Thursday, August 19, 2010

Morning Ride and 1/2 Iron Nutrition Plan

This morning I went out for a loosely planned two hour ride with some interval work in it.  In the end it went a little differently than that but close enough to plan to make me happy.  I set out from my house and weaved my way through downtown and over the bridge to the East Bay bike path.  That ride is pretty traffic intensive so its more of a 4 mile warmup than anything else.  Theres too many cars, intersections and potholes to get in the aero position for that first bit.  Once on the bike path however I was able to dial up the speed and get in the aerobars.  I started my ride around 6:15am or so purposely so there wouldn't be a lot of traffic on the bike path to deal with.  My original plan called for intervals but once I got there I was more in the mood for a long hard effort instead.  So I just did nice long stretches of hard efforts between intersections and traffic lights etc.  So there were several 1-3 mile long periods of hard efforts in there, an intersection, and then another one, etc...etc....  In the end I rode the whole length of the path from Providence to Bristol and then turned around for a total of about 36 miles.  On the way back I passed a slighltly older gentleman on a road bike.  I said "on your left" and "good morning" as I'm want to do and thought nothing of it.  It wasn't until an intersection where I slowed down that I realized the sneaky weasel had grabbed my wheel and I was pulling him along.  I HATE when people do that without asking or at the very least letting me know they are there.  What if I decide to stop suddenly for some reason?  If some random guy screws up my bike or my body because he goes ramming into the back of me I'm going to be really angry.  But as always I'm too nice to say anything so I made my opinion known another way.  I knew we had a nice long stretch of road ahead so I dialed up the intensity as soon as I'd crossed the road and really hammered away till I dropped him!  HA!  Serves him right. Cheeky monkey!

So the subject of 1/2 iron nutrition has been up for discussion on my tri club's web discussion board this week which is great as its a subject I'm interested in hearing about.  Another club member asked me what my plan was and since I took the time to type it out I thought it was worth reposting here.  So here's my nutrition plan for the 1/2.


Let me start by saying this is my first half, and my first season doing triathlons, so my nutrition routine is from me reading anything I can get my hands on, asking lots of questions (thanks everyone!), and trying lots of different things in training. Its also a modified version of what I know has worked well for me running marathons. For reference I'm 5'7", and 138lbs. So far the only part I haven't dialed in entirely is the solid food. The Cliff bar is something I'm working on adding in as I'm concerned I don't quite have enough calories on the bike.

My plan for the 1/2 is:

Eat 400 Calorie Breakfast (2x balance bars)
Sip 20oz of Gatorade throughout morning before start

Try to get one Cliff Shot Chocolate Gel down before the swim, but generally my stomach gets all wobbly before the start so I won't push my luck with this one.


Attempt NOT to consume 2 gallons of salt water.

On the Bike:

-Cliff Bar Peanut Butter Flavor - in small pieces consumed over the first two hours (250 Calories)
-3 24oz Bottles of Gatorade Perform Endurance (150 Calories Each)
-4 Cliff Shot Chocolate Gels (100 Calories each) (I will definitely get three of these down, the 4th is a maybe)

On the Run:

-Fuel Belt with 40oz of Gatorade (about 250 Calories) and 2 Gels.
I'll be surprised if I get the second gel down. After mile six assuming I'm feeling good I can pretty much stuff whatever I find on the course in my mouth. So chocolate or anything else is free game.

My realistic plan totals are: (not including any "maybe" items)

Bike: Hopefully around 3 hours or less

1000 Calories (333 / hour)
2060mg Sodium
1040mg Potassium

Run: Hopefully around 2 hours or less
350 Calories (about 2/3 of which consumed in first hour)
1000mg Sodium
500mg Potassium


So far I've tried all of this in training.  However the Cliff Bar is new and I tried that today for the first time with good results.  So I'm confident it will all be ok.  This weekend will be a real hard effort brick so it will be the true test of my nutrition plan under pretty close to race conditions.  So hopefully it goes well.  Ideally a few more calories would be a good idea but this is the most I'm going to be able to get down. 
Each week I get closer to this race I get more excited.  I can barely stand it.  Call me weird or laugh at me, but I lay in bed trying to fall asleep thinking about this race.  And I get so excited about it that I can't sleep anymore.  Something about endurance challenges just makes me feel like I've found my calling, and that this is something I was meant to do.  Corny...   but true.  I'm also a big believer in positive affirmations and statements.  And saying and thinking goofy things like "I was born to race this distance!" builds confidence.  Right now I feel like a million bucks.  I'm so going to kick this races ass.  I can't wait!

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