Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week 4 Training (March 17-23) - aka: Nutrition - ICan, UCan, WeAllCan

Week 4 of 36. Thirty-three weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (March 17-23):

Total hours scheduled: 7:00

Total hours logged: 7:00

Total running miles this week/total: 16.43 / 53.5

Total biking miles this week/total: 38.08 / 160.23

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 /20,000

Weight: X-1. Actually lost one pound, after four weeks of working out an hour a day. Sigh. I'm figuring out that as always, weight loss is more about what I eat than what I do. I don't necessary eat a lot, but what I do eat is almost all carbs. I know the changes I need to make. But knowing the changes and making the changes are two different things.

I'm trying to change my diet a little at a time. This week, it was substituting celery and peanut butter for one snack a day. Next week, I'm going to tackle my lunches, see what changes I can make there.

Level of IM enthusiasm: 8/10. Feeling good. Four weeks down, eternity to go.

Nutrition elements: I tried the EFS Liquid Shots I mentioned last week. It's 400 calories per container which is way too much for the shorter workouts I'm doing, then once it's open it's supposed to be used within 24 hours.  But I was doing a 1:45 brick, which would be through lunch, and I hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast so decided to use it for fueling/meal.

This stuff tastes pretty bad, imo. (I should probably preface this by saying that texture is a big thing for me in race nutrition. I don't like gels because they basically remind of really gross pudding.) The EFS Liquid Shot is not quite as thick as gels, so that was a plus. They weren't pleasing to eat (drink? -- I dunno, it's kind of that in-between consistency), but on the flip side, I never lagged for energy and I didn't have any of the gaseous feelings that sometimes comes from eating shot bloks. Somebody mentioned adding half a Shot bottle into a bottle of water. Might try.  Cost is also a factor: $5 each.

I'm also experimenting with Generation UCan. Here's their website, or really, an even better blog about the product is here. I used it once this week, and wasn't impressed. It claims to give you training energy for 2-3 hours without needing gels/fuels (due to some combination of dark magic and corn SuperStarch), but after 45 minutes into a long workout, my energy felt pretty low. I'll keep trying it, make sure I'm using it right before I give a final judgement. It's supposed to be used instead of carbs for pre-workout fueling, so I would like for it to work. Fingers crossed.

Other: Went on a long ride this week off the trainer and didn't fall, let's call that a win.

This week I've just been concentrating on not breaking the dam. So far, for 4 weeks, I have completed all workouts on my schedule. Sure, I've had to shuffle some around, and even cut a few short (whatcha gonna do when you're racing the school bus home for your elementary aged kids?).

But I haven't missed any workouts just because I didn't want to do them or because I've had deadlines or because I was tired. I KNOW I will end up missing workouts in the course of this madness I call IM training -- sickness, kids, vacation:  life happens, and that's fine. But I feel it's important that I don't miss a workout for no particular reason: that's a slippery slope that leads to more missed workouts.

I'm trusting that if I'm disciplined now, and for the next seven months, it will pay off on November 1.

Race/Training Tip (from others who know): The mental aspect of the race:  Start with a series of objectives in mind and if one is not achievable drop down to the next. But don't worry as the ultimate objective is to finish, and you have heaps of time. Even if you throw up during the marathon as I did, and think you have to drop out, don't. Just sit down for half an hour, eat real food and drink electrolyte and coke until you feel better. (

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