Events I have completed in the past have usually spanned 5-10 hours in duration, some over three to four days. This allows for much more manageable training and nutritional plans. Given that The Race is a multi-stage 24-hour event, several factors have to be incorporated.
This is obviously crucial for such a multi-stage ultra-endurance event. This simply requires time on the road, running at a steady pace for several hours, staying on the saddle for five/six hours at a time, and appropriate recovery after each session. A coach to have taken triathlon training by storm in 2014/15 is Johnny Greaney. His new venture, ‘The Hurt Locker’, has been putting several of The Race competitors though our paces since November. His coaching has fine-tuned our training, recovery and nutrition, keeping us psychologically focused on racing season, which for some of us is starting a little earlier than usual in Donegal!
The Race is physically challenging, but one can train your body to endure and recover, if appropriate nutrition and hydration is seen to. The psychological preparation is a whole different realm. Just like the scene from ‘Cool Runnings’ when the bob-sleighers practice their route in the bathtub, competitors must go through each stage, plan every section carefully, and have back up plans if any section takes significantly more time etc. The competitors with the best psyche will complete The Race far more easily than those that come with huge physical but poor psychological reserve. ‘Tick-Tock-Ten’, the story of Irish Deca-Ironman legend Gerry Duffy, has given me great insight into how one prepares physically, but more importantly psychologically, for events such as The Race. I work as a trainee in the field of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, so 17-26 hour working days are a weekly occurrence for me. I think this will give me a huge psychological advantage during this event. The ultimate test will come when darkness falls on the evening of the event. Preparedness will become crucial for completion of the second bike stage and marathon. As the stages progress, each stage will have to be broken down into sections, and each of those completed before moving to the next. For example, I am approaching the marathon as 4-10km or 5-8km stages, depending on how strong I feel when starting it.
Oisin completed the The Race 2014 in a time of 22 hours and 3 minutes.
We caught up with him this week to chat about The Race and his advise for others taking on the challenge in 2015.
Not really. I would say my training is similar but my use of time has been smarter. For example I’ll get a lift with my wife to the gym in the morning, do my strength or conditioning work then I’ll run home afterwards getting a 16km run in as well.
I have tried to run/bike on hilly routes during the majority of my training this time around. The Donegal landscape is relentless and I was totally unprepared last year for that aspect of The Race. The only flat part of the course is the kayak leg!
The UVU Volcano Marathon was a great race. I like the landscape in the Atacama Desert a lot and the race is well organised.
It was tough to race at 4500 meters but for the first 21 kilometers I felt fine. The last long uphill section was brutal. I could really feel the lack of oxygen in the air and my body starting to cramp.
I had to slow down the pace and drink and eat as much as I could. When I reached the last highest point I was really happy.
The technical part of the race started and I enjoyed it. I came in first women and third overall just two minutes behind the second man.
Name: Patrick Utz
For me it’s all about finishing The Race, something that seemed impossible last year. This is my motivation and makes me kick my ass into shape. I began endurance sports very late in life after a long time of doing nothing. Now I see this as a privilege as there there are so many to do. The second thing that attracts me to tougher events is that they normally have fewer starters. Ironman races are overcrowded and too commercial for me. I don’t like that, I want to feel the nature and be challenged by it. The Race offers exactly that.