The Data Side of the 5 Days of Jarmans

Last week I wrote about how I was inspired to create a self-challenge, which I called “The Five Days of Jarmans” — starting on Monday I would run 1 lap of Jarmans Gap Road, ~6 miles and 1,500 feet of vertical gain and 1,500 feet of descent. Each day thereafter, I’d add a lap until Friday, when I’d do 5 laps. I’m writing a blog for the Smashfest Queen Diaries this week with some more elaboration on my “why” for this, as well as what my takeaways have been. But before it got too far away from me, I wanted to sit down and write out the more data-oriented side of things in case people were interested.

I dialed in my fueling and hydrating plan through this pretty well. Day 1, only being 6 miles, I made sure I was well hydrated and fueled going into it and afterwards, but I didn’t fuel during that hour.

Day 2, I started to add in some calories. I drank ~16oz of NUUN Endurance (60 calories) and on the first descent I had a Spring Energy Speednut gel (250 calories). Honestly I would have liked to have had some more NUUN Endurance but I wasn’t feeling too crisp this day and minimized the extra weight of carrying a handheld for too long. But I made sure to hit the rehydrating right after, and had a shake right afterwards with ~300 calories as well (I had this shake each day afterwards in addition to the nutrition below). 

From there, things stayed pretty consistent, and I essentially just added a bottle and a gel each lap. So Day 3 was 2 Speednut gels (500 calories), 60 calories of NUUN Endurance, and 160 calories of Red Bull for bottle #2. (Total of 720 calories and 32oz of liquid while running)

Day 4: Two Speednut + 1 Koffee gel (710 calories), 120 calories of NUUN Endurance, and 160 calories of Red Bull. (Total of 990 calories and 48 oz of liquid while running)

Day 5: Two Speednut gels + 1 Koffee gel (710 calories), 1 pack of Clif Blocks (200 calories), 180 calories of NUUN Endurance and 160 calories of Red Bull. (Total of 1250 calories and 60oz of liquid while running)

As you can see, for days 3-5 I really focused on getting in 250 calories an hour and ~12oz of hydration with NUUN Endurance and a Red Bull/Water mix. Most of the time I was also using the caffeinated NUUN Endurance. Yes, caffeine is my friend 🙂 So are calories!!

I think the consistency with which I fueled lent itself well to the diesel engine approach I had with my pacing. Admittedly, I’m not a huge data person. I also didn’t want the data and time aspect of this challenge to derail me from having a good time out there. I did my best to remember to split laps up/down, but by the end of the week I was over that a bit and didn’t lap out interloopal times, so those kind of blended together. I also warmed up a little bit on the first couple days which threw off my times/elevation, but I did some rough estimations to give you a ballpark, and all links are to Strava data if you want to double check me! Here is what I have:

  • 15 laps over 5 days
  • Total time for the 5 days including interloopal times: 14 hours, 37 minutes
  • Approximately 88 miles total
  • ~23,500 feet gain total
  • ~22,750 feet descent total
  • Fastest descent was the last one!! 18:58 
  • Fastest climb was the first one!! 31:15

Below, I segmented out any times I did easily have. The “total” is the total elapsed time for the day — so that includes any time I had faffing at the top of Jarmans, and interloopal times.

Day 1

54:30 (climb 31:15 / descent 22:20)

Total: 54:30

Day 2

56:05 (31:47/23:26 – this includes the interloopal time at the bottom)

56:11 (32:52/23:31)

Total: 1:52:16

Day 3

55:15 (33:09/22:06)

54:45 (32:37/22:08)

55:49 (32:32/24:13)

Total: 2:49:42

Day 4

55:03 (32:42/22:21)

55:08 (33:41/22:27)

58:45 (33:57/24:47 – this includes interloopal time)

57:44 (34:15/23:52 – this includes 1:56 of stoppage for a train)

Total: 3:52:55

Day 5

I was lazy and not doing much lapping here, but the climbs appear to be 35-37 minutes and the descents 24-25ish (until the last one!). I also went live on the Smashfest Queen instagram at the top of loop 3 to show what the “view” is at the top since people had asked, and after loop two there was a train, so I waited at my car until that had passed rather than waiting in the open with the train roaring by me. So plenty of places for time to be eliminated with just those!






Total: 5:06:43

And last: gear! It might not seem like it’s too variable for this type of adventure, but there are actually plenty of options I considered. First: shoe choice. I ran all but 4 of the 15 laps in Nike Next%. The ones I didn’t were the two on day 2, and the first two on Day 5. I’d say that those were some of my slower laps— I noticed a very big difference for me on my ability to descent in the Next%. I also think they absorbed the pounding a lot more allowing me to rack up all the climb/descent of the week with the least amount of wear possible. 

I actually did consider taking out trekking poles for the last part of the week (controversial, I know!) to have them for the second mile, stash them and bring them down a mile on the descent to have again for the next loop. I never ended up doing that, but I would bet if you are good with the sticks, this would help your times on the climbing!

I also wanted to minimize what I was carrying, so I always stopped back at my car for a new bottle and a gel rather than carry everything the whole time. I created a system which worked really well for the second half of the week where I would bring a bottle all the way up to the top on the first lap, and leave it at the top. Then on further loops, I’d carried a bottle to the second mile, and would grab it again on the way down. On the last lap I may or may not carry a bottle the first couple miles, because I would have to carry the bottle from the top on the last rep. Again, carrying a bottle all the time wouldn’t have been the end of the world and while it seems quite small, these are the small things that add up! I think paying attention to these little things ultimately helped to lighten my load and keep me consistent through the whole week.

Hope some of you found this interesting! More thoughts to come so watch the Smashfest Queen social for that link on Thursday!

Published by Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa is a professional triathlete who has logged over 8,000 miles in competition of swimming, biking and running across five continents. She came to triathlon from an ultrarunning background and over the last few years has found success back on the trails: in 2018 she set the female supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Vermont's 273 mile Long Trail in 5 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes. In 2020 she set the women's supported FKT for climbing the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks in 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. She is a triathlon and running coach, and also enjoys spending time guiding hikers out on the trails. Alyssa is based in Charlottesville, VA with her dog Ramona.

2 comments on “The Data Side of the 5 Days of Jarmans”

  1. Amazing job, fun to read the data of times and calories! Also obsessed with nuun endurance with caffeine!! What was the most random or funniest landmark you noticed during some (or all!) laps?

    1. I just found this in my SPAM folder! Shoot! Good question though. I think the dogs always kept me on my toes about if they were friendly or not and if they’d actually come out all the way to me. Otherwise, a lot of the homes up there have property names on the address signs and my favorite was “counterpoint” — it was a home on the last curve at the top, and it’s just when you start to think you can run the last bit and i’d be thinking to myself “point” then i’d hit that section and need a walk break and be like “counterpoint” – ha! every damn time. I wonder if they named it “you don’t need to walk!” if i wouldn’t have!!

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