I’m so glad I waited till today to write this blog – the last few days have left me completely refreshed and energised, ready to tackle the next training block. Maybe it’s the sunshine, or the 24 second PB on my 5km TT run (22:37), or that we (West Coast Eagles) won on Saturday night against Collingwood and go straight to Prelim Finals, OR that I not only got to see G Flip live (an artist I’ve been longing to see) on Saturday night after the game BUT I also met her too after the gig! Sure, when I feel this good it normally means a significant drop in mood follows soon after (gee, thanks mental health) but I’ll just try and ride the wave of happiness for as long as possible.
Weeks 5-7 of training
My average training load for the last block of training has been ~19.5hrs/wk. I swam ~11.5km, rode ~182km and ran ~61km each week. Plus my 3 strength sessions. Don’t get me wrong, by the last week I was pretty shattered and I’m sure my iron levels have taken a hit, but what I really found tricky about this block of training was overcoming the mental side.
Physically, I can ride 140km but convincing myself to go head out down Freeway South and wait till I hit 70km before turning around was mentally tougher.
Same goes for a 4km lunchtime swim when it’s cold, wet and possibly hailing. But the sense of achievement I got when I finished was amazing. Totally satisfying to hit stop on the Garmin after a 26km run (while feeling like there’s fuel still left in the tank) or after an almost 6 hour ride (although the tank WAS sitting on empty) . Thanks to last few days of regrouping, and a pep talk from my Coach, Mick Bray from Tuff’n’Up Tri Squad I’m ready for the next block.
Fuelling Long Rides
My main focus this block has been on long ride nutrition. Sitting on a bike for 5-6 hours means packing a decent amount of fuel!
At the moment I’m aiming for 30-45g CHO/hr
(due to the fact I’m not breaking any speed records) but will be shooting for 60-75g CHO/hr closer to the race. So for the last few rides I’ve been trying out various fuelling options.I know I already love vegemite sandwiches (30g CHO/sandwich) but since I don’t think 6 sandwiches would sit well come race day I want to mix it up with a few other options. This includes finally making a recipe out of the FeedZone portables book – Cooked rice “sandwiches” with a blueberry and choc chip filling (YUM!) I’ve been packing a frozen square into my bento box and enjoying the slice at the halfway turnaround. It will probably be too messy to eat during the race but gosh they’re totally delicious!
Here are the options I’ve tried so far
Soreen Malt loaf = 20g/slice
Stroopfwafel = 20g/wafer
These wafers are very compact but the syrup freezes solid to a toffee in cold weather so a bit harder to eat. Not that this should be a problem in December!
Mother Earth Oatie slice = 20g/bar
Simple and delicious but a bit dry.
Feedzone portable = ~40-50g/piece
Infinit sports drink= 90g/bidon
The mocha flavour makes it easy to drink and the carbs pack a punch!
Bindi sports drink = 45g/bidon
Melon Mojo is a fave and provides a different flavour for variety.
I’ll take what I’ve learnt this block and begin to fine tune it over the next few rides.
I’ll also start building up the fluid volume as the temperatures (hopefully) start to rise.
Thanks everyone for the messages of support – always appreciated.
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.