July 26, 2011

Training Firsts and Nutrition Questions!!

Yesterday, I had a great training day and completed my longest open water swim and bike ride to date!  Woohoo!

It all started at 4:45AM as I headed to Grant Ranch for an early morning swim.  My husband had the day off, so I was able to get in a longer swim because I didn't need to rush home so he could go to work.  I  ended up swimming over 1.5M and I felt great!  I don't know the exact distance (do you ever know in open water??)  because one of the swim bouys had drifted causing the course to be longer than it normally is.  It would have been nice to know the exact distance, but honestly, I was just happy that I swam 1.5+ miles without panicking or freaking out in some way.  :)
My bike loaded up and ready to ride!
Then, after we dropped our boys off at summer camp, my husband and I headed out for a 4hour bike ride.  Normally, I do my long rides solo, so it was awesome having someone to ride with.  Our plan was to head downtown for an hour, turn around towards the start, head south for an hour, then turn around and head back home for a total of 4 hours (I hope that makes sense!).
The first hour was great!  We headed towards downtown on a bike path and the weather was perfect.  But, when we turned around it was basically a LOOONNNGG gradual uphill for the next 2 hours.  We gained about 1000 feet within those 2 hours, which started to wear on us after awhile.  Plus, the wind started picking up so we had a nice headwind the entire way!  Ugh!!

BUT, when we turned around it was ALLLL  GOOD!  It was downhill, the wind was behind us, and we just flew!  It was like we were on a roller coaster!  It was soooo much fun and a perfect way to end a long ride.

Onto the Nutrition:
So, I decided to give the First Endurance products a try on my ride.  I filled 2 -24oz. bottles with EFS for a total of ~400cals.  I also had 1 liquid shot with another 400 calories and a bottle of just water to "chase it down" and drink throughout my ride.  I brought along a Honey Stinger Waffle just in case I thought I needed it (160cals).  All together, I had rougly 960 calories with  me, which would be around 200-240 cal/hr.

So, how did it go??

I think it went well for the most part.  I did NOT end up eating any of the Honey Stinger waffle, so I had roughly 800 cals over the 4 hr. ride (200cals/hr.).  During the ride I felt fine, but I also missed chewing on something, if that makes any sense!  AND, I kind of felt a little "off" after my ride.  I didn't feel like eating anything and actually felt like I could throw-up...yuck!  I think it was because 1) I'm not used to just drinking my nutrition, 2) I think doing the EFS drink AND the liquid shot only was too much of the same tastes AND 3) I think I took in too many calories.

Normally, on my long rides, I have 1 bottle of water, 2- 24oz bottles of NUUN water, then a mix of a cut up clif bar (240cals), honey stinger waffle(160cals), and some shot bloks (90cals) that I chose from depending on what I feel like eating.  On my last ride, which was 3:30, I think I took in between 160-180cals/hr. and I felt fine and was able to do a 30min. run after without any problems.

So, what do you think?  For those of you that have done IMs before, how many cals. did you take in??  I'm 5'4" and weigh anywhere between 115-120, so maybe I just don't need that many cals??  

I definitely need to figure out my nutrition for IMAZ and I'm glad I still have 3 1/2 months to do it.  I'm doing a Half Ironman in Sept., so I'd like to have my nutrition figured out for that so I can dial it in for IMAZ.
I think for my next long ride I'll try a mix of liquid nutrition and bars/waffles to see how that works.  I do have somewhat of a sensitive stomach, so only certain products work for me.  I know it's just a matter of trial and error, but I really want to figure it out sooner rather than later, ya know?  So, any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :)

P.S. I want to give a big shout out to all of you that did IMLP this past weekend!!!  WOOHOO!!!  I can't wait to read all about your experience!  


Jason said...

I think the opposite is true in that you did not have enough calories and that is why you felt that way off the bike.

You should be in the 250-300 calorie per hour range.

This weekend I rode the Longhorn course (56 miles) and it took me about 3 hours and I had 900 calories and did not feel one ounce of hunger and was able to drop some good paces on the run for 50 minutes afterwards.

I agree that too much of the same flavor can hurt in trying to get the nutrition into you and thus why I use a different flavor (lemon) drink along with vanilla Liquid Shot.

Keep practicing the nutrition even on shorter sessions so that you can get a feel for getting those liquids into you.

