposition over a 100 mile distance. So I have multiple tactics that I am going to employ.
1. Switch from bottles to hydration packs at various predefined intervals
This will allow me to alternate between the best of all worlds. The bottles, which I train with most often, make me feel comfortable and light on my feet. My center of gravity does not seem to be as effected as with a full hydration pack. But fatigue in the arms will build over the course of the day. On the flip side, I tend to hydrate a lot better with the pack because the water is slightly easier to consume and stays colder over long periods of time. All this might go out the window during the race but the plan is to alternate.
2. Use the weather
The temps in the morning and at night will be cooler so I feel like I won't have as much of a water consumption need. Hence I won't need to carry as much. But this is where the pacer comes in, I can take from him in the late hours.
3. Water and Gatorade (G2)
Been working with Gatorade powder packs all summer. They work great. Pour one in a bottle, then fill and you are off. No HFCS. Gatorade works well for me. I liked the Powerade they had on course at training camp too. The takeaway here is that I have opted not to go with a more "performance fuel" type drink. I have jars of that stuff here and I just don't enjoy it anymore. Wish I could. But after you blow it out your nose during a pukefest, it loses its taste. I bet there are more benefits but I don't think I will worry about them. Sticking with what always goes down easily. So on a 2 bottle fill, it would be 1 water and 1 Gatorade. On a hydration pack fill, just stick with water and probably pour in 1 packet of Gatorade. Might squeeze a GU into the water here and there too.
4. Red Bull. Lots of Red Bull.
This will be on an as needed basis. More likely each aid station as I come back inbound. Saving the power of the caffeine for the night time.
So here is the layout based on crew aid stations.
Start - MQ: 1 Bottle (Water)
MQ - FH: 2 Bottles (Water/Gatorade)
FH - TL: 2 Bottles (Water/Gatorade)
TL - WF: Pack (Water with 1 Gatorade packet)
WF - TL: Pack (Water with 1 Gatorade packet)
TL - FH: Pack (Water with 1 Gatorade packet)
FH - MQ: 1 Bottle (Water with Gatorade packet on hand)
MQ - Finish: 1 Bottle (Water)
Basically, take advantage of the start to travel light for the first leg. Pick up some more calories for the next two as the heat of the day builds. Then for the haul over Hope Pass take the pack. I need to be fully hydrated coming into Winfield as you can get stopped by race staff if you fail the medical check because of weight loss. Then continue with the pack until I get back to the more runnable stuff. Then bring it home light with a single bottle through the night. Of course, leaning on my mule/pacer as needed.
There are only 2 snags in the transition here. Meaning at all spots, I will be able to drop what is in my hands and go except for at Winfield and Twin Lakes inbound. That's OK. I will be at Winfield longer with the medical check. Shouldn't be an issue. And at Twin Lakes, I can leave and my pacer can bring the gear if needed. All good.
These bottles carry 21 ounces. The hydration bladder is 2 liters, which converts to ~67 ounces. Therefore, we are looking at 3 bottles in the bladder. Not sure I need the bladder totally full for the distance between aid stations. Might make sense to go 3/4 or so just to reduce a bit of weight. Or maybe its no big deal. Anyway, that extra bottle plus the center of gravity thing is why I put this down for the Hope Pass crossing plus the climb back up and onto the Colorado Trail.
+ Other liquids will be consumed at various course supplied aid stations, such as Halfmoon. Crews are not able to meet me there. I will be able to quickly fill my bottles with help from race staff. On the return, I will have the pack but my pacer can help me.
+ There are two other crew points, Tabor and Treeline, that I am not planning on any hydration changes or refills. They seem too soon/late. I suppose I could figure out how to optimally carry less weight and take advantage of the crew through these sections. For example, outbound I could go with 1 bottle out of FH and pick up the other at Treeline. Saves carrying that full bottle about 3.5 miles. Do people do that? Kind of worried about crew traffic and such so if I couldn't get the bottle for some reason, I would be sort of screwed going into a long section with only 1.
+ I have reworked this plan 10 times. Overthinking it. So I wanted to post it and see if there are any obvious flaws or improvements.