Monday, July 23, 2012


I finally had the breakthrough in Ironman training that I have been yearning for during this Ironman specific training cycle.

Yesterday I did a 5 hour bike plus a 1.5 hour brick run. Still small in comparison to the full Ironman, but 4 weeks out a decent length workout! Everything went well, mostly because I paced myself good enough (I could have gone a tad slower on the bike) on the bike which led to a very good run on some hills. I owe the above to also smart nutrition.

Nutrition, I have learned, can be fudged from the 70.3 distance and shorter. Now, I wouldn't play around too much during a 70.3, but at least you can recover from one by shoving copious amounts of salt and vinegar chips + pretzels + powerbar chocolate sticks + an espresso Gu + coke + gatorade + water all down your gullet @ once. (This works by the way!!!)

But nutrition for the 140.6 distance, I have learned, CANNOT be fudged! (Mmmmmmm, maybe fudge in bike special needs? Fudge doesn't melt, right?!?)

And I struggled with this last season for Lake Placid, and I was struggling with it this season for Mont Tremblant: I COULD NOT FIND A CONSISTENT EATING PLAN + FOOD THAT MY STOMACH WANTED AND WORKED AND I COULD GET DOWN EASILY

I think I solved that yesterday:

30 mins: Gu
60 mins: Kona Mocha + Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
90 mins: UNCRUSTABLE!!!
2 hours: Kona Mocha + Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
2.5 hours: Gu
3 hours (or special needs bag): Generic Chocolate Ensure
3.5 hours: Gu
4 hours: Kona Mocha + Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
4.5 hours: UNCRUSTABLE!!!
5 hours:  Kona Mocha + Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
5.5 hours: Gu

See what I did there? NO MORE SNICKERS BARS!!! They work if you buy one at a convenience store and eat it on the spot. Unfortunately that doesn't exist during a race! Freezing works, but even in cool temps, if will still thaw out in 30 mins, and pressed up against your body (even with a jersey in between) it will melt into a disgusting gooey mess within that 30 mins. And not to mention it will sitting in your T1 bag for however long before the race even starts + the amount of time you are swimming. Sorry Snickers, but you are out!!!

But I found a REALLY good and SMART replacement! Smucker's Uncrustables! They are frozen, but even when totally thawed out and baking in the sun, they don't get messy. Aaaaahhhhhh. And! Who doesn't love a PB&J?!

 So no hunger spells. No dizzy spells. The temps got up into the 80's, and the EFS was giving me plenty of electrolytes. The Uncrustables @ 210 calories were enough to settle my stomach. It.just.worked! And! I knocked the number of Gu's down to 4. BAM!

I always do this, but my bike wound up being 99.62 miles. Gah! I don't have a distance display on my Garmin (because I would drive myself insane looking at it), but don't worry! I hopped back onto the bike after my run and got that last .38 miles in ;)

Side note: I was riding past a Jehovah's Witness, uh, Church? at one point, and this woman in her car came out of the parking lot and I was worried she might crash into me. Hypothetically speaking,  if she had, and had she helped me, do you think she still would have tried to recruit me?

As for the run, I FORCED myself to take the first 3 miles EASY! Then I started getting excited about everything in life, and by mile 6 my split was an 8:06. Whoops! Gotta reign that back in if I wanted to stay smooth for the entire run.

My run course was run UP!, then run down, then flats, then run back UP!, the back down. The last major up UP! totally kicked my ass, dropping my final mile split to a 9:30. OUCH! But I ran in Rockefeller State Park. OMG! It was sooooooo beautiful there today. Had Monet been painting there then, he prolly would have had to call his doctor after 4 hours. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ;)

Fortunately Mont Tremblant is NOT as hilly as what I did. The first 2 miles of the course are uphill, but at an annoying pitch that isn't too steep, but steep enough that it is annoying. Did you get that? ANNOYING!!!

I think I have one more 5 hour ride, and then taper starts!

This Ironman training cycle, compared to last season, feels REALLY short! But! My long rides have been showing a HUGE improvement over last season, so my coach and I are doing something right!!


  1. I used to live on Uncrustables during my first and second seasons! It was like someone gave me a free pass to eat a junk food I normally wouldn't. They are divine. I've seen how you can make your own and might try that!

    Nutrition is SO key and so personal. If you fall behind during an IM you just can't catch up. You are 100% right about fudging during shorter distances. I do all liquid and gel during an IM with just half a banana or so on the bike to fulfill my desire to chew, but my body wants nothing to do with food so I have to ingest an endless stream of Gatorade and Hammer Gel. It isn't fun but it works. Glad you nailed the nutrition plan and have a couple weeks to practice. You're going to kick serious ass at IMMT!

  2. Kingdom Hall and yes she would have given you some "Watchtower" magazines to read while you're in aero position

  3. Not all Jehovah's Witnesses are crazy and try to recruit everyone they see. That's just a bad stereotype. Anyhow, awesome that you have your nutrition plan nailed down! PB&Js are the best.

  4. Way to git 'er dun Jon. No snickers??? Noooooooooo!!!

    This was a recovery week for me, which is great because the humidity has reached ridiculous levels, so I did the schedule 1h45m ride on the trainer on Saturday. My nutrition was a bottle of EFS and a big Chocolate Chunk Cookie from Jimmy Johns. This cookie is probably 450cals! Wonder if I can freeze 5 off these for the bike??

  5. We live off of uncrustables while training. I don't know that there is anything better during a ride. Peanut butter and jelly goodness all wrapped up in a doughy pocket. YUMMO!

  6. I'm also working hard at my nutrition plan for ultras at the moment. I sometimes find a great solution but it is difficult to have the exact same thing ready for different races.

  7. Nice work on a solid training day! Good for you! Those uncrustables are freaking incredible! I love them, and they are so easy to take with you. Good call!

  8. I like your details for the 6th hour:) The hardest part about nutrition, for me, is implementing in races what I find out works. I get so zoned into what I am doing that my plan goes right out the door!

    The honey and Pb of the uncrustables are use to be my fav!

  9. Someone once told me that they make pb&j sandwiches, flatten them out with a rolling pin, roll it up tight like a fruit roll up, cut them into bite size pieces, freeze them and they cost a fraction of what crustables are

  10. Glad you got the plan all figured out. Are you just doing water for fluid then? And all your calories are from Gus, Liquid Shot, and Uncrustables???

    My plan is similar but I am doing EFS drink, Water, Liquid Shots, and Honey Stinger waffles.

    I did Snickers bars (the fun size ones) in my special needs bag last year at IMWI. I put them in a one of the disposable tuperwear containers with an ice pack and they were still cold at the halfway point. I'll probably do this again so that I have something extra to look forward to.

    You could always just hang a bag of salt/vinegar chips between your aero bars.

    1. My phone is being dumb so I am stuck "replying" to Kevin's comment. Someone needs to make him look good! ;)

      I'm sad for the snickers. They were always one of my favorites (up there with m&m's) before I learned I can't have nuts. However I second the motion for potato chips!

  11. ahhhhhh no snickers?!?
    good looking layout like the mostly endurance stuff plus a touch of regular food with the uncrustable - cant wait to try it out myself!


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