Julie said...

Great long workout!

I have no nutrition advice as I've only nailed it once. The elusive perfect nutrition plan...

Christi said...

Great training!

You just have to keep experimenting with the nutrition to see what will work for you. But I think Jason offered some great advice.

Michelle Simmons said...

200 cal/hour is not even close to too many. On the really long stuff (5-7 hours) I typically take in ~300/hour, most of it liquid (I do the First Endurance products too). Only on the bike though- maybe 100/hour on the brick run afterward. You're burning through 600-700 cal/hour and if you do the math and only take in 200/hour then you need 400-500/hour from either stored glycogen or fat... you've only got maybe 2000 cal stored in your liver and muscles so do the math on that and see that you'd run out after maybe 5 hours (WAY before the end of an Ironman) unless you're taking in more or burning primarily fat for fuel.

CautiouslyAudacious said...

It's easier to digest calories during your ride so I think you would want the more calorie dense items during this part. I have a friend that actually eats PB&J on the bike. What I did for the IM was buy a bento box that I strapped to the top tube and emptied as many packets as I could of Clif Shot Blocks and just ate one at a time. I didn't calculate my actual calorie intake but I almost finished the entire thing. Then on the run it was mainly liquids with a pretzel or half an orange every once in a while.

Jon said...

I did 2x my body weight in pounds for calories/hour on the bike at placid on Sunday. It worked for me. I also discovered that I couldnt eat anything solid towards the end of the bike. If I had to do it all over again, I would do mostly solid for the first 56 miles, then go all liquid and gels for 2nd 56. This will get my stomach ready to run.

I'm writing up my race report and i will go over exactly what I should have done vs what I did.

Dawn said...

Ahhhh...the unknown nutrition plan. I am just learning this....and thanks to you- I own a bento box;)
As to what to put in it?
During my mere Olympic Tri...all I did was consume GU gels...and I don't think that worked at all.
I felt ill the entire run and felt really sick after it was done and couldn't eat a thing for forever it seemed.
There;s a lot of good advice in your comments. I'm going to have to keep trying out on what you all teach. Wish there was a perfect formula for size/weight/distance for each person you could just plug in!


I'm going to jump in on the 300cal/hr bandwagon.
But be sure to include a good plan for your electrolyte balance. You need to determine how much you sweat. I sweat around 3 pounds per hour and take in 800mg of electrolytes to replace those lost.
It doesnt' matter what you have in your system in the way of calories if you have a low electrolyte balance.

SSB said...

I eat a lot. And I think most people don't take in enough. You also need to make sure you're testing this at race efforts. A 4 hour ride with a lot of stops etc is not the same as a 4 hour ride at race effort. You'll need more at race effort. But you also might digest a little differently.

I tell people to get out of the mindset of I'm going to use long workouts as a weight loss tool. You will, because you can't digest as many calories as you burn. So, start by adding 25-50 calories/hour until you get to where it's too much. Then back off by 50 calories/hour. This is near the max you can digest, but not at the max so there's some wiggle room. It will also make sure you start the run topped off nutritionally. You need to start the run in the best shape you can nutritionally in an IM. It's harder to digest calories on the run, so if you're ahead of the game here, you'll be okay longer. If you've been skimping on the bike, then you're gonna hurt on the run sooner.

SSB said...

Oh, and be prepared to change what you take as the race goes on. Macca's book talks about it, but as the race goes on, easier to digest sugars help keep you moving. Have a nutrition plan, and have a plan for what you will do when it starts to go bad. Chances are it will.

Kelly said...

One thing to remember is that you really have to train your gut to be able to take in as many calories as you need. You might try training your nutrition on every ride, even shorter ones, so your body gets used to taking in more calories than you are used to right now.

Molly said...

I'm 5'0" and around 106 and I know from my Powertap that I burn around 300 cals/hr on the bike so that's about what I aim to take in. I agree about sports drink + liquid shot maybe being too much hitting the gut without enough dilution. I've been doing something like a 20oz bottle of very diluted sports drink (~140 cals) + a 20oz bottle of water + 1 liquid shot + a Powerbar + Stinger gummies - in other words really mixing it up so that my taste buds get variety and my stomach doesn't get hit with too much of one thing at once - I refill the water as needed to chase calories down and I dial back on the solids and switch to sports drink late in the ride to set my stomach up better for the run. Hope that makes sense? Anyway great job on the brick and I think you're on the right track in figuring all this out!

