Posted by: pursuingsub17 | June 6, 2011

Focusing on nutrition now


Well, I’ll be in my first triathlon race for the season next weekend – and my big “A” race is in 7 weeks. This year, I’ve really trained a lot more than last. Part of me thinks I should have trained more – something we all think about – but I definitely feel I’m more ready than last year in terms of training. Last year I focused too much on my marathon. I didn’t get enough long bikes in and I definitely didn’t swim enough as I had the arrogance to think “I’m a good swimmer – I don’t need to focus on that much.”

But this year, I’ve really practiced nutrition during training. I’ve been using more gels more often – whether I think I need them or not – and every 20-25 minutes. I have yet to have that “I’m going to be sick” bonk that I experienced regularly last year. I’ve also finally taken Marc’s advice and used Carbo-pro on my last race simulation a few weeks ago – and again did not experience bonking. But I need more practice at this. It’s too easy to get caught up in your bike or run, enjoying the scenery or chatting with a training partner or focusing on your form – and you forget to eat or drink. I have to make a conscious effort to remember to have that gel, take on liquids with the gel for proper digestion as well as the Carbo-pro drink. I have been successful – I just need to remember!

Unfortunately, I haven’t really focused on what I should be eating on a daily basis or how I should eat before a race simulation or big brick workout. I found an article by Kyle Marcotte that has led me to believe I need more research than just practicing what I saw Marc doing before his Ironman races! In a few words, Kyle already alerted me to three things I did wrong for race week preparation last year. Slightly reduce calorie intake (I ate like a pig for 5 days leading up to the race and salted everything I ate); carb load 2 days prior (I had a big steak with lobster and shrimp and drank wine 2 days before – and filled up on a big salad the night before with a little bit of pasta); and reduce fiber intake at least 3 days before the event (hello! remember I had oatmeal 2 hours before the race??).

He did mention things I already knew but didn’t practice – such as taking two gels about 15 minutes before the run and don’t wait too long to take on calories during the run or it’s too late by the time one feels “bonk”. But of course, over excitement and maybe exhaustion made me forget.

So while I probably could have trained more last year, I still think my biggest issue was nutrition. With 7 weeks left, I still have time to practice nutrition strategies so that they become second nature race day.

Anyone wanting to read the article, here’s the link:  Nutrition – Kyle Marcotte, Pro Ironman

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