Friday, August 05, 2011
Now don't get me wrong, when I'm racing I know that my body starts shutting down digestion in ever more serious ways. It starts gently but by the time you've been out there five hours or more, there's very little that you can put in your stomach that will actually make it to your bloodstream. Simple sugars are one of those few things. Even the coke that I wouldn't normally ever touch will start to be a necessary staple of my existance at Mile 14 of the Ironman marathon. So I'm not saying that there's not a place for gels in the triathlete's arsenal. I'm just wondering how necessary they are in the overall scheme of a year's training plan.
Tomorrow morning's lake swim will probably be about four miles. I'm going to follow that up with a 1 - 2 hour bike ride. Do you think I might get hungry? Yeah, I'm guessing so. I'm trying to take a "train low, race high" approach to fueling my body. Instead of relying on those sugary gels and bars to get me through my Ironman training like I did last time (I shudder to think of how much money I actually spent on that crap!), I'm going to try and use a more whole foods approach for the bulk of my calories, with some gels/bars thrown in for training purposes (never do in a race what you don't do in training is an important truth in triathlon). I know I'm an Experiment of One when it comes to this kind of thing, so I'll let you know how it fares in human guinea pig land.
Banana-Coconut Custard, which I've recently taken to adding Chia seeds to for a bigger protein boost. I've also made up some Chia gel, which I've created by combining several teaspoons of Chia seeds with some coconut water. I make these up in little tupperwares to take with me. I need to experiment with finding a more gel-pouch-like way to carry them on my bike though. Stay tuned as I experiment with that in weeks to come. I happen to like the Nutiva Organic Chia seeds, and I buy them from Amazon.com as I've found it's cheaper than the bulk food section of my grocery store when it comes to chia. Chia seeds have this absolutely cool property where when you combine them with a liquid, they turn into a jelly-like substance. This makes them easy to slurp down, but nicely high in protein. Sometimes I mix a few teaspoons of juice in, like cherry juice or a berry mix for a different flavor.
For post-race, I'll bring along my favorite "Macadamias Mix Gingerly" nut mix from Trader Joes, which has macadamias, almonds, cranberries, and candied ginger. Yum!