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2nd Ride Of The Year...EPIC :) and race nutrition plan...

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I really hit pay dirt on my second ride of the year. My first experiment with my race nutrition plan was totally successful and with the exception of a few minor tweaks, I will be following this pattern.


emoticon This is going to be a totally tri-geek blog so be forewarned emoticon

For those that just want the stats on my ride without entering the mental pain cave click here... connect.garmin.com/activ
ity/323018060


Sorry but this is important, well at least to me, so I'm going to reach for my nerd glasses and get started..
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I have been trying to iron out a race nutrition plan for my upcoming triathlon that will deliver the energy I am going to need, reduce cramping, and not be plagued by the gastric problems and blood sugar crashes associated with a traditional gel and sports drink fueling protocol.

During my marathon I had a number of bad issues out on the course and found myself peaking and lagging in my energy levels as well as getting nauseated at around mile 19 to the finish. This upcoming event, a 70.3 mile triathlon, will be harder on my system and tax me harder than the marathon did and therefore, will require some real strategy in order to be my best for the race. This may seem like so much nonsensical hair splitting but having been there, done that, I can tell you that with the stresses of endurance racing, how you fuel your body during the event can make the difference between finishing with a smile on your face or struggling to complete the event.

My event...
rev3tri.com/wisconsin/ra
ces-wi/half-rev/


My strategy is to rely as little on high carb fuels as possible and my ride proved to me conclusively that I am on the right track. It takes more than positive thinking to do well on a 71 mile ride and in the end, it is your fuel that makes the difference.


I first learned of this product on a podcast that I am really fond of and it was recommended as a good, low carb alternative that delivers steady consistent energy without the highs and lows.
www.generationuca
n.com/super.html




This stuff delivers! I only used 3.5 scoops in a 24 oz bottle and it carried me for the entire 71 miles.

With this I also mixed in 2 scoops of BCAA (branched chain amino acids). This has been shown to help against muscle breakdown with endurance exercise lasting over 2hrs.


With these mixed together, I had lasting energy that kept me going for the entire effort. I give this stuff 5 stars. Well worth what I paid for it.

Solid fuel -

I have been doing my homework and have found there is a growing trend in endurance circles toward MCT's (medium chain triglycerides). Most common source is coconut oil.
www.coconutresearchcente
r.org/article10612.htm


Why?
Condensed version... the shorter the chain, the more easily the fat is absorbed and converted into energy.
www.nutritionreview.org/
library/mcts.php


The benefit to me is not so much an enhanced performance but rather an alternative to conventional endurance fuels. Up until recently the only way I could incorporate MCT's into my training was to use it pre-swim/bike/or run mixed in with my meal. I was wandering in my local co-op and found this....


With 221 calories and 21g of fat, I only needed to use one at mile 35 and felt great for the rest of the ride. The fact that it was in a pouch almost the same size as a gel made it ideal to fit into the rear pocket of my cycling jersey. It sounds crazy but I am a believer...

The other issues I was able to address was cramping.

My last long ride last year included a couple bananas in my pack and the drop in cramps was noticeable. Not having the option to carry anything like that during my tri, I began looking for alternative sources of potassium.

Coconut water...



At 2 servings per package, 2 packages delivers 1880mg of potassium in an easily absorbed, natural product.

Problem solved.

The most surprising issue of all that I NEVER once considered is salt. Coming from a health conscious, weight loss mindset, salt has always been regarded as the enemy. I first began looking into adding salt to my race nutrition by chance. I had just finished a fasted 9 mile run in pretty hot conditions a few days earlier. I did have electrolytes and felt that it was enough. When I got back, as expected, I felt pretty wiped out which I automatically attributed to low blood sugar. I do have a pretty high sweat rate so I momentarily thought about salt before taking anything else in. For an experiment, I chomped half a bullion cube and literally within 1-2 minutes felt myself come totally back to life.

What I thought was a blood sugar crash was actually caused by sodium loss.

This time, I took a cube with me


I ate half at mile 25 and the rest at 40. When all is well, eating that would make me almost sick from the taste but when you are really taxed and depleted, the stuff is a dream come true.

Overall results from all of this... The oft experienced cramps in my hamstrings, calves, and worst of all...arches did not happen.

I did get borderline cramps in my left quad but that was more exertion based rather than from electrolyte losses and I was able to cope easily with it by simply standing up in the pedals, changing my position on the bike, spinning in a lower gear and going slower.

