We made it, Race Week is here! Some how it’s only Week 50 according to my weekly blog, but I can assure you Ironman amount Tremblant is Sunday. The nerves are building, the confidence is growing, the front lawn has finally gotten mowed, and the legs and arms will soon be shaved. This week can be overwhelming as we figure out packing, travel, and equipment. So I’ll do my best to simplify it all and provide a few things each day to focus on, that way come Sunday you (and I) have dotted all the “Is” and crossed all the “Ts” without burying ourselves in stress and information overload.
Triathlon performance is, a lot of times, influenced by how much you weigh. That’s the reality. You don’t see very many 185+ pound athletes winning Ironman races. So it’s natural for us to fall into the trap of wanting to lose some weight before race day. But your ideal race weight isn’t synonymous with being as light as possible.
Compared to a typical person of similar sex, age, height, and weight my metabolic rate is 19% faster. That simply means I burn more calories than normal. Obviously the opposite is true too. Slow metabolisms burn fewer calories. Most people need to eat below their total metabolic rate to lose weight. There’s that calories in versus calories out research again!
To determine daily caloric expenditure, I used the hour-by-hour BMR calculations. Here are the calculations used:
162 lbs, converted to kilograms, 162 divided by 2.2, 73.5 kg. When multiplied by the lean factor of 1 for 10% body fat, and then multiplied by 24 for total BMR, we arrived at 1,766 calories at rest per day. Break that down by 24 hours, dividing 1,766 by 24 for each hour in the day, I expend 73.5 calories per hour at rest.
Different types of fat will affect energy and performance depending on nutrient timing and quality of the fat. Fats are the most calorically dense macronutrient and if over consumed can negatively affect body composition.
Dietary fats should generally come in the lower end of your macronutrient breakdown, especially if you’re properly focusing on carbohydrates and protein. This will leave an athlete with fats making up roughly 20% of their daily caloric intake, generally.
I was reminded of this fact on Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 4:00 AM (yes, on a Saturday) and it was 17F degrees outside. I had a 90 minute bike ride with an hour at or near threshold followed by a 20 minute brick run. My pain cave is the uninsulated garage and I forget to get the propane heater refilled. Alas, I was left to battle the workout plus the frozen temperatures. Good mental training, right?
Food can mean different things to different people. For a marathon runner it means fuel, recovery, and a little bit of freedom. SENS Fitness Endurance Team member Todd Stevens is training for the New Jersey Marathon in April. It’ll be his first marathon. He’s given himself the goal of finishing in under four hours. Todd is set to begin his ninth week of training for the 26.2 mile run. We’re looking at a few days of nutrition to see if there are areas to improve.
On Saturday the bug got me. Bad. My alarm was set for 4:30 a.m. and I planned on being on the trainer by 5:00 a.m. for a 90 minute ride, which included five 10 minute intervals just below threshold followed by a short, but snappy 10 minute brick run. So when I awoke at 3:15 a.m. with unspeakable pain in my stomach and a splitting headache I knew that as I raced to the bathroom that would be the only running I’d be doing that day.
You wake up to the morning sun shining through the bedroom window and the sweet sound of birds chirping just beyond the glass. It’s the first nice day of the year (for us Upstaters this happens in late April most likely) and you’re eager to throw down some watts on the open road! Just before you clip in you do a check to make sure you have all the essentials to be seen by driver, to repair a flat, to pay for some unforeseen item a.k.a f*ck you money, and enough nutrition to get you back home safely. So what does all of that look like?
I hate New Year resolutions. Aside from the fact it’s a failed strategy, I never understood why we need the calendar to change before we start to change. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made resolutions (to “lose weight” for example) in the past. I’ve stuck to them for a while, but then my motivation faded and I was back to burying my ass in the couch with a 6-pack and a bag of Cheetos.
Drinking is a non-negotiable for many people, and there’s really no reason to eliminate it completely. Almost all of us enjoy drinking to some degree. It’s fun, it’s livens us up, allows to meet new people, share stories, and the list goes on. So how do we build it into our nutrition routine without allowing it to derail our progress?