Monday, May 19, 2014

Ironman Boulder Training Week #8

You know what I just realized (not sure why it took me this long)? When all is said and done (providing I DO get it done and finish IM Boulder on August 3), I will have completed two Ironmans (Ironmens?) in ten months. For a girl like me who had never run further than a slow 10K as of five years ago, I’m feeling a bit sassy (even if I do sometimes wonder what the hell I am doing).

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On a 90 mile bike ride on most of the Boulder IM course yesterday I was reminded what a bitch of a race this is going to be. Not to say that any IM is “easy,” but there is definitely a spectrum of difficulty for these races.

Every time we do a race of the same distance, we want to better our time and maybe PR (<well, not every time, but for me a good bit of the time). My time at IM Florida was 12:50. I will kill myself to beat that time, but I am not sure given the course and conditions that I’ll make it.

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All of this simply means I will have to train better and smarter. I’ll have to prepare for heat and be extra careful about hydration and sodium intake.

This past week the dial got turned up with training.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 6 mile run with intervals
Wednesday: 2,500 yard swim, 21 mile bike ride
Thursday: 5.5 mile run with intervals
Friday: 2,500 yard swim, 21 mile bike
Saturday: 11 mile run
Sunday: 90 mile bike, 30 minute swim - easy

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Total time: 14 hours
Total Workouts: 9
Total Miles: 157.4 (Swim ~3.5 miles, bike 131 miles, run 22.9 miles)

Some of you have been asking about my fueling. I am really focusing on perfecting this for race day. My training group (Fast Forward) put on an amazing nutrition seminar for IM athletes. Basically, how you fuel (or don’t fuel) WILL make or break you on race day.

I think I did a good job of fueling at IMFL, but I know there is room for improvement. I really focused on getting in enough calories, but neglected to count milligrams of sodium. That was a big mistake and likely why I became so nauseous during the run (either that or the fact that I had just ridden my bike 112 miles and was trying to run a marathon – not something body really embraces). Here is me having a little party on the run before I hit the depths of near-barfing and despair.

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My general rule of thumb for my size -5’ 5”, 113 pounds (Note these amounts are for IM training/racing and would vary with race distance and type).

Bike per hour – 250 calories, 32 oz fluids, 1200 mg sodium
Run per hour – 200 calories, 24 oz fluids, 1200 mg sodium

I tried to hit this on my 90 mile bike yesterday. I took in 1500 calories (two honey stinger waffles with almond butter, 1 PB&J, 1 oatmeal cookie/cream pie, 1 pack Clif Bloks, 1 gel, 4 scoops Powerbar Perform).  I did the solid foods at the beginning and less solid towards the end. I was only able to get in a total of 84 ounces of fluid and I totally failed at my sodium, taking in only 1600 mg total. I really should have taken my Salt Stick tabs. Lesson learned. By the way, symptoms that you are not getting enough sodium include sloshy belly, nausea, bloating. And don’t forget to take liquid with sodium!

Post ride I crammed an egg sandwich in my face, went out for a quick swim, then watched Lifetime. I texted my friend Leigh who rode the 90 with me and told her I was stuffing my face  - she responded:

“I just ate a whole chicken.”

This is what Ironman training does to you. Instead of eating a drumstick, you eat a whole chicken.

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Favorite fuel for training/racing? While biking, I love REAL food like sandwiches, but at a certain point this can get hard to digest, and I don’t want to take in that stuff too close to running. So, I start with the solid stuff and move more towards gels. For running, I  mainly stick to gels (GU brand) because I can get them down easier and they seem to work for me.

What are you training for right now? Duh.

SUAR

49 comments:

  1. I am training for a half right now and ran 12 miles yesterday and am toast today. But now I feel like a total weenie reading this! I am two years into running so I'll reevaluate in three. Maybe I'll be ironman-ing too. (GULP.)

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  2. I didn't realize sloshy belly was from not taking in enough sodium. I definitely had sloshy belly on my last long run and thought it was just a matter of drinking too much and not peeing enough - it made sense at the time :)

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    1. I know! I didn't know that either, I always thought was related to having an empty stomach?

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  3. Thanks so much for this post! I suffered from horrible nausea during my marathon last fall and had no idea that sodium intake was tied to this. I'm rethinking my fueling strategy this go-around, and will definitely make sure that it includes enough sodium.

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  4. I am training for a 10k (my second) while coming back from an injury. My sweet husband suffered through 5 weeks of my injury-induced crankiness, and now he thinks he wants to train for his first Half-Marathon. I think it might be just to get out of the house, but I'm excited for him anyway! :)

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  5. Your analysis sounds so similar to the analysis I did before my last half marathon, worrying over the hills on the course (spoiler: it went a lot better than I thought it might). I think you're at a huge advantage being a local (granted, among a lot of talented triathletes). I'm training for my fourth full marathon (Santa Rosa) and still working toward a BQ!

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  6. Hmmm... internals on Thurs? That sounds like fun ;) ;) ;)
    You're going to rock this yet again... you're such a star! Woohoo!
    Had to do my first HIM yesterday but my beloved (NOT) plantar fasciitis kept me from it... but I will I will I will!!!!!

