Thursday, April 9, 2009

IM nutrition

So, my bold new plan for IM WI 2009 is an (almost) entirely food-free nutrition plan. Or, rather, solid food-free. As the training distances/times increase, I'm going to experiment with an all-liquid fuel plan, which, given the proper mix of carbs and protein, should get me through the race with an adequate number of calories but without having to eat any bars, gels, pbjs, or other cumbersome solid food products.

The genesis for this idea is from the fact that I am notoriously bad at triathlon nutrition. Like, really bad. Like, I-just-don't-eat-during-a-race-bad. Which, of course, leads to bonking, stomach upset, and/or general unpleasantness. For example, during IM WI 2006, I probably ate a grand total of 300 calories during the ride. For some reason, I just wasn't hungry. I had programmed my watch to beep every 15 minutes indicating it was time to take in more calories, and I fell behind almost from the beginning. It wasn't intentional, I was just so into the experience, and the time just slipped by, and...well, I think the calorie deficit may have played a role in my having to walk a good portion of the marathon due to severe muscle cramps. Very Bad.

IM AZ in 2007 was much better - again, I was down on solid food (mostly because I don't like fumbling around on the bike with wrappers, baggies, etc.), so decided to go with the gel-and-gatorade-and-water nutrition plan. Sixteen gels, to be exact, divided into three flasks taken over the course of six hours. Yes, 16 gels. You can imagine how pleasant that was. But it worked, although I ran most of the marathon with a bloated belly (not sure if it was related to the gels or not). I took in enough calories, and generally felt much better all day.

Now, because I can't stomach - literally - the thought of another 16 gel afternoon, I'm going with Infinit ( If you don't know about Infinit, you should check out their website - they have pre-formulated blends of liquid nutrition, or you can create your own based on your body's particular needs during exercise. I've read many, many stories of people who have been unable to tolerate most of the popular brands of liquid nutrition, but love Infinit and sing its praises. Personally, I've just used it a few times so far this year, but it seems to sit fine with me, and I'm hoping I'll become one of those who think it's the cat's meow.

In a concentrated form, I should be able to sip on Infinit, chased with water, and take in enough calories to get me through the ride (I'll most likely feed/drink from the course during the run). Although, I'll probably have a few solid treats packed away in my special needs bag, just in case I'm dying for something to gnaw on, I'm hoping this will solve my race nutrition isssues. We'll see. I'm going to experiment with this scheme during our longer rides throughout the summer.

Training-wise, I biked an hour after work yesterday, and Cath and I are running together tonight. Tomorrow's a strength day, and this weekend we're (hopefully) invading the suburbs to run/ride.

Cheers all!

1 comment:

  1. I don't like eating on the bike either. I do all gels/gatorade, no water even. 16 gels is a lot though. I only had 4 during the HIM. I'll be interested to hear how the Infinit works out!