South African LD Triathlete of the Year 2011/2012

My absence this past week has been mostly due to the ‘little’ race coming up in April, and the number of hours that I have spent training, have limited my ability to produce cohesive sentences! Let’s just say that the Wunderfluegel and I have developed a close, but tiring relationship. Yes, the winning name for my new Token, the ‘Wunderfluegel‘, came from my great Austrian friend and rival 😉 called Manfred. Just wait ’til we fly ;)….

With all this training that we Iron people do, it is very easy to forget about the basis for all performance – The Fourth Discipline. A good friend once told me that the bike of an Ironman is indeed an extended ‘lunch party’. You will be what you eat in training and racing. There are so many athletes out there that think that the volume of IM training means a free ticket to eat and drink what you like – after all, you deserve it don’t you? Wrong! There is a big difference between calorie rich foods and nutrient rich foods. The ones with the nutrients are the ones that build lean athletic bodies, and should form the basis of any ‘Iron’ diet, but the calorie rich foods also have their place – in training and racing.

With the training I have done this week, I have been forced to take a serious think about my training and racing strategy when it comes to nutrition. I had a look at the amount of calories that I was burning up, and quickly understood why I felt so wiped after! I was by far not taking in enough calories during training! Why? Often because I am so focused on the actual session itself, that I don’t  realise that fueling is in fact PART of the session! So, with a little help ;), sums were done, and I figured out how much Multipower I would need for a good long bike ride. It was very surprising! Pictured above – 4-5 bottles of Iso Drink, 6 Carbo fruit bars, 2 gels (in the very delicious strawberry lime flavour :) soon to be launched), and a marshmallow fish, there for a bit of fun :D.

So, while out riding, I made a concerted effort to make eating part of my training session – a bit like doing intervals, but with good sports nutrition! Believe me, it gets hard as the intensity increases, and especially towards the end of the ride, but the results are definitely worth it! I always thought that fatigue and fridge fantasies at the end of a long training session were pretty normal, that is, until I tried consuming more nutrition than I thought I needed – hey presto! I got home, and my first thought was to take my shoes off, not diving into the fridge!

That said, I also pay equal importance to what I eat and drink after a session, as this forms the basis of all recovery. A good recovery drink is an excellent start to this process, I use Multipower Recharge, which is an excellent post effort carb drink with a small portion of protein in the form of Pepto Pro (rapidly absorbed by the body because it is already broken down). Contrary to popular belief, your body needs calorie rich carbs immediately after training and NOT purely protein (that comes later, and optimally, before sleep when the major recovery hormones are released.). Calorie rich foods (as opposed to nutrient rich) are preferable after big training sessions because they restore glycogen in the body much faster, and therefore, recovery is faster. At the same time, it is nice to have something tasty, and lucky for me, Multipower was thoughtful enough to develop the Dark Chocolate Power Pack bar… just for me 😉

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