Quick Word: Nutrition for Endurance Sports

In reading this publication I was again reminded that we must keep it simple and that you all need to have this individual nutrition and hydration plan worked out – with with me or without – but know what you are doing. And it underlines some KEY CONCEPTS and things you have all heard me say before:

1) Your fitness & race strategy can carry you through the race but your hydration & nutrition are your BIGGEST limiters on race day to achieve YOUR goals.

2) No reason to Carbo Load any more – that ended in the 1990s


3) GI issues arise from too caloric/carb drink (CARBO PRO!! or Super Bottles!!) and no need for PROTEIN DURING!! Keep it simple and I can discuss with you PLENTY…

Coach’s Weekly Word – 5.21.12

Good afternoon all – its been a few weeks since my last word, sorry for this gap – a lot has been going on, including IM St. G, a Coast Ride, the Wildflower Training Camp and now IM Texas this past weekend. But here we go:

This weeks topics:

1) Rest Days
2) Nutrition / 18hr food rule
3) Upcoming Camps
4) AIMP discount code and kits
5) Eating in Transitions
6) Swimming with a wetsuit clinic.

Many of you struggle with rest days. All of you know the benefits, this is not about that. It’s about how to manage them. Rest days often leave you grumpy and irritated. Recognize the factors playing into this: fatigue often shows in our mood, and being grumpy or short tempered is the perfect example for this. It’s totally normal, but the key is to accept it. It is NOT because you are not working out, it is because how much you have been working out. Rest days usually come on the back end of some good work, so do not mistake this with thinking you didn’t get a chance to blow off steam that day or have a mental escape. This might be the case after a week off, but not one day! Also, rest days need to be managed well. Take the 1-3 hrs that you usually work out and consider getting the errands done you have to set aside on other days. One of my clients has a grocery, dry cleaning, errands list built up that she can knock out on those rest days. Its a routine for her that she now looks forward to and likes to relieve the pressure on the family by slotting that day to get this done: they know that it will get done that day and she is getting crazy efficient on what she needs to get done that day.
For some of you I have recommended a personal day – after work or during your day – spend that training time on YOU time: massage, sauna, steam room, hot tub, stretching, yoga, manicure etc. It feels really good to return the favor to your body that is busy delivering for you on the other days of the week. Deposits & withdrawals! Same with family and loved ones! Recovery days and weeks are great to plan something with the family/kids/wife/significant others – they go through a lot for this sport. Just a life observation….

One of our biggest challenges in triathlon remains nutrition. This remains the holy grail in the sport and a constantly evolving science & approach. While I do not pretend to have the answers to most of this, I do know that there is a LOT of confusion out there. One thing you constantly hear me saying and commenting on is that we should drink our hydration, and eat our calories. I saw a lot of this again this past weekend at a hot IM Texas. Attached you find Allen Lim’s You Tube example to prove this point. He sorta knows what he is talking about – way more than me. Also keep in mind that ONLY triathlon has created this industry of drinking calories. No other sport does this – for sure no other ultra sport – combines calories into super bottles and different concoctions. Whether Pro Cyclist that ride longer stages than we do, to ultra runners, to marathon runners, to ultra swimmers, to anything!! If you have stomach issues during a race, it is often something else going on and adding this stress to the equation does not help. Our stomachs like it simple – help it.

Camps: I have 2 camps that are on the immediate schedule. Depending on our group and its needs, there might be another one later in the summer in prep for Kona. For now we have IM LOUISVILLE & NYC camp in Louisville July 12-15 and our 11th annual summer Tahoe Training week (July 28-August 5). LOU and NYC camp is in Louisville in order to prep both racers for the intense heat and conditions of an August race on the East Coast. This will be in mini camp format and means we train Fri/Sat/Sun on site. If you are given the chance to race in cooler temps on IM day, you will be pleasantly surprised how much easier than mini camp your race was! Tahoe training week is our usual format with the added twist this year: the SAG Monkey will join us. I will again rent a house for base camp that any of you can join in too. We will massage and BBQ/stage out of their every day – but you can do your own housing of course and just join every day. As usual – join for a few days, all days – whatever fits your schedule. We will just divide up whatever you did and joined and took part in equally for the time you were there, by the people that were there. If you plan on LOUISVILLE, please let me know ASAP as we are prepping again with Matt Rose and his Dynamo group for a fun weekend.

AIMP discounts: I am often getting questions on what we as AIMPers get discounts on. Well, we got a GREAT discount code from TYR, for 40% off everything and multiple use! So order away at with the code I’ll send you if you are looking to order. We also get GU Sport discounts, FRS discounts and FuelBelt. Again – please email me if you are looking to order some product. And yes – after 12 years of doing this coaching thing we have kits coming. So far I only plan jerseys and vests, possibly arm warmers (need to test them) – but as an FYI to y’all. I am think ing we will have them by mid summer. After 12 years I figure there is no urgency. BUT I also felt you all want to do your own shorts/bibs etc, so I was not planning on designing/ordering them. This can obviously change based on your feedback (or if you like the kits!)

Quick hits – some short notes and comments on observations from emails this past week(s)

Eating in transitions: please only do this when MOVING. for any of you to use that hectic time to get down some calories is crazy. Eat while rolling on the bike or while jogging the first mile or so of the run. Stopping at any point during a race is not ideal, and to do it when alternatively you could be moving closer to the finish line is not the best use of your hard work leading up to the race.

18 hour food rule: go bland – very bland – on your food 18 hours prior to you event. While this is critical for IM, it is helpful at a Half IM and less too. At higher intensities the stomach burns differently anyways, so keep this in mind. Going bland allows your stomach to go neutral and for you to clear out anything that can add to the stress of race day. 18hrs seems to be a really good cutoff for all to be digested. And when I say bland – I mean REALLY bland.

SAG Monkey Bike transport – some of you had the opportunity to experience his service for IM SG. Not only delivered to your hotel/house/stay at the race site, but also personal pickup, tuning, and a clean & shiny bike when you got home! No more nasty bike returns or something not working! Next events are IM CDA and IM AZ. We might throw some events in there based on demand. Remember to please share this with any of your Bay Area friends as Nick continues to grow that business!

Swimming in a wetsuit – I am planning a clinic on this in the next few weeks for those of you local. For those of you not local, I will have the short clinic recorded and posted on the aimpcoaching site. I have read too many race reports and gotten too many question about this. There are some easy pointers to really help. Any other ideas?

Thanks and have a great week!