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Lantau 70km Training on Lantau. Obviously.

The plan today was doing the first section of the Salomon Lantau 70km route. Mui Wo to Ngong Ping. 13km and a good indicator of what to expect on November 1st. Lets get the most important part of this over and done with first: I didn’t finish it. A DNF. This isn’t down to a nutrition excuse (I think I found the answer to that one), or to a weather excuse, or to a lack of heart. It was downs to the downwards section of Sunset Peak and the fact that I rolled the same ankle over, in Hoka Rapa Nui 2 (A platform of a shoe), a mere three times. It was not worth the risk of longer damage by continuing. I can’t afford to mess things up now and not want to run this coming week due to a niggle in the ankle.

So I met, as usual, with Nick at Central MTR and walked over to get the ferry to Mui Wo. Before the hike started I wanted to visited Lantau Base Camp. Lots of people had given advice via a FaceBook group about the nutrition and after the issues with the last two treks I wanted this nailed. I had been told all about Generation UCAN. A product which allegedly doesn’t give you a sugar spike or low, and one that also burns fat more efficiently. After speaking to Shane at LBC, who was really helpful I bought a few tester packets and a bottle to have some right then. Shane was great and the shop is awesome. Loads of different nutrition products.  I had hear a lot about this product and one called Tailwind which was going to be the next test. So down went the Cranberry/Raspberry flavour and off on the hike.

The first 2k or so was on pavements until we eventually got to the start of the Lantau Trail in the country park. There were already many people walking the route so we knew we would hit traffic at some point. Then started the steps. They started off easy and regularly but slowly progressed into random assortment of steps, rocks and boulders. AT one point there was a boulder and next to it, a good 300 metre drop. Great. That was just what I wanted to see. We eventually got to a plateau and had a rest for a few minutes. At this point, I tried Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter. Good god. It was amazing. After drinking Nuun all morning this was a nice change.

We left and started walking up to Sunset Peak. The path became more treacherous and difficult. Either rocks, loose stone or just dirt. We eventually ended up in an odd area where there were concrete buildings. At 800+ metres up. Instantly both Nick and I presumed one thing: Zombies. It was blatantly obvious that this wasn’t the case but it was a great idea. We continued up and eventually reached the down. This was when my ankle wanted to be closer to the ground. The steps were awkward, difficult and a pain in the ass. For around 2 k we continued down towards the end of the first section. Then again, over the ankle went. I can’t work out whether to blame the ankle or blame the shoes or the terrain. We continue down and I realised that it would be stupid to push for the next 4.5k. The damage that could have been done would have affected the next few weeks. With the Lantau Vertical race in two weeks, it just wasn’t worth the risk.

We stopped at Pak Kung Au and got the bus back to Mui Wo. I stopped into LBC and picked up a tub of the Generation UCAN. I have so far either been bloated, out of energy, or just generally feel awful. Today, admittedly on a short trek, I felt good. I didn’t feel like my stomach wanted to depart my body. I felt like something was better. Something was solved. I will know over the next few weeks and runs whether it is working and will report back. We ended up in Bache Turkish restaurant in Mui Wo. Delicious.

Suunto data: Movescount

Things I learned on this run:

1. (Possibly) Solved the nutrition issue; This was something that I have found frustrating and has made me very very nervous. I have looked so hard at nailing the food side of things. Trying to make sure that I don’t bonk out. Trying to make sure that my body has enough energy to get by. I think I may have found the solution. I will know after a few more runs.

2. Community is key; Shane was super helpful and was super knowledgeable in Lantau and running in general. I need to tap into this especially if I want to nail 100 miles.

3. This isn’t beyond me; I felt good. I wasn’t shattered. I could, ankle behaving, could have done more. We did a good time. Could have been faster. But I felt good. I can do this. I will finish the L70.


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