The following interview, conducted by Lee Simril, was originally published in Simril Multisport Coaching’s newsletter. It is reprinted with permission. Congrats to Rock/Creek Race Team member Chad Wamack for finishing Pinhoti!
Chad Wamack: Thanks. It was an adventure. I had a great crew that kept me positive and fueled. It really felt like a team effort which made it more fun.
Lee: How was your training leading up to the big day?
Chad: The biggest thing in my mind was that I was healthy for this one. I’ve done it the other way and it’s a lot more stressful. My training was really consistent and balanced. I put in a lot of miles but I also logged a lot of time on the bike and that paid off. I was skeptical but Lee knows what he’s doing hah!
Lee: Please give me a rundown of your nutrition for race day, beginning with the night before the race and ending at the finish line.
Chad: I really stayed with my normal diet the week before and the night before. I did have the typical pre-race pasta dinner but just ate it like a normal meal. I didn’t want to do anything out of the ordinary. I drink a lot of water typically so I just made sure I felt hydrated the day before.
During the race the goal was to eat as much as I could early in the race because at the end it’s such a struggle to eat. I wanted to eat 200-250 calories an hour (mainly gels and bars) for the first 50 + miles and I was able to do it. It was a really concentrated effort to eat that much. My crew was really good about keeping my nutrition on track. Lisa had me sit down and eat a “meal” at mile 18, 40, 55, &68 (turkey sandwich, grilled cheese, tortilla/hummus, Dominos pizza).
Towards the end of the race eating is so hard. I believe that’s when your crew is invaluable at finding ways to get calories in you. From about mile 80 to the finish I pretty much switched to a liquid diet (soup, orange juice, and Ensure), whatever it takes to keep some fuel in the tank.
Lee: Explain how you paced for the first few hours of the race.
Chad: I started the day with the mantra “It’s all about the second 50”. I just ran natural and if I felt like I was working too hard or my heart rate went up, I slowed down or walked. I know that helped me finish strong at the end.
Lee: Please tell me your best moment of race.
Chad: Mile 30–50 was just about perfect. I felt great and was really able to just relax and enjoy it. The trail and the fall colors were beautiful.
Lee: Please tell me your worst moment of the race.
Chad: Mile 80-85 was terrible. I got cold and tired which is a bad combo. Those 5 miles felt like 20. Once I got to the Aid Station at 85 I didn’t stick around. I got a little soup in me and the crew pushed me back out. In hindsight that was a really smart move.
Chad: I took a 2 hour nap and it was Awesome!
Lee: What motivates you to compete in 100 mile trail races, as opposed to just exercising for the sake of fitness?
Chad: I really like to challenge myself. If I find something that gets me fired up then I go for it. I’m not good at moderation.
Lee: What are your race plans for the next few months?
Chad: I really want to make sure I’m fully recovered till the end of the year. Then I’m thinking about Mount Mitchell Challenge or some other local ultra runs in early 2012. The Cohutta 100 Mtn Bike Race in the spring is a favorite.
Special thanks to Lee Simril of Simril Multisport Coaching — www.simrilmultisportcoaching.com — for allowing us to reprint this article!