My distractions

2022 PTC Plan

written by Matthew Rensberry on 2022-08-26

I will be running the Pinellas Trail Challenge again this year (last year I finished, but with an injured ankle). This year, I hope to finish uninjured and feeling good.

The PTC is a 46 mile ultramarathon run from St Pete to Tarpin Springs and back to Dunedin, FL. It is all done on a paved path called Pinellas Trail.

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" - Mike Tyson

Here is a map I created, with possible checkpoints for my crew to check up on me:


(ready to be changed when I get punched in the mouth)

Pacing Plan

I plan on running 9 minutes and walking 1 minute for 10 min sections.

If I can hold this speed, the overall pace will be: 12:46 min/mi with an overall time of: 9:47:16 (plus the time wasted at rest stops)


My water bottle: 500 ml

Estimated able to consume:


MR Sports Drink Mix (tested on [2022-08-27 Sat]</span>):

Other snacks:


Cooling strategies

This will be a HOT race - in the sun, on a paved path in south Florida.

There are two main methods for beating the heat:

  1. Pre-cooling: Before the event
    • This includes:
      • cold water-immersion
      • ice packs applied to the skin at key areas of blood flow (the armpits, groin, and around the neck)
      • wearing ice-cooling garments (such as ice vests)
      • cold-air exposure
      • ice-slurry ingestion (drinking crushed ice with water)
    • Pre-cooling protocols’ positive effect on performance more or less goes away after 20 to 25 minutes of exercise => Concentrate on Mid-cooling
  2. Mid-cooling: During the event - When applied in a research setting, these improve performance anywhere from nine to 18%
    • Wind => a breeze is helpful, even in humid environments.
      • Will plan to use a usb-powered fan at crew stops
    • Ice => ice packing on the torso, icing the neck and head, icing other peripheral arteries ,
      • Hat modified for ice on top
    • Clothes => wearing loose and light-colored clothing to facilitate heat dissipation, limiting conductive heat (dark colors), increasing evaporation
      • Hat with neck covering
    • Fluids => Drinking cool fluids will help with internal cooling
      • Not ice cold drinks! "It turns out that an ice-slurry drink might actually be so cold on the run (compared to pre-run) that you can cause receptors in your stomach to be stimulated that drastically reduce your sweat production. When this happens, there is this weird mismatch between your body and brain, where your brain thinks you are colder than you actually are (2). When we are relying on evaporative cooling to help dissipate heat, this could be a big negative."
    • Sunscreen => Sunscreen can limit sweat and hamper cooling.
      • Will experiment with long-sleeved sun-shielding garments as an alternative
      • Choose organic sunscreen
      • Apply early in before sunrise and minimize areas of need
    • Heat acclimatization => Practiced running in heat