Tag Archives: hydration

Adapting and Readjusting Your Race Day Goals

An Ironman is such an unpredictable event. You never know what kind of things are going to come your way on race day. You try to mitigate as many possible issues as you can think of, but you can’t control everything. One thing you certainly cannot control is the weather.dartboard, target, bullseye, darts

Last year I competed in Ironman Lake Placid with the intention of going sub-12 and was faced with a brutal thunderstorm. The race officials eventually forced many people out of the water on their second loop of the swim and subsequently only counted half the swim and no T1 transition times. Since I felt I had lost some time on my first loop of the bike, I went a little too hard on the second loop of the bike to try to gain lost time and ended up hurting myself on the run. While officially my time was under 12 hours(11:52), I know that the real time was still a 12:40.

Heading into this 2015 season I signed up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene with the goal of a sub-12 time again. I have trained all season with this intention in mind too. I chose Coeur d’Alene because of its northern location and typically cooler climate which I prefer. Sometimes when you become so focused on a goal for so long, it becomes hard to give that up and change. Change is never easy.

Today we are faced with temperatures reaching solidly into the triple-digits in Coeur d’Alene, ID on race day. This is unheard of for this part of the country.  But, just like when you have a tire go flat or losing your bottle of nutrition, you must adapt. Therefore, my sub-12 hour goal has now changed to more like a sub-17 hour goal, or just plain survival. We can whine and complain about it all we want, but I think a true “Ironman” accepts the challenge in front of him/her and figures out how best to deal with it. The obstacle in front of us has changed, we must figure out how to deal with it. Speed becomes a relative term at this point. It may end up being our most demanding event ever and the one we will never forget for sure.

CdA 10-day Weather Channel Forecast

CdA 10-day Weather Channel Forecast

Dealing with the Heat

Nothing like an post-race ice bath! Ahhh!

Nothing like an post-race ice bath! Ahhh!

I am started thinking about some some tips and things to help deal with the heat, so here they are in no particular order…

  • Hydrate early & Often – start taking in electrolytes the day before the race as well as race morning. Severly limit or avoid alcohol too. 🙁 I will save that for after the race I guess.
  • No wetsuit if over 76.1 def F – Although it may be cooler in the morning, if the water temp is over 76.1 you risk dehydration earlier by wearing your wetsuit. Not to mention that you are inelidgable for any AG awards( I don’t really have to worry about this).  This was a lesson I learned from my coach who wore his at LP a few years ago and was dehydrated when he got on the run. No sense starting out with a large hydration defic
  • Extra salt pills or Base Salt – I usually never do anything new on race day, but I just heard about Base Salt from Base Perfomance from zentri-598-christine-lynch-and-time-trial-tips.html” target=”_blank”>Christine Lynch when she was recently on the ZenTriathlon podcast. I did previously use salt caps, but this is absorded quicker through the mouth which I think is more effective. Jury is out on this one, so we’ll see how it works.
  • Cooling Sleeves – I recently picked up a free pair of cooling sleeves from the Todd Wiley Lake Placid Triathlon camp I attended last month. I didn’t realize how essential these might become to reflecting the sun off my arms and also provide some material to keep moisture close to the skin. I will pick up water at each aid station no matter what and pour it over them and the rest of me.
  • Nathan Handheld Bottle for Run
    Nathan Handheld water bottle

    Nathan Handheld water bottle

    This is another ZenTriathlon tip(I am going to owe Brett some donations after this race). I will keep this bottle filled with ice water at each aid station and slowly drip it over me during the run. The coolness in my hand should also help keep my blood cooled too.

  • Jump in the Lake?! – The run course at IM CdA is on a path that follows the shoreline of the lake. Perhaps we will be able to just jump in the water every so often and cool off. Not sure if that would break any rules, but it might be an option.
  • Eat Amrita Bars! – Sorry I could not resist this one! But seriously though…it becomes very difficult to want to eat when it is really hot, but not doing so is a sure way to a serious bonk. Plus, Amrita Bars are even more yummy when they are soft and gouey!

Also, here is a great little Ironman Coeur d’Alene “Cheat Sheet” from Coach Jen Rulon

Be Safe out there! Any other tips are greatly appreciated too. Use them in the comments.

