How to Quantify a 330km foot race - Tor Des Geants

Dear all, i am a newby to QS.
In september I will be running a 330km race, the Tor des Geants ( around the Aosta Valley. It starts on Sunday at 10.00 and finishes on Saturday at 16.00, so lasting max 150 hours. How you spend these hours is up to you, the race never stops!
Last year I ran the race and managed to finish in a bit less than 140hrs (including 20 hours of sleep).

This year i would like to track “everything” especially the “sleep” seems to be very interesting … but i have no idea how.
At the moment i am using a Suunto T6 HR monitor with speed sensor. I keep this data in the Firstbeat Athlete software package (not in movescount). I could use the Suunto to record HR/altitude/speed and then meet up with a pc halfway to download the data from the watch.
I am curious however to what other devices would be usable and would give sensible additional data. I thought about the fitbit flex, but it is not available yet in Europe (I am also open to sponsoring, but fat chance they’ll lend a device to a middle of the pack runner like me) .

If you have any useful comments or suggestions, please let me know!
I am also willing to share the data (of preparation and race itself) with interested people who can help me analyse/visualise.
thanks for any help and suggestions!

Do you expect to gain any insights from this data? If you were following another endurance runner, what kind of data would be interesting to you?

I like recording tracklogs, but a (decent) GPS (incl spare batteries) might be too big?

For recording steps, distance and elevation gain, I’d use a Fitbit One.

For recording calories burned, I’d use a BodyMedia FIT. Could be interesting if combined with a log of calories consumed during the race. Might also be able to see how much (and for how long) the race increases your resting metabolic rate.

Both the Fitbit and the BodyMedia FIT can be used to track sleep. The Fitbit needs to be told when you are going to sleep (or are getting up). The BodyMedia figures that out on its own. The BodyMedia also seems better at distinguishing deep sleep from light sleep (at least for me), but I’m guessing you’ll have close to 100% deep sleep anyway.

Thanks for your reply Eric.
I realize i should have been more specific in my question.

I expect to gain some insight from the data. My first thought was to record all the recordable and then see what patterns appear … ok, I already moved on to second thought. I am willing to record anything with a device that is not too intrusive. After 2 consecutive days of moving the mind starts to wander and it is difficult to keep all concentration …

I would be most interested in

  1. heart rate -> suunto T6
  2. speed -> suunto T6
  3. altitude -> suunto T6
  4. calories -> suunto T6 will calculate this when i upload the data aferwards. But I’ll have a look at the BodyMedia FIT thanks for the hint
  5. sleep pattern -> ?
  6. GPS -> ?
  7. mood tracking -> ?
  8. body temperature -> ?
  9. salts deficiency -> ? (my wedding ring is my best indicator here, when i can not move it over my finger it is high time to ingest salts, actually it’s too late then, so i move my ring every so often and if it gets difficult i ingest salts)

I have been looking at a GPS logger, but then the battery life is often a problem.
That will be the biggest problem of any recording device anyway.
Therefore I saw the Jawbone and the Fitbit as options. They should be able to make it.
But i’d prefer not to have to take a (smart)phone with me as battery life is very annoying (high in the mountains there is not always reception, so it searches for connection -> battery is drained very quickly).
I’ve had a quick glance at the BodyMedia FIT. I need to check it out in more detail. And it’s not available in Europe (but there’s workarounds here … )

My mood is very interesting. Last year i became euphoric after 3 days. I was in a state of flow. It was really amazing. It is very clear to you when this happens. So one idea i have is to see what/how body parameters change when this happens. If anyone has ideas about this … thanks a lot

You can put your cell phone into “airplane mode” to extend battery life, but recording a reasonable accurate tracklog will probably drain the battery in less than a day even so. A handheld GPS should be able to record a tracklog for at least 24h on a single set of AA lithium ion batteries. I use a Garmin Oregon 450, but that may be too bulky for running.

How about taking a few blood samples during the race, and getting e.g. the cortisol levels, see

There might be some mobile apps to help measure your concentration and reaction time, and that work offline.

My vote is for continuous blood glucose monitoring. How cool would it be to see how your blood sugar spikes and dips during such an intense activity! Check out Dexcom. Not sure if you need a prescription to get one, but I’m sure you can convince a physician to let you get one…this would probably be interesting to him/her as well.

Thanks Eric and Ernesto!
the continuous blood glucose monitoring would be absolutely awesome !
Food ingestion is indeed a big challenge in this race. You need to be continuously eating to meet your energy expenditure, so a continous measure of blood glucose would be a big advantage!

In such a race this information might make a big difference to top contestants (which i am not). The 3rd last year dropped from first place because he had a big hypo. So just imagine if he had a heads up on glucose level in his blood (although these top athletes develop a 6th sence for this I think).

Blood samples would be a good option as well. I like the idea of the droplets because it would allow a regular sampling (every 1 to 2 hours) without draining too much blood.
Thanks a lot!
Any further suggestions welcome