On the schedule this morning was a 32 km (20 mile) run. As it turns out the weather was perfect for a long run this morning. It felt like spring had finally arrived after a long winter. As you can see from the picture above there was not a cloud in the sky this morning. It was still a bit cool before I left the house but I was warm enough wearing a long sleeve shirt. Before the end of the run I was almost over-dressed.
Since this was scheduled to be one of my longer runs it was a good opportunity to test out my race day nutrition plan. I got up around 6:30 and had a breakfast consisting of a bagel with peanut butter, banana, bowl of oatmeal and a 500 ml bottle of Gatorade. I had my breakfast about three hours before I planned to run meaning I will have to get up around 3:30-4:00 on race day because the marathon starts at 7:00.
I also planned to test my new race flats on a longer run. Up until this morning I had used them for my last session at the track and one of my harder 8 km runs last week. This morning was an opportunity to break them in more and to see how they felt over a longer distance.
For nutrition during my run I had another 500 ml bottle of Gatorade, two GU Roctane gels and a pack of Honey Stingers chews. I also wore my 1.5 L hydrapak pack full of water. I planned to take water and Gatorade as needed and alternate between gels and the chews around every 40 minutes.
In terms of pacing my intention was to keep the first 27 km at an easy pace of over 5:00/km before picking it up to race pace for the final 5 km, 4:30/km. This was the same strategy that I used for my last long run.
My run went exactly as planned until the 26 km mark when my Garmin died because I had not charged it yesterday. That meant I would have to estimate my remaining mileage. Fortunately I was close to home by that point so I had a good idea where to go. I also picked up the pace at that point to a hard pace since I did not know how much mileage I would finish with.
In the end I ended up with a 31.5 km run with the last 5.5 km being at a hard pace. Everything else went according to plan as my nutrition plan seemed to work fine and I also felt comfortable wearing lighter shoes on a longer run.
Next Sunday I am racing a half-marathon before a 34 km run, my longest in this cycle, in two weeks where I will again test my race day routine.