Monday, July 9, 2012

Crunch Time!

After last weekend's "introduction" to Ironman specific workouts, my coach emailed me with "Jon, its crunch time!"

Over a few emails, this past weekend's efforts went from a 5.5 hour Saturday ride plus a Sunday 2.5 hour to a Saturday 5 hour ride plus whatever Sunday run to finally a phone call to solidify things. The phone went like this:

"Jon, how much time do you have this weekend? It's crunch time! I want you to do 6 hours on the bike on Saturday plus a 30 min run. Then on Sunday I want you to do another 4 hours on the bike plus a 45 min run"

HOLY SHIT!!!! (and I had to work OT both days....)

I immediately thought back to that training camp with him a year ago....

Just a few days earlier from this phone call, I already done 2 x 30 mins @ 250 watts and 245 watt intervals plus two easy rides of 90 mins and 60 mins.

It was a big bike week, easily the biggest one so far this season....

So after 5 bike workouts, 265 miles in almost 14.5 hours, this was INDEED the biggest week of biking so far this season.

I cannot sit down on a bicycle seat for a few days, and I need a lower neck massage BADLY!

So Saturday I linked up with @johnpierz up on route 100 and we did loops upon loops of Titicus, Hardscrabble road, Somers, and North Salem. John is a week ahead of me in Ironman training since he is doing IMNYC. I had to do a 6 hour ride, so didn't he. And! We are the same speed, so it was a HUGE mental break to have someone to chat with and otherwise break up the monotony of such a long ride. Thanks for the company, John! And! You are going to do great @ IMNYC! Hope to see you at the finish line!

Despite the heat warnings of the day, it was pretty hazy and even clouded up some which meant there was really only one hour in the direct sunlight. I think this saved me, especially when I hit my 30 min brick run, which I was able to hold an 8:12 pace while trying my best to slow-the-f-down! Can't hold that for a full 26.2 after just riding 112.97!!!

Sunday was a tad cooler, but I only had to ride 4 hours and then run another brick. Unfortunately I could hardly sit down on the saddle and keeping my neck up in the aero position felt harder than doing 1000 squats. OUCH!

The butt issue eventually went away, but my neck, OMG! hurt SO bad with 2 hours left to go. I think this is more to do with just riding a ton, and not so much my position. Didn't have any neck or butt issues on Saturday's 6 hour ride, since my body was fresher. My body should be even fresher for IMMT!

In regards to nutrition, I am comparing last weekend's Placid ugly 90 miler to this weekend's rides. I ditched the the 50/50 gatorade/water mixture and just went with water, then used EFS liquid shots every hour + Endurolyte pills every 30 mins. No more thirst issues. Up in Placid, I kept getting thirstier and thirstier despite drinking more and more water/gatorade mixture. The sugar just makes me want pure water. I have experienced this when I was using Infinit in the heat.

So the fact that I was fine electrolyte wise on a HOT day (ride ended in 94 degrees) on just water + EFS + Endurolytes = I got my electrolyte and thirst quenching issues FIXED.

I am still tweaking my calorie intake. I don't like liquid only, and I love chocolate and orange Gu, but I am getting sick of clif bars, especially if it is hot out. But I can't eat Gu for entire 5-6 hour ride. But! I keep getting hankerings for Snickers bars. Yes, Snickers. Especially at the two hour mark. So I think I am going to freeze a snickers bar, and it should be thawed out (but not melted hopefully!) by the 2 hour mark of Ironman.

Right now what I hope to do is this for IMMT on the bike:
30 mins: Eat a Gu (or nothing at all if I feel sloshy)
60 mins: 1/2 EFS liquid shot (half vanilla, half mocha + 1 oz water to thin)
1.5 hours: Gu
2 hours: Snickers bar
2.5 hours: Gu
3 hours: 1/2 EFS liquid shot (of hit up a generic chocolate Ensure @ special needs)
3.5 hours: GU
4 hours: Snickers Bar
4.5 hours: Gu
5 hours: 1/2 EFS liquid shot
5.5 hours: Gu
6 hours: DONE (and start running!)