The best part about all of this is that I could easily climb stairs when I got home, was not sore, and best of all, NO soreness the next day after 71 miles.

The bike leg of the race is 56 miles that must be completed in 4 hours 20 minutes. I hit the 56 mile mark in 3 hrs 50 minutes and that was with 2 potty stops, 2 fix-it stops to put the chain back on the sprocket because I was too careless in my low gear shifting, and 1 stop to massage my quad.... total finish time was 71 miles in 4hrs 51 minutes average speed was 14.6 mph with a max of 33.2mph...wheeeee!

....Remember this is only my second time on the bike for this year with 8 weeks of training left before the triathlon.

Now for the REALLY nerdy stuff... bike layout....


-The two bottles behind the seat are for the coconut water
-Bottle between the aerobars is for the UCAN Superstartch and BCAA's
-The two orange bottles are for plain water
-Black box on the top rail by handlebars is for quick access to eyedrops, lipbalm, sodium, caffeine tabs, and other needs.
- Black box above rear wheel, behind seat post is for spare tube and CO2 carts for flat repair (hopefully not needed).

This bike will be my home for almost 4 hours so it requires some planning.

If you made it to the end of this really geeky blog and are still interested in continuing to read my blogs, you deserve a finishers medal.

I guess its hard to not be this way when you have such an epic event to prepare for and that is what you think about most of the time. You cant be nonchalant about it and expect to succeed but at the same time I would like to have a few friends left when this is all over. Maybe blogging about it relieves the mental pressure so I can be human for a little while.

Thanks for reading :)








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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTREAL12 8/9/2013 10:25AM

  Thanks for you info; congratulations on your success; I'm been wondering on how to increase my potassium intake; thanks to you, I'm closer to my goal emoticon

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LSPIZZA 6/24/2013 11:46AM

    You are amazing. I am so happy for you! I also learned some stuff. I managed print tris with little race nutirtion thoughts. My half marathon was not that way. I probably will never try whay you have just done but I loveed reading about it. You are great and I am going to think hard about that race nutirtion!

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SPARKLISE 6/20/2013 8:45PM

    I'll stick to zumba emoticon

But you go !!!! emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 6/14/2013 4:30PM

    emoticon

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 6/14/2013 1:19PM

  Good information. I haven't done a tri before. but have had to experiment with what to do for marathons. It is a process to figure out what works best for you. I like the coconut oil idea. I have used coconut water in the summer months to help with electrolytes.

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CORNERKICK 6/13/2013 11:58AM

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ROXYCARIN 6/12/2013 12:29AM

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GEORGE815 6/10/2013 6:48PM

    Good stuff!

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PENOWOK 6/8/2013 12:03PM

    Keep on keeping on!

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CATIATM 6/7/2013 6:35PM

    I'm interested in your experience with coconut water. I am trying to make myself like it because so many people have told me it's beneficial, but ... it's makes me gag. LOL I really like the measured, methodical way you're preparing yourself to succeed. Good man! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEWILL1982 6/7/2013 10:23AM

    Great information. I'm not doing a triathlon but I am riding in the MS 150 at the end of September. 86 miles on the bike each day. I will be taking coconut water with me, thanks to you. Was thinking about KIND bars since they are pretty low in sugar and the carbs aren't out of control. Might check out that other stuff, the UCAN.

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 6/7/2013 9:13AM

    For cramping also consider trying mustard packets. My husband swears by them.

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/7/2013 5:20AM

    Super helpful blog. Thanks for the technical explanations- not nerdy at all!!

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BLUEJEAN99 6/7/2013 1:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DRB13_1 6/6/2013 11:43PM

    WOW! You have really gained a whole new life from a few short years ago. GO!!!
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GINA180847 6/6/2013 11:12PM

    You're right, lots of tri-geek speak but it is understandable. We discuss what is important and immediate to us when we open our mouths and I hear you!

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JAMER123 6/6/2013 11:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for the interesting information!!

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BRENDAGAIL9 6/6/2013 11:00PM

    You are indeed dedicated and I wish you well.

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MISSBOOBOOKITTY 6/6/2013 11:00PM

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SHOAPIE 6/6/2013 9:44PM

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TREYONE 6/6/2013 9:41PM

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GREENVALLEYS 6/6/2013 9:40PM

    Wow! That is some hard work and dedication.Go ahead, make your day.