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    1. Haha!! Internals...thanks for pointing that out! Sorry about the HIM, but it will come.

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  7. You are a beast! I'm focusing on less fuel and getting my body to run that way and use fat vs crap I put in my body....100/calories per hour (on bike and run) and using salt tabs as well. So far so good!

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  8. Wow that is so awesome! I would love to complete an Ironman one day....but that is probably a far far time from now :)

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  9. I'm training to run 5K under 33 minutes. A minor, minor, minor thing to do that's easy for so many, but has been a trial for me. Fuel? Peanut butter. And burrito bowls. At different times, though.

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  10. This is awesome and helpful - I am training for Timberman 70.3 in August - did the swim/bike legs of Toughman 70.3 two years ago and had some cramping while on the bike so was glad I was part of a relay and didn't have to run....will definitely have to get the fueling part figured out as I train these next few weeks...

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  11. I fuel with GU (salted caramel) for my long runs. I'm running my first marathon this Sunday....a year after running my first 5K (running seems to have become my mid-life obsession). I'm nauseous just thinking about it! Your blog has taught me a lot....you know, the stuff they don't tell me about in my running magazines!

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  12. I'm a Hammer Nutrition user - Hammer Gel, Endurolytes, and Perpetuem. I love the Endurolytes - full-spectrum electrolyte capsules (more than just sodium.) Hammer has a great handbook for endurance athletes that really helped me with fueling on my first marathon. NO GI issues that day at all!

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    1. I've used Endurolytes too and liked them, but they have quite a bit lower sodium than Salt Stick (which actually has the other electrolytes too).

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    2. Thank you for mentioning the Hammer Nutrition handbook. I hadn't heard about it and it looks like a lot of good info!
      I mostly use Gu Chomps. Right now I'm training for my third sprint duathlon with my first marathon on the horizon next spring!

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  13. I just realized that I eat a lot of Clif products for mid-race fueling. For running, I stick with their gels and Shotblocks (with caffeine) because they are easy to eat. For cycling, I eat Clifbars and fig bars. I've also had salted boiled potatoes and tomato/hummus sandwiches (I stopped to eat those) mid-ride and they were delicious after eating sweets for most of the day. I've only recently started drinking sports drinks with electrolytes. Doh I should've learned sooner that I needed to up my sodium intake wayyy higher. I am a salty sweater and am terrible at retaining water and staying hydrated.

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  14. YOu all could do an IM commerical and tag it "I just ate a whole chicken!" Think of the sponsors you would get!

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    1. Hahahha!! I bet KFC would be a sponsor.

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  15. Very interesting, those numbers for the calories/fluid/sodium seem impossible to achieve to me.. I guess that nutrition is a big part of training too, especially in a very long race like IM.
    I run, and not long enough distances that I need too much fuel, I also don't like to eat at all while running, so I stick with GU gels and sometimes water (I'm even worse at drinking while running).

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  16. Who is the cutie (dog) behind you in the first pic?

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    1. This is actually on older picture - it was my parents' dog Brindle, cocka-poo, who is no longer with us...

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  17. I've been learning so much from your recaps. They will definitely help me with my triathlon training. I know it's no Ironman or half Ironman, but I'll take all sorts of input. :D

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  18. I fuel with Swedish fish, cut in half so they're easier to chew. Also, gluten free pretzels for some sodium and they help my stomach! I'm so bad at drinking water though

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  19. I'm not training for anything, just enjoying each and every healthy run I can get at this point! And if I happen to get a tan while doing it... so be it. ;)

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  20. I'm so excited to hear about your Ironman! I really want to do one someday ... :)

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  21. I'm running my first 50 mile trail race on Saturday and really nervous about the fuel/nutrition. I am going to use Nuun as my fluid (vs straight water or gatorade with too much sugar) and use Cliff Bloks. Hopefully try and eat something after every loop (PB&J). I am very nervous though as it'll be all new come race day!

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  22. Thank you for this post! I think I need to up my sodium on my long runs as well. I'm training for a half marathon, and I get that sloshy stomach and bloating at the end of these long runs. I typically fuel with a honey stinger waffle before, then 2 packs of honey stinger chews. I have a question about Salt Sticks. Are the capsules? Can you provide a link? Also, do you eat them with something else or is that your only "fuel" for the moment?

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    1. Yes, the Salt Sticks are capsules. You take them with plenty of fluid. Depending on weather and duration of workout/race I take 2-3 at a time. I'm suer there are other brnads, but I've had good luck with these. You can get a good deal here with free 2 day shipping:

      http://www.runningwarehouse.com/SaltStick_Caps_100-Servings/descpage-SSC100.html

      Just be sure to figure out for your size and activity how much sodium you really need.

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  23. I'm training for my first half iron next month. Kind of a big jump from the one and only sprint tri I've ever done... I like my fuel strategy on the bike: 2-3 honey stinger chews every 15 minutes and 2-3 endurolyte capsules every hour (with water). I just store it all in my bento box and it's like a 60 mile buffet. However, after a 60 mile ride I feel great but I'm starving. I think I'll try your approach to eating some solid foods at the beginning of the long bike ride. Always a work in progress!

