Fuelling Ironman 101: Part 2

Well, I HAD made a great start to my Ironman prep. Then I got to my last long ride before my adaptation week (where the training load is much lower and I can recover for the next 3 weeks of hard training) and things went pear shaped. I was riding on Sunday, approaching the half way mark of a 110km ride, thinking how well training was going. I had completed 100% of training sessions and , while I was getting a bit sore and tired, I was pretty happy with my progress. Then I misjudged a bump in the path and before you know it there was a me sized dent in the dirt next to the path. Luckily my helmet took most of the force, the two cyclists that helped me up convinced me NOT to keep riding (I was fully prepared to just get back on and finish the ride) and after a trip to ED as my helmet was cracked, I was discharged with concussion, but no broken bones. So this week has been a bit lower than what was planned but hopefully I’m back on track on Monday for the next block of training.

Big thanks to the cyclists and ED nurses and doctors for all their help – you guys rock.

Weeks 1-3 of training

I’m really proud of the first 3 weeks, my preparation for the higher training load paid off.

Firstly, organising “Click and Collect” for the weekly shop has been great. I place the order the Saturday before, edit the order during the week depending on what we need and then pick up on Friday. Far easier then navigating the supermarket on a Saturday and trying to remember everything in one sitting.

Secondly, the meal prep has been awesome – twice a week I take a pre-prepared meal to work for lunch and if I get stuck and need an easy dinner or back up meal then there are several in the freezer to choose from. Ditto for the slow cooker –

preparing a meal on the weekend and then heating it up on Monday night ensures dinner is sorted even though I’m at a swim squad session

and doesn’t place extra pressure on the rest of the family either. Everybody wins!

Lastly, I’m really excited to have gained a sponsorship! One of my weak spots I identified (while processing all my concerns during one of my long rides) was lunches on days when I have double trainings ( early morning and afternoon). I decided to approach Tom’s Wholesome Food to see if they could assist. Tom’s provide lunches for the players at West Coast, which I order every week. They produce delicious salads, homemade pastas, rolls and soups and I LOVE their food.

Tom’s jumped on board and I’m proud to have them as part of my support team in the lead up to Ironman!
Ironman Fuel

I’ve had quite a few queries about how much I’m training and how much I’m eating…..just what does a Sports Dietitian eat when training 12 sessions per week?

My training load for the first 3 weeks of training have been ~14hrs/wk or 2 hrs/day on average. I swam ~9.6km, rode 126km and ran 30km on average each week. Plus 3 strength session each week. Even though I’ve done it I still get tired looking at the numbers!

I normally need a high intake of food for everyday living so I knew that this kind of training load would require a significant increase in food!

My daily intake looked a bit like this…

Breakfast: Porridge with chia seeds, milk and sprinkle of raw sugar

Recovery/2nd breakie: 3 Weetbix with milk, banana and a drizzle of honey

Morning snack: Yoghurt

Lunch:Toms or meal prep: 1-2 cups pasta/rice, 1-2 cups veg and 1/2 to 1 cup lean chicken

Afternoon tea/Pre Training: 2 slices of toast with vegemite or muesli bar and fruit

During training: 500ml Bindi (sports drink)

Dinner (within 30 minutes of finishing training): 100-150g lean meat/chicken/fish with 1.5 cups rice/pasta and 2 cups veg

This provides 392g carbohydrate (5.7g /kg) and 150g protein (2.2g /kg).

This suits me; my metabolism, my training load, my energy levels and recovery needs. Everyone is different – some of my athletes (with a similar training load) eat far less then this and some eat even more. It’s partly why I love my job, tailoring nutritional requirements to each individuals athletes preferences and needs. Everyone is so different. This is what I need to ensure I wake up each morning ready to train (and work, and parent…) plus actually power through the sessions not just complete them.

I’ve just got my next block of training and it’s meaty to say the least – stay tuned for the next installment of Fuelling Ironman 101…. and don’t forget we’re fundraising for Beyond Blue and their amazing mental health support program. Donate here.

Meanwhile I’ll aim to keep it rubber side down!

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