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SPEEDYDOG 6/6/2013 9:22PM

    Looks like you did a lot of research into nutrition. I checked out your epic ride on Garmin Connect. Looks like a lot of fun! Nice pace for such a long distance. Of course, I used the player and watched you in virtual time.

The longest event that I ever participated was a 60 mile mountain bike race. Elevation gain was 7,340 ft! Most of the course was single track with a number of technical sections. I zonked at about 45 miles. The final 15 miles were brutal!

Conrats on the epic ride!

Bruce

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STRONGERLEANER 6/6/2013 9:19PM

    Thanks for sharing how you are planning and preparing for your race! It's nice to get a closer look at what is involved.
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DIANNEMT 6/6/2013 8:35PM

    I think you are as crazy as my brother who does Iron Man and runs ultra marathons. You have things figured out for yourself--GREAT!

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 6/6/2013 7:19PM

    I love the way you are training for this event. You are making all efforts to be successful and thinking about things many never consider until the event is much closer. Good luck!

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PATRICIAANN46 6/6/2013 5:54PM

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IAMAGEMLOVER 6/6/2013 5:43PM

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MOMMY445 6/6/2013 5:37PM

    what a huge undertaking! lots of cheers for you!

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ALIDOSHA 6/6/2013 4:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 6/6/2013 4:54PM

  wow, I never knew the specifics and prep. If I know anyone who needs this info: I'll pass it on.

I rode my bikes a few miles yesterday at night. So of the in inorganic calcium supplements aren't good for your bones or arteries need to find one I can afford. If anyone knows some good options... shoot me an e-mail.

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LINDAK25 6/6/2013 4:26PM

    Wow! This is a fantastic plan. It would be great not to have cramping and nausea. I don't think I could eat a plain bouillon cube! I'd be mixing it with hot water before the race and then drinking that cold during the race! I know--the cube takes up a lot less space! It's good that you realized that you needed more sodium.

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GOOSIEMOON 6/6/2013 3:12PM

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SJKENT1 6/6/2013 2:54PM

    It is so awesome to hear your enthusiasm and passion in your words.

Awesome emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 6/6/2013 12:56PM

    I read all of your blog and found it interesting!

I'll be following your progress with eagerness.

Best wishes

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NEWTINK 6/6/2013 12:47PM

    Preparation is the key to success .. you will be tweaking it until the day of the race emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 6/6/2013 12:35PM

    I am IMPRESSED! I had no idea about the requirements for long distance biking/running.. I am going to send a link to my niece and my brother, both of whom run just to see if they have tried any of these products. Never hurts to see something new.

I KNOW you are going to do SO well in this tri! Honestly... just doing it is huge. Finishing even more huge. I am so excited for you! WOO HOO

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PATTISTAMPS 6/6/2013 12:35PM

    I am IMPRESSED! I had no idea about the requirements for long distance biking/running.. I am going to send a link to my niece and my brother, both of whom run just to see if they have tried any of these products. Never hurts to see something new.

I KNOW you are going to do SO well in this tri! Honestly... just doing it is huge. Finishing even more huge. I am so excited for you! WOO HOO

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JACKIE542 6/6/2013 12:02PM

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JUSGETTENBY42 6/6/2013 11:43AM

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MIMIDOT 6/6/2013 11:04AM

    Way to go! Great blog! Thanks for sharing.

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FAVORITEAUNT84 6/6/2013 11:04AM

    My goodness, that's a lot to remember! Good thing you're a tri-geek. emoticon

Totally random, but I much prefer the flavor of Taste Nirvana coconut water over the Vita-Coco brand. That's just my opinion, but you might check it out. emoticon

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NEPTUNE1939 6/6/2013 11:02AM

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IDICEM 6/6/2013 10:30AM

  Your preparation and training is awesome!
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WORKNPROGRESS49 6/6/2013 10:25AM

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NILLAPEPSI 6/6/2013 10:22AM

    I'm diggin' those nerd glasses. emoticon

emoticon on your epic ride.

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JOANNHUNT 6/6/2013 10:03AM

    AWESOME BLOG. MORE POWER TO YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY. YOU HAVE COME A LONG WAY. RIDE ON.

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JOELEVENACIOUS 6/6/2013 9:52AM

    You are a machine!!!!!!! Keep up the good work and love your research. I follow the bannana route. Sure is cheaper! When I did long bike rides 20+ for me - cramps were brutal till I did figured it out and used banannas! Just don't get injured!

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HEARTS116 6/6/2013 9:50AM

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 6/6/2013 8:59AM

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