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  24. Salt tablets (I use S Caps) changed my running life. I always thought I wasn't fueling enough but really just needed the salt. Recovering from some I-ran-too-far-too-soon-post-marathon injuries and am hoping to be in shape for a half in August.

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  25. I can't believe you'll complete (and the time consuming training for) 2 full ironmans/men in 10 months! Good for you, I love reading your blog for inspiration (and humor!). I'm training for my 3rd full marathon in 3 years (with a bunch of halfs and trail runs sprinkled in). My bike riding husband got me into Hammer Nutrition (like Kathy McElhaney) and I LOVE their products! Never had any stomach issues, and gives me the fuel I need to get through 4+ hours of running!

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  26. You rock SUAR! I have my first marathon on Sunday in Burlington, VT. I loved training for it. I'm tapering now, which is killing me but loving the whole experience of training. The planning, the excuse to run high volume. After this I hope to try longer distances...maybe a 50K or a 50 miler.

    For fuel I use EmergenC (usually I just eat a packet straight and then drink a little water...tastes like a Pixie stick) and GUs, but also have been cutting up Balance Bars into bite size pieces. They are chewy and easy to get down. Also just tried Snap Super Candy (jelly beans) - so good!!

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  27. I have had a revelation from reading your blog !!!

    Ever since starting to train for my first full marathon (coming next month) I have noticed that I get the sloshy belly/extremely nauseous and bloated towards the end of my long runs. Anything over 15 miles leaves me bloated and miserable for the rest of the day. I have done research and asked everyone I know-- and they all just say I'm fueling wrong (too much sugar in those Shot Blox apparently!) or that it's just an inevitable part of distance running because of all the shaking around your intestines do. I did finally figure out that I needed to eat some salt AFTER my long runs, otherwise I'm a shaky, fainty mess. But I had no idea that the rest of those symptoms were from low sodium too!!!!! I am going to get me some salt sticks ASAP!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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  28. nice work! that is pretty crazy- comparing 5 years ago to where you are now..WOW!

    favorite fuel is shotblocs but i need to try gu...think i was just always grossed out by the thought. people say that salted caramel flavor is good though

    training for a marathon in september.....lehigh valley in attempts to qualify for boston again

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  29. Lately, I've been enjoying orange slices during my training runs.I peel them, bag them and eat a half an orange every 3 miles. Seems to work for me. This is my year of halves so right now I'm training for the Chicago Soldier Fielder 10 miler this weekend. Then the Chicago Rock and Roll this Summer. Doing a half marathon every 2 months is FUN! Good luck with your Ironman. You are going to ROCK that run! :) Thanks for being such a great inspiration.

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  30. Your training has been stellar. You will rock the IM in Boulder. As far as gels go - I try not to use them in training runs. I don't want to lessen the boost they give me during a marathon (both real and imagined). I will carry a gu for "emergency situations only." I did take one two weeks ago when I bonked at mile 22 of a 24 miler - it was a raspberry hammer gel. It was awesome (never had that kind before).

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  31. I am getting ready for another half (4th in 6 weeks), followed by my first triathlon ever- thank goodness it's a super sprint, so I only have 150 yards to not drown!

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  32. As a guy that went from couch to full marathon in 14 months (Sept 12-Nov 13), but is now suffering what seems like the slowest recovery from mysterious injury in the history of mankind, the quote “For a girl like me who had never run further than a slow 10K as of five years ago” is reassuring that I’ve still got time to get to my goals (to run the entire planet. What? Too much?). Thanks for that. Seriously. Happy Training.

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  33. GU, GU Roctane, Welch's Fruit snacks, Gummi Bears, pretzels, and definitely Salt Stick! Plus Gatorade of course. However, i have been reading that i should rely less on these fuels during training in order to make fat burning more proficient so it doesnt hit you like a brick wall in a race.

    Training for a 3:40 fall marathon in November (Savannah Rock 'n Roll). A BQ for me is 3:45 (one great thing about turning 40!) However, I want that priority registration!

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    1. From what I've heard the jury is still out on that strategy...Good luck with the 3:40!

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    2. Kinda hope you are right, because not fueling well really sucks big time and saps all the joy out of the end of a long run!

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  34. Tailwind Endurance Fuel is awesome. I don't deal well with GU's or gels because they make me feel nauseous. After just using Tailwind on runs over 2 hours (no other food or salt tablets) I felt great. Highly recommended. And no, I'm not affiliated with the company.

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  35. I am going to pace a friend at the Western States 100 Endurance Run at the end of June. Super excited to do this and I'm brushing up on my trail running skills and working on the fueling too. After that, I will start training for my next marathon in November.

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  36. I'm doing the TransRockies Heli Run in September. Summer running fuel will likely be Lara bars and Powerade, which I did for the my last two marathons. I'm a believer of if it's not broken, don't fix it. :D

    Have a great race in Boulder! I've spectated a few IMs and have much respect for all y'all who do them. (Especially the peeps bringing it home in the last 30mins. They'll make a person weepy.)

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