IMLP 2014-Week 19 Training Update-Recovery Week Blues

My love-hate relationship with recovery weeks continues. I always look so forward to them, but then feel like crap most of the week. It is nice to have some extra time to do things I have been putting off though. I finished the week with almost 12 hours of training. While that probably still seems like a lot to most people, it is 5-6 hours less than my prior weeks. Most of the rest time occurred during the beginning of the week and I kept the long workouts long on the weekend. I did cut my long bike on Saturday back to 4:30hrs, but still got in a decent 72 miles.

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My bike ride on Tuesday was a bit adventurous as I had to get creative to avoid the disastrous oil & chip jobs that has covered most of Longswamp Township. What a mess! It probably would not be too bad if they would sweep up the extra stones, but no. I was able to limit it to just crossing the plagued roads. It was nice to see some different territory for a change too.

The dreaded "chips" of Longswamp Township

The dreaded “chips” of Longswamp Township

Oil & Chip-Longswamp Township

Oil & Chip-Longswamp Township

The only really bad workout was my run on Thursday. It was just a standard 40 minute steady state run, but I felt like I was dying. I could not wait until the Garmin hit that 40min mark.

I extended my long swim on Friday to 1:10 covering 3500+ yds. I just never seem to get faster with this long swim. I think it is the drudgery of just back-and-forth in the pool for that long. I lose my enthusiasm quickly. Open water swims are so much nicer.

My Saturday ride route was a bit of just winging it. I started to map out a route Friday, but lost interest after Garmin Connect timed out after I hit the save button on creating a new course. It does this a lot and it really sucks. You spend all this time mapping out a course and then the site session times out. Note to self, do NOT use Garmin Connect to map out your routes!

Kiegels Church

Kiegels Church

Berks County Pasture

Berks County Pasture

Sacony Creek

Sacony Creek

 

I ventured out Saturday with the only real intention  of circling around Lake Ontelaunee near Reading, PA. It was a really nice ride, although it was kind of slow from checking Google Maps on my phone all the time. The best parts were Sittler Valley Road and Sacony Road. Sacony Rd was very flat, shaded and wound along a nice stream. The road is actually marked as closed since they are putting in a new bridge, but the section that is closed is only about 50 yards of dirt that you can walk across. There was no traffic at all due to the Road Closed signs too.

Wedding Carriage

Wedding Carriage

Wedding Carriage

Wedding Carriage

One other highlight was when I passed a couple elegantly decorated horse and carriages carrying a wedding party in between Topton and Kutztown. I had to act very quickly to get my iPhone out and snag a couple pictures of it .

Lehigh Parkway Run-Little Lehigh Creek

Lehigh Parkway Run-Little Lehigh Creek

Last Sunday I kind of screwed up with my nutrition and hydration on my long run. I expected to circle back home partially to refuel, but instead went out to long on the initial loop with only two FuelBelt bottles of Skratch Labs. I never made the second loop and crashed around 15 miles. So, this week I loaded up with 6 FB bottles of Skratch Labs, two large bottles for before and after, and 4 Amrita Bars and headed to the Lehigh Parkway. The result was much better. I got in just a hair shy of 18 miles in 2:54. Not super fast, but a consistent pace that I would be happy with at Ironman. I also felt like I could probably do the remaining miles without too much issue. That hip issue that occurred a couple weeks ago has not surfaced again which I am very happy about.  I also ran during the hottest part of the day to simulate when I will be running in Lake Placid.

The recovery week actually ended much better than it started, so I guess that is par for the course. I only now have two more hard weeks of training before taper time(ugh more recovery!). That went fast! Next week I head up to Lake Placid for my annual mini-training camp to kick the tires a bit. Rumor has it they are doing some stand-up paving from the ski jumps down to Cascade which was the WORST part of the bike course. This should help increase the bike times a bit. Stay tuned to my twitter feed for updates on that.

2012 Ironman Muskoka 70.3 Race Report-T1 & Bike

T1

Toronto HarborfrontI bypassed the wetsuit strippers on the exit of the swim and started the long haul up the hill to the Deerhurst Lodge parking lot were the transition was. I can get out of my wetsuit pretty quickly and I thought the strippers would take longer than if I did it myself. I may take advantage of it at Lake Placid next year though. The path to transition followed the golf cart path up steady hill and ended up being about 0.35 miles in length. This was probably the longest transition distance I have ever had. I thought my transition was fairly decent for the things I had control over. I did put on socks since it was a bit cool out this morning. This will take up a good 30 seconds more, especially with wet feet.