This will only have me eating 5 or 6 Gu's total on the bike. I'd like to bring this number down a bit more. I am finding bar type foods that are on the dryer side, like clif bars, are hard to chew and get down and make me thirst, while bars like Snickers have a bit more moisture to them (blame it on the creamy nugget?) and are easier to go down and stomach.

I just remember saying after Placid last year that I wished I had eaten more solids for the first half of the bike, then all gels for the 2nd half. Looking back now, I am not sure I can stomach that this year! Amazing how your food tastes change. I still have TONS of time to experiment with foods choices, but I am VERY happy to have gotten down my hydration & electrolyte needs.


  1. Snickers bars are nutritionally similar to a lot of versions of cliff bars. Good choice.

    If you don't like the dryness of most bars, you could try larabars, or fake homemade versions.

  2. Huge week on the bike - nice work!

    Have you seen Snickers now have a package with two mini-bars in them? It is perfect for on the bike. I've stopped at a gas station a few times this year and have gotten a Snickers as well??? No idea why but I crave them during rides -- liking the idea of the frozen snickers, might have to do this too!

    Also, have you tried the HoneyStinger Waffles yet? They are freaking awesome and are on course at IMMT.

    My bike nutriton is EFS Drink, Liquid Shots, and Honey Stingers (and now possibly a snickers). Liquid shot flasks in the jersey and Honey stingers in the bento box - will drink perform once I run out of EFS Drink. Easy Peesy!

  3. severely jealous of the training levels!!

    and go with the Almond Snickers...I had one on the bike @ IMLP and have them from time to time on training rides that are 80+

  4. That's a sh**ton of biking! Nice job! This is the second time in 2 days that someone has mentioned eating Snickers on the bike. Why didn't I ever think of that?!

  5. Sweet. Now I know where to find a Snickers bar when I am craving on during IMMT. You better either not put one in your bike special needs bag or you better beat me to special needs ;)

    Do you need a donut to sit on today?

  6. I have just been spitting out my honey stinger waffles because I find them so dry while riding. Maybe I need to make the switch to snickers as well.

  7. Good grief! That's a lot of time on the bike! No wonder you were having some pain. Great job! I need to start using Snickers bars. That just sounds down right yummy!

  8. Awesome training, well done! I always battle with nutrition on the long runs and just as I find something that works, I have problems with it the next time. After many years I haven't found that perfect product for me yet.

  9. Never cease to be amazed by IM training volumes. Crazy! Sounds like you are right where you should be though. Snickers sound good!

  10. Good luck with your training.... pretty sure I saw you on Rt. 100 on Saturday, I was riding south, coming back from Katonah.
    I might have to go get a Snickers right now, fuel for the afternoon at my desk.

  11. I have taken my page out of the Jeff Irvin school of nutrition on the bike. I have 800 calories of EFS plus 750 calories of Herbalife24 Prolong and 2 HoneyStingers. That gets me a total of 1870 which over 6 hours give or take is 310 calories per hour which is a little high but needed it for Texas heat. May knock it down a bit for IMAZ but at least its there.

    I drink every other (EFS and Prolong) every 30 minutes starting at the 15 min mark which means I am drinking every 15 minutes and this helps break up the ride for me as I only need to ride 15 minutes before I get to do something else.

    I eat the HoneyStingers at the 2 and 4 hour mark to break up the sloshing and give the liquid some place to fall.

    I remember you saying that about solid foods on the bike and was wondering what route you were going to take for IMMT.

  12. Holy bike volume batman! Snickers bars might make an appearance in my nutritional arsenal on race day. I can also say firsthand that it's possible to eat almost all gels on race day and survive (I had 18 on the bike course alone at IMLP last year). You just have to really, really like gels :)

  13. love the Snickers bar idea...I'm going to have to try that!

  14. This actually makes me miss IM training :( I LOVED those monster weekends where sometimes I'd spend 8 hours on the bike in a day then go run an hour. Incredible. Lots of folks do the snickers trick for special needs, but I'll be curious to see how it holds up in a bike jersey (or bento). Everything I put in my pockets while biking melts into goo, I had to stop eating Luna bars during rides because of the chocolate coating!

  15. All this super complicated bike nutrition stuff is one of many reasons why I stick to "just" marathoning. Some gels and chews and I'm good.


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