“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
i can pretty much say that in the 17 years that i’ve been cycling, 14 years of running and less than 1 year of swimming, i have always tried to keep the training as simple as possible. i seem to enjoy the process so much more that way. i can remember back when i had about 2 or 3 marathons under my belt and started to research training programs and techniques and how i began to not love running anymore. following the workouts and the heart rate zones and all the scientific bull crap became a chore rather than something pure and simple; something that i loved. the thing is, i understand all the bull crap because i learned all of that stuff in college and some of it i buy into but a lot of it i don’t.
that’s right, because i’m old school and i’m an old fool (who knows that song?). i will admit that i love training with my garmin and heart rate monitor but i will say this, i do not live and die by it. my rate of perceived exertion trumps what the garmin tells me anyday. i know my capabilities more than anyone else or any gadget. so where am i going with all of this you ask? well, this simplicity i speak of, transferred over nicely to how i tackled the hydration and nutrition before and during the 140.6 event. because so many people have asked me to share what i did with them, i will and i’m more than happy to do that, but please keep in mind that everyone is different. we all have different sweat rates and calorie needs so ESTABLISHING this and NAILING it before hand is KEY! no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.
let me start with the night before and here is where the old school takes a back seat. i don’t carbo load. never have, never will. i had a 6 egg omelet (no yolks), turkey, a powerbar, powerade zero w/nuun and lots of water. yummy, right? same thing for breakfast on race morning at around 5am but this time with a half cup of coffee (i have eaten this same way for the last 3-4 months so i knew it worked for me). got to the race at around 6am, got body markings, sat around chatting, pee’d a couple of times, then put my wetsuit on and off i went at 7:30 into the lake. by the way, this lake we swam in really was pristine. it said so on the website but i usually tend to not believe the descriptions that florida tourism websites give bodies of water in florida….they are usually not pristine, but rather gross, but this one was very nice. i had water after the first 1.2 mile swim loop and then back for the last 1.2 mile loop. once i got thru transition and onto the bike, i pulled out my first treat.
i scarfed down 4 fig newtons within the first 15 minutes of being on the bike and from then on, i had a half of a powerbar every half hour and a powergel the next half hour and alternated like that the entire time i was on the bike, which was just a little over 6.5 hours. for hydration, i kept
my aerobottle filled with water and the bottle on my frame filled with gatorade and nuun. i made sure to drink one or the other every 10 minutes. the bike course was 3 laps, so after each lap, i refilled both, as they were almost empty, but thankfully, never ran out of fluid. i was fortunate to have ridden this exact course a month prior to the race with pretty much the same hot and windy conditions, so i was able to get a good feel for how much to eat and drink and i can say now, that my calculations were dead on.
on the run, i just couldn’t stand the thought of anymore powerbars, so i relied on the hammer gels provided on the course. after about 2 or 3 hammer gels, i wanted to puke, especially after the orange one that didn’t taste anything like orange to me. perhaps after swimming and biking as much as i had at that point, nothing tastes right. pretty much the entire run course, i had water and gatorade at every other mile and splurged at mile 16 and 23 with some defizzed coke-a-cola…something i never have drank(drunk?) in training but i threw caution to the wind and chugged it down. i will say that i think it helped. my legs were starting to get a lot of lactic acid burn and who knows if the coke helped or not but i chose to believe it did, as the burn subsided and i was able to kick it in for the last 2 miles.
so there you have it kiddies, the k.i.s.s. approach to 140.6 race nutrition and hydration. nothing special, right? nothing you can’t buy at your local walmart, except for the nuun and i buy that by the box from performance bike. if you have any questions for me about any of the above, you can email me.
have a great weekend everyone. much love and peace out!