Gear for Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series – Pre-Race: Te Rau Puriri

That snuck up on us quick! Or maybe that’s just me, but this Sunday we have our next race. The third in the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Series, this one is held at Te Rau Puriri regional park. The stats say that 95% of the people signed up to this race haven’t been there before – I’m one of the 95%! To be honest I had no idea where the park was when I first saw the name, so it’s going to be interesting to explore another part of Auckland. I have been rather close to Te Rau Puriri without even realizing it was there; I’ve done the odd training run down Muriwai beach before. Despite the proximity to Muriwai Beach, I don’t think it will have many similarities though. Certainly not flat!

I’m signed up for the Expedition course again, so we’ll see how it goes. We received our pre-race information email earlier this week, and the Expedition course is set to be 20.5km with 622m elevation gain. It’s going to be a little hilly, then. The course also looks pretty exposed with pretty minimal tree cover, and Metservice is suggesting it will be about 20ºC and fairly sunny. Given the humidity recently, I’m guessing that is likely to stick around.

 

Thinking about this and how the last race went, I’m changing things up a little. I thought I was being proactive about hydration before the last race, but I’m taking better note of it this time and being better hydrated from a few extra days out. I’ll be taking an electrolyte powder I know has worked well for me in the past, rather than just relying on electrolyte capsules (the difference being the capsules are just the electrolytes, and a stronger dosage of those; the powder has some calories / carbohydrates, which I think will help). I’ll have a separate bottle for the electrolytes so I can have plain water as well. I have a tendency to have no appetite when running, so finding the easiest thing possible to consume (or even remember to consume) is important for me. I’m also going to either partly freeze my hydration bladder or put ice in it the morning of the race, as warm water isn’t particularly palatable when you’re already hot and just want a cold drink!

 

Other than changing up the nutrition a little, the gear isn’t really changing. Race clothes, shoes, socks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, small pack / vest, water, snacks, camera. Water and snacks for after the race (the food truck sounds intriguing!), change of top and shoes, wet wipes and towel, in case cleaning up is required. Easy!

 

Overall I’m interested to see how things pan out. Changing up the electrolytes a little should help (based on previous experience with them), and I’ve been doing a fair bit of cross-training recently, which may be advantageous for the hills. I’m hoping the fact I had a good training run in hot and humid weather recently is also a good sign. Overall I’m feeling fairly optimistic.

I’d say the one major challenge going into this is getting there, really. And that’s not very major. Google maps tells me it’s 1 hour 10 minutes to get there from home, so it’s going to be a pretty early start to get there at around 8 – 8:15am. I’ll pack the night before and get up early enough to have a decent breakfast before I leave.

 

That brings me a topic that was mentioned to me a while ago: sleep (with a side note about stress). To be honest it’s something I’ve tended to neglect, in favour of trying to fit too much in to a day (or just getting distracted by a good book). It is pretty important though, as it’s the time when your body recovers from your training and strengthens you for the next training session or race. I was reminded recently that, while it might not feel like it, all training we do is essentially another stressor on our bodies and we need to allow time for them to recover from this. Related to this, other things going on in our lives can affect our training and sleep for the same reason, as apparently the body can’t tell the difference between physical stress and mental stress – they’re both just “stress”, and we need time to recover from it all. Rest days, adjusting the training load according to what else is going on in our lives, and getting a decent amount of sleep all help with this. For various reasons this past week hasn’t provided a very good example of ideal sleep patterns / amounts, but it’s something I’m trying to work on. And now I know how early I will have to leave on Sunday morning I can make a definite effort to go to sleep early so I’m fully rested for the run!

 

See you Sunday at Te Rau Puriri!

Kristina Arthur

Race Motivator for Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series

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