Colleen said...

First, great job with the workouts!!! :)

As for nutrition - it's such a personal thing. I too aim for 300 calories an hour, but a mix of solids and liquids. If I do all liquids, I feel like I'm not satisfied. So I eat uncrustables, fig newton, luna bars, etc. in addition to drinking my EFS. I eat my last solid snack with about an hour left on the bike and the switch to all liquids so I know I'm alright on the run. Good luck... nutrition is a hard thing to nail down!

misszippy said...

Great training and so nice that you got to ride with your hubs. I miss those days with mine.

On nutrition--it's so individual! But figure it out to perfection ahead of time if you can!

Julie said...

Aimee!!!! Girl you are a rock star! Awesome workout! I hope your summer is going well and Colorado is treating you fantastic! I have missed reading your blog...need to go back and catch up! Hugs!

Julie said...

Yea for the great workout!!!

Now I'm a little nervous..everyone is saying you should be taking in more calories and I've only been doing around 200...I'm way bigger then you! Unfortunately I'm pretty much out of time to figure it out! :) We what happens I guess! I absolutely agree about having some different stuff to eat. I like something solid too.

Regina said...

You've already gotten some great feedback on nutrition. Of course I'm partial to what michelle days since she is my coach and I've never had any issues with not getting enough calories in on long stretches.

I so miss swimming, so jealous.

Alisa said...

I'm glad you asked about nutrition and that you got so many great responses!

I know I'm not good at just drinking my calories I too need to "chew on something." I enjoy Cliff Mojo bars and I've tried everything drinking-wise and found that I either go with gatorade or heed (neither while running only on the bike).

I think my nutrition on my last long successful ride was between 150-200 calories per hour and I weigh significantly more than you...so maybe I'm not the best advice giver =)

Emz said...

These workouts are amazing. 4 hour ride.
1.5M swim. love following your training Aimee!!

So cool that you got to do the bike ride with your husband!

DRog said...

ur thinking is correct - trial and error and figure out what works for you. plenty of time to dial it in - especially with the Half in Sept
ur on it!


Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i am really awful with nutrition and probably need someone to force feed me. I really haven't ever used gu for any marathon training...the thought of eating while i run makes me a little sick. but if I could figure it out I'm sure it would help!

Kathleen said...

I so wish I had my days free to ride and train. Great job!

You received some great advice. As you know, nutrition is a big stuggle with me as well. I tried a mostly liquid nutrition for the first part of my century ride and just couldn't stick with it. I was so hungery. I probably didn't drink enough calories but I just needed to eat something solid. Ended up eating a cliff bar at an aid station which helped. I eat more on the bike since my stomach can handle it.

Kirk (MyBestTri) said...

I love that bike. Thats my next upgrade. Yours is well equipped.

Jill said...

I'm not an expert on the bike thing but the calories seem pretty low. Jason's words seem to be more in line with what I've read. I like chewing things on my bike, too. You'll get it figured out!! And the sooner the better, as you say! :)

We still need to go for a ride or a run - summer is almost over! Bleh!

Caratunk Girl said...

Aimee! Get the nutrition nailed. I am 5'2" and took 250 cals/hr. You have to be close to that. I would guess your issues were not enough calories. Email me I can tell you exactly what I did that worked for me if you want (manfarr1974(AT)yahoo(DOT)com) BUT the thing is, you need more than you think, and it is KEY to haveing a good day out there. SO you are 100% correct in figuring it out now! Also EFS is awesome, but for me, I needed water too - I got sick of the drink. I actually went to salt pills and water instead.

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Personally, I think this is such an individual thing, it depends on not only your height and weight, but also on how fast you race (the faster, the more calories), the conditions (they affect your ability to digest things) and how you feel that day. I think my stomach problems at my HIM were bc I took too much on the bike (800 calories in 3 hours). Last year for my HIM I took only 600 and raced with no stomach issues in similar conditions, plus ran a 1:42 HM after the bike.

MrsQ318 said...

I just found your blog and I am now a follower. :)

My hubby and I may be moving out to the Denver area next summer and he is seriously considering getting into triathlons, so I may be bombarding you with questions when that happens! lol