Dion on his Two Bays Win

Dion Finocchiaro took to the 56km Two Bays trail race like a man possessed. In the end he totally dominated the opposition and set a new course record. We caught up with him to get the lowdown on how it came together.

sam gash
Image by Samantha Gash

Going into the race what was your plan? How did the race pan out?

There were nice and cool conditions at the beginning and I was feeling good before the start knowing that there were some other great runners in the field to push the pace up the front. I went out fast as I had planned to try to take that first spot early and tried to build on the gap as the race went on. I got to half way in 1:56.50 and was feeling good still after completing the first of two summits of Arthurs seat. That was a real goal of mine to have more in the tank before the second summit as two years earlier when I raced it, I felt like dropping out. So knowing that I was feeling good still, I tried to carry on with my current pace and push for a 4 or even sub 4 hour time. As I got to about 35km the cramps started to kick in. Firstly in my right hamstring, then both medial quadriceps and lastly my left hamstring towards the 52km mark as I had a light tumble. I was just lucky to be a part of such a great group of runners, volunteers, spectators and friends to share the whole experience with. It wouldn’t have been the same without everyone involved.

It looked like you went out pretty fast! What nutritional strategy did you use?

My Strategy was to use perpetuem in my back pack, a gel to feel (I used 3), not enough water for the weather and some coke when my energy levels needed a sudden boost. I don’t really need to eat in events this short or at the pace I aimed to run at.

How would you describe the course?

The course is absolutely stunning! There are plenty of bay views from both Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, some single trail for that real trail feel, a fair bit of runnable terrain, a couple of pinching hills but not enough to scare you away from the event. It’s a very well marked course and well marshalled too.

What do you do to recover?

For recovery I had a slow 1km jog after the race and a massage. The days following I always have a few easy runs to get the blood flowing through the sore muscles and try to eat some protein rich foods after a heavy carbohydrate diet the week prior. I plan on getting a massage or two during the week post event and no heavy/fast training for a couple of weeks.

Image by Nadine Davies
Image by Nadine Davies

Any advice for people thinking of racing in 2017?

Train on the course or get used to some faster trail running. I also would suggest some solid steep hill runs that are short but get the heart rate up. This can either be in the form of reps or as a part of a course with similar features as what the Two Bays course has. Your long run is your most important run of the week so if you need to miss a run, skip a small run and keep your long run.

What does an average week of training look like?

It really depends on what event I am training for….. For Two Bays I had 2 hill runs a week- 1 hill reps and 1 long run. Tuesday was a track session to improve overall speed and lactate tolerance. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are all easy runs where I don’t run fast, just easy to feel. My weekly mileage can range from 140-180km depending on what my goal for the race is.