Posted by: pursuingsub17 | May 24, 2010

Strange nutrition strategies of triathletes


Okay- this is just going to be a fun one. First off, I made it back to the pool after a few months hiatus. Few months? I can’t remember. It’s been awhile though. I had a great swim. 1500 meters in 30:33 – with a negative split of 8 seconds. I felt great! Finished the last 15 minutes of the swim doing drills. Honestly – this is one of those peak training moments where you go – Oh my god! I’m finally getting faster! And without feeling like my heart was about to burst out of my mouth!!

I got to my van/suv hybrid (not sure what the heck you call a Dodge Journey) and I was starving. I remembered those days back in Junior High when I was in synchronized swimming and I ate two platefuls of my mom’s stew after a swim practice – and I hated my mom’s stew.  I was super hungry. Then I remembered a lovely treat I discovered on a long slow run about 4 weeks ago – Big Chief beef jerky. When I ate that, it gave me a pick me up. I was so sick of gels but I knew I needed something. So beef jerky and a couple gulps of Restore Vitamin Water and I came back to life. I even had enough fuel left to sprint the last 500 meters.

Now we’re not talking any kind of beef jerky here. McSweeny’s, Jack Links and Pecos Bill have nothing on Big Chief. Full of flavor, all the sodium your body needs after a good workout (or during) and still juicy. I bought three packs – ate one and decided the other two will be for my marathon next weekend. I’ve been eating beef jerky on all my runs. Not all the time – just that point where you just don’t think you can tolerate another gel. Last year I tried chewing spearamint gum during the marathon with 8 k left but it was disgusting. I like spearamint gum but not when you’re thirsty, tired and breathing is somewhat laboured. No – beef jerky is the miracle fuel for that last 10 or 15 k (6-9 miles).

Think about it – sodium, protein, and a good chew and something different than a sweet Carb Boom gel for the 6th time in the last three hours.

It would be interesting to find out the strange rituals and nutrition strategies of other marathon runners and triathletes. At Ironman Coeur d’Alene three years ago, I heard about an age grouper who swore by salt and vinegar Pringles after the swim before getting on the bike. At Ironman Canada last year, there was a guy who had a Big Mac in his special needs bag on the run.

I’ll let you know how that works – on Marc’s first half marathon seveal years ago, he heard licorice was the thing to eat. So he ate a pack of twizzlers, ran the race, and barfed up red licorice immediately after crossing the finish line. He’s been called “Twizz” by his teammates since then. Let’s hope my nickname won’t be “Jerky” or “Big Chief”.

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