 

T1 result: OK
T1 Time
: 5:01

The Bike

Technical Difficulties--Ironman Muskoka 70.3The start of the bike was a bit rough. After getting out into the mounting zone, I hopped on my bike and started pedaling. I immediately felt a rubbing of my back tire. I had recently put a new rear tire on and it was a bit taller than the previous one. I thought I had adjusted this correctly, but I think it may have came loose again. Funny how these things always happen in a race. My wife had made her way up to the road and came over to see what was going on. I heard my wife say “uh oh!” I managed to loosen the quick release and adjust the wheel to alleviate the rubbing and was on my way. I had taken my bike gloves from transition, but ended up giving them to my wife after I got the wheel fixed. I was finally on my way.

 

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The course was hilly to say the least. It wasn’t like huge mountain climbs, but it was just constantly up-and-down. There was a section on one of the major roads that was somewhat flat for a little bit, but even that had some undulations. Tried to settle into some grooves and made sure I was spinning at over 85 rpms on the hills. There was a couple hills that I had no choice but to go under, but for the most part I kept to that.

Toronto HarborfrontThe ride went through a couple small little towns that were a really nice change of scenery. There were usually groups of supporters cheering away. The scenery overall was gorgeous. Lots of lakes and woods. The trees were starting to change color too, which added even more to the picturesque surroundings. One stretch of road ran along a beach of a larger lake and there was fire boat docked shooting a large stream of water out over the beach which was really cool. I picked up a bottle of water and a Honey Stinger waffle at the first aid station. I usually don’t take food at race aid stations, but the Honey Stinger Waffle is my regular feed on the bike. This along with my homemade energy chunks kept me well fed for the race. I also kept well hydrated with 2 bottles of Skratch Labs Hydration mix and 1.5 bottles of water. Felt like this was the perfect amount. I had also taken 3 Salt Sticks and a bottle of Skratch Labs mix prior to the race too.

Toronto HarborfrontThe last part of the race was quite a bit hillier than the first half. My legs were really feeling it on the last couple of climbs. In addition to this was 3 sections of recently oil-and-chipped road…YUK! This shit should be outlawed! They did a pretty good job of sweeping it, but it just sucks the life out of me. Fortunately the sections were fairly short. In addition to the hilly course, they also extended it to 58.5 miles(94km)! What the hell??? Could we make this tougher please??!! Finally I rolled back into Deerhurst to get ready for the 13.1 mile run. I was hoping my legs still had some life left in them. While this was not my fastest bike ride, I think I may have executed it as I had hoped to and that was to remain steady and save something for the run. I also lost a minute or two adjusting my wheel at the start.

Bike Result: OK-(not superfast, but steady)
Bike Time: 3:18:59 ( 17.6 mph)

LSD….Hallucinogenic or Long, Slow Distance?

One of the side effects of being an endurance athlete is that you have many long hours to just think about stuff. So many ideas float through my head on my swims, rides and runs that seem so brilliant at the time. When I get done I either forget them or they just don’t seem that great. If I only had something to transcribe them while I am out there? SIRI? Today, I had decided to sleep in a bit and then I had to head over to the Emmaus Farmers Market to get our veggies for the week since my wife was out of town for the weekend. Also a round of golf with my old drinkin’ buddies the night before lead to a heady morning. My sentence would be my long LSD run in the middle of a hot day.

I started out and the temps didn’t seem that bad. The clouds were hanging around to shade things a bit. As time went by the sun seemed to strengthen in intensity and I could feel the heat. The course I chose to run was very straight, long and not shaded at all. As I gazed down the long expanses of macadam, I could see the blurriness of the heat rising from the black surface. Road signs began to look like cyclists or other runners and cars looked like Sherman tanks coming at me. I started to take inventory to make sure that the heat was not getting to me. I felt pretty good, but sometimes you question whether that is reality or the heat is just making me euphoric. Fortunately, I wore my Fuel Belt and I slowed down and took in some fluids. I confirmed that I was feeling as good as I thought I did and then continued on.

I could sense the people driving by me in their A/C-cooled vehicles were saying look at that idiot running in weather like this. No different than what they say when I am running or riding in a torrential downpour either I guess. It never seems as bad when you are out in it than when you are sitting in a car experiencing it from afar. It is one of those things that only the endurance athlete can relate to. My run was only 1:15 today, but it is important to keep yourself in check when the conditions are less than optimal. Make sure that you bring adequate hydration or plan your route to stop somewhere that has water. Take inventory of how you feel and don’t push yourself too hard. You don’t want to have any incident when you are out far from getting help or assistance.  The extra hour of sleep was not really worth dealing with that heat anyway.