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February 8, 2021

How to Fuel Your Body for an Ironman

Crossing the IRONMAN finish line requires dutiful physical preparation. But even the most physically-prepared athletes may succumb to the day’s elements without a proper race-day nutrition plan. Learn from two of TriDot’s elite athletes and coaches, Jeff Raines and Elizabeth James, as they discuss developing and implementing a race-day nutrition strategy.

Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries.  Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests.  Join the conversation and let’s improve together. Andrew Harley:  Welcome to The TriDot Podcast!  I am extremely excited for today's show.  Today we are talking about long course nutrition.  A lot of folks should be starting to hit those race prep phases for their 70.3’s and 140.6’s this season, and we need to know how to fuel ourselves for the day.  I have two TriDot Coaches with me who have multiple Ironman finishes on their resume. First up is Coach Jeff Raines! Jeff is a USAT Level II and Ironman U Certified Coach who has a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology and was a D1 collegiate runner.  He has over 30 Ironman Event finishes to his credit and has coached hundreds of athletes to the Ironman Finish Line.  Jeff, thanks for coming back on the podcast today! Jeff Raines:  Oh, thanks for having me.  I love talking any and all things triathlon.  Let’s do it! Andrew:  Let’s do it indeed.  Next up is Pro triathlete and coach, Elizabeth James.  Elizabeth is USAT Level II and Ironman U Certified Coach who quickly rose through the triathlon ranks using TriDot.  From a beginner, to top age grouper, to a professional triathlete. She’s a Kona and Boston Marathon qualifier who has coached triathletes with TriDot since 2014.  Elizabeth, thanks for joining. Elizabeth James:  Happy to be here!  I mean, nutrition is such an important topic for triathlon racing so I really can’t wait to dive into today’s discussion. Andrew:  Well, I’m Andre the average triathlete, voice of the people, and captain of the middle of the pack.  As always we'll roll through our warm up question, settle in for our long course nutrition conversation, and then wind things down with our cool down.  Lots of good stuff, let's get to it! Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving. Andrew:  At the time this episode first releases to the triathlon masses, we will just have passed through Super Bowl Sunday here in the United States.  And whether you are an American Football fan or not, I think we all are familiar with the concept of the pregame locker room pep talk before a team heads out onto the field, pitch, rink, or course for a big game.  Sometimes the team has a coach or team captain lead the pre-game pep talk, but other times they will have a guest speaker come in to give them a brief inspirational speech.  Elizabeth, Jeff, if you were invited to speak to a sports team before a big game, which team would you most want the opportunity to rev up for their competition? Elizabeth, we’ll start with you. Elizabeth:  Alright.  Well, first of all this question just kind of makes me smile because while I’m sure it probably wasn’t near as exciting as an NFL pregame pep talk, I did have the opportunity to give a few of these kind of pump up proclamations myself in high school and college for our soccer team.  So, some good memories there; a little trip down memory lane.  But I’m thinking that right now I would just love the opportunity to speak to the Nebraska football team before the team. University of Nebraska, college football team.  I have always been a huge Huskers fan.  I mean, from watching the games when I was super little with my dad to attending the university there and being in the student section.  I mean, man!  It would just be amazing to be there, give an inspirational speech before the game, and then hopefully they’d let me participate in the tunnel walk with them out onto the field too. Andrew:  Naturally, of course they would. They would have to.  You’d be the Husker getting them ready for the game. So that’s a great pick Elizabeth, a great fit, and potentially that our listeners might be surprised to hear you talk about.  They hear us talk about your soccer background and they know your marathon, triathlon experience, but we haven’t dove into your college football fandom yet. Elizabeth:  That’s true.  Yes. Huge college football fan! Andrew:  Yeah, nice different look at Elizabeth James there.  Jeff Raines, what’s this answer for you? Jeff:  What’s really cool as this question relates to triathlon is there’s a gentleman in the south Texas region, pretty old gentleman, and he’s pretty well known to all the race directors in south Texas.  All the half marathons, marathons, 5Ks, and triathlons especially he is asked to come and give this speech and he gives this super awesome speech. He dresses up.  He holds an American Flag, and he gives-- he has it memorized, Roosevelt’s speech being the man in the arena.  That speech, and he just gives it with so much passion at the beginning of the triathlon that you just want to get in the water and beat everyone around you.  But I’d love to give a speech like that-- something big before a triathlon or an Ironman right before the cannon goes off for sure.  That would be really cool. Andrew:  Almost Mike Riley style.  Have the chance to grab a mic and just address all of the triathletes before the cannon booms.  Yeah, so for me, I’m a fan of a lot of different sports teams; some that I care about more than others.  But the one that I think I most passionately get behind, particularly around World Cup Season, is the US men’s national team in international play for soccer.  I love watching the World Cup.  You know, we’re not the best soccer country so you’re almost always rooting for the underdog when you’re rooting for the men’s national team. I’m sure we have a lot of listeners in our European audience that have the chance to root for some better soccer teams than we do, but it would be really cool to kind of be in that pre locker game atmosphere at a World Cup and have the chance to address those guys before they go out and play their football match representing the USA.  So that would be my pick. We’re going to throw this question out on social media.  I’m sure there’s a lot of great answers from the TriDot audience so go find the I Am TriDot Facebook group and find our post asking this question. We want to hear from you.  If you had the chance to step into a locker room and inspire a team before their game, what would it be?  Would it be a pro team?  Would it be your son or daughter’s peewee team?  Would it be some fellow triathletes or endurance sport athletes? Let us know in the comments.  I can’t wait to see what you have to say. Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1… UCAN:  Our main set today is brought to you by our good friends at UCAN. Here at TriDot we are huge believers in using UCAN to fuel our training and racing.  In the crowded field of nutrition companies, what separates UCAN from the pack is the science behind their SuperStarch, the key ingredient in UCAN products.  While most energy powders are filled with sugar or stimulants that cause a spike or crash, UCAN energy powders, powered by SuperStarch, deliver a steady release of complex carbs to give you stable blood sugar and provide long lasting energy. UCAN also offers tasty and refreshing hydration mixes and energy bars for when you are on the go.  When I was new to UCAN, my first purchase was their perfectly named tri starter pack.  It’s the best way to discover what SuperStarch-powered UCAN products are best for you.  So head to their website, GenerationUCAN.com and use the code TriDot to save 15% on your entire order. Andrew:  To the casual observer a triathlon has three athletic disciplines with a few quick transitions thrown in on the clock for funsies.  But triathletes, particularly long course triathletes, know there is a fourth discipline that is CRUCIAL to every single race.  I’m talking about race day nutrition people!  You can arrive at the starting line trained physically and ready to complete the distance, but without the fuel to power your body to the finish line, that finish line might just elude you.  Today I brought in Jeff & Elizabeth to talk me through how to fuel specifically for Ironman race day.  Now, both of you have multiple Ironman finishes on your triathlete resume and so just to kick us off, can you both maybe share a time where either you learned a nutritional lesson on course the hard way in one of your own races. Or maybe you can tell me about a time where everything just clicked and you just nailed the nutrition plan and everything went awesome.  I think we can learn from both.  So Jeff, how about you?  Can you share maybe a war story from your nutritional experiences? Jeff:  Plenty of war stories.  Probably more of those negative experiences where I learned a lesson than it clicking perfectly, right?  That’s the nature of our sport. Andrew:  Yeah. Jeff:  One year at Ironman Texas I was convinced not to stop at special needs. I wanted to save the 90 seconds of my entire 12 hour race day and I… Andrew:  For me 90 seconds could be the difference between like 57th in my age group and 56th in my age group.  It’s probably a little bit more important for you though. Jeff:  Racing a lot in Texas I like to-- it’s hot, it’s humid so I like to stay wet on the bike as much as I can and I had just grabbed a bottle of water at an aid station and soaked myself which is good, right?  That was my goal.  But right after that I skipped special needs and needed to refuel some powder in one of my water bottles and trying to do that without practicing it throughout my race rehearsals.  The wind blew that powder all over my chest. Andrew:  Oh man!  And not into your mouth unfortunately. Jeff:  Exactly.  And for the rest of the race...the rest of the Ironman I was pretty much wearing a pink race kit and that was not my intended goal. Andrew: Awesome pictures afterwards, right? Jeff:  But I’ve seen it all from just cramping, DNF, to feeling good and negative splitting the run which is as we all know the goal, but extremely hard to do.  Nailing your nutrition plan and sticking to it and practicing it and knowing the conditions of your race day-- is it hot, humid?  Is it cool?  And how to modify your nutrition is key. Andrew:  So the race lesson just from your one story right here is A) we say it all the time, but nothing new on race day, right?  I mean you were trying something on race day you had not tried in your race rehearsals or your practices in just that little exchange. I think the second lesson is if you need to stop 90 seconds for that nutrition, stop 90 seconds for that nutrition, right? Jeff:  Exactly and because I did not refuel and I did not stop at special needs it did indeed come back to haunt me about mile 10 of the run. Andrew:  Yeah. Jeff:  So lesson learned. Andrew:  Yep, that sounds right.  Elizabeth, what about you?  What’s a war story from the Ironman race career of Elizabeth James? Elizabeth:  Well, first of all when you were asking this question it reminded me.I wrote an article a few years ago and while doing some research for that article I came across a saying and I’m not going to get this quote correct here, but it had something to do with how many races were lost in porta potties.  Just meaning that GI distress has been a downfall and has ruined races for people.  So I think there’s a lot of people out there that have learned these nutrition lessons the hard way and I’ve definitely been on both ends of that.  In my very first 70.3 that was just a disaster of a day nutritionally for me.  I was doing kind of a local 70.3 and in the first few miles of the bike I just hit this huge pot hole and lost my aero bottle which had all of my liquid calories and my nutrition in it.  So the bottle went flying and spilled all over the road.  So not even a hope to stop and turn around and pick it up. Andrew:  Note even a redeemable situation. Elizabeth:  Exactly!  Yeah. I mean there was no getting those calories back and this being a like a smaller venue, smaller race, the only aid that was on the course was water.  So I went the entire bike course with no calories at all.  Just a little bit of water and that was a very rough situation. Andrew:  No kidding! Elizabeth:  Getting off the bike and starting the run.  Definitely a couple lessons learned there.  One was the sheer importance of those calories on the bike and then also knowing what is going to be available on course.  Had I known that there was only going to be water I probably would have planned even more than just what I had in that aero bottle. Andrew:  Just to be safe. Elizabeth:  Yes. Andrew:  At least just a bar in a pocket or something, right?  Just in case? Elizabeth:  Right!  Something else.  Something else that would have been helpful. Andrew:  Anything is better than nothing, right?  I haven’t heard the quote before of how many races have been lost in a porta potty. Elizabeth:  Yeah!  Now I’m going to have to go back and look what those exact words were. Andrew:  Yeah!  Because you think about like...we talk about being on the clock in transition and we’ll talk about that a little bit today, right?  And we talk about being on the clock obviously during all three of the disciplines of the race, but you don’t consider you’re on the clock when you’re in a porta potty. Elizabeth:  Oh yeah, yep. Andrew:  And so the fewer times you can go the better.  But enough about porta potties, let’s move on to our next question. Yeah, people don’t subscribe to the podcast for porta potty talk. Elizabeth:  No. Andrew:  Alright, so race day nutrition, it really starts in the days and weeks leading up to the race, right?  So what should an athlete be mindful of leading up to an Ironman? Elizabeth:  So, Andrew, right here in your question you touched on a very important thing. Race nutrition goes far beyond race day itself.  I know we could probably spend the entire rest of this podcast episode or probably a whole bunch of others discussing this.  There’s a lot here just beyond race day.  You really need to consider proper fueling going into the training sessions that are preparing you for race day, proper fueling for recovery from those training sessions.  Considerations of race weight and then you’ve got hydration not only for training, but during training and race week.  So definitely an athlete should be mindful in the days and weeks leading up to it and there’s a lot of different things that we can touch on there. Jeff:  Yeah, I mean leading up to an Ironman you see a lot of “I need to carb load. I need to significantly increase my salt intake.” Andrew:  It’s like people hit race week and they feel like oh, it’s race week.  I need to do so much different and they start eating things they don’t normally eat, right? Jeff:  That’s right and that in turn can negatively affect their race more than the positive thought of thinking that if I over fuel then that’s a good thing. Andrew:  Yeah. Jeff:  More is not necessarily better.  What I like to talk about is there are basically ranges of particular types of your nutrition.  There’s a range of salt intake.  There’s a range of grams of carbs per hour that you need on the bike and there’s so many different articles and ranges.  Well, where do I fall in that range? Andrew:  Yeah. Jeff:  The week’s and days leading up to an Ironman it’s more crucial to obviously watch the weather, water temperature, and all that good stuff. But know the traditional, at least traditional projected weather of your race course.  A prime example is Ironman Arizona and Ironman Cozumel.  Both full IRONMANs, both the same weekend, both late season races.  One is coastal, it’s beach, it’s warm, it’s hot, it’s humid.  The other one, Arizona, tends to be cooler temperatures.  They’re both faster, kind of flatter known courses so your finish time could be significantly altered based on the conditions. That’s something that TriDot’s RaceX does very well.  It gives you your race day projection based on the conditions of the actual course. So instead of just training for 112 miles on a fast, flat course, it will factor in whether and how your body will respond to that.  On hotter, warmer races projected outcomes might be greater; more time spent on each discipline.  On cooler temperature courses, your finish time might be a little bit faster.  So you can kind of play around with that. Practice the ranges that we’re going to talk about later.  If it’s cold, do you race on the lower end of let's just say a milligram of salt per hour? It’s going to be cold, you might not sweat as much so maybe you could get away with staying on the lower end of some of these ranges. Or maybe you’re just a bigger person and you sweat more.  Maybe you know your actual sweat rate.  For me, for example, I actually sweat 21% more than most people my height, weight, and age.  So I know that… Andrew:  It’s amazing that you know that number exactly. Jeff:  It’s crazy and I’m a super over sweater. Andrew:  I’m going to make you a t-shirt that says, “I sweat 21% more than you.” You can wear it to Disneyland. Jeff:  You would actually do that.  So know your race course.  Know how your assessments translate to the time you’re going to spend in each discipline on race day and play around with the ranges in your training.  I train and predominantly race in Texas. It’s hot and humid AND I’m and over sweater.  So I'm going to follow the higher end of those ranges.  So that would be my most immediate advice.  Carb loading is not necessarily a myth, but we only have so much stored carbohydrates ready to race.  So carb loading isn’t as big as a deal as most people think. Andrew:  So we don’t need to have pasta all three nights leading up to a race? Jeff:  Exactly!  And taper periods tend to be 10 to 14 days before a long course.  So if you taper your training, but you increase your diet you could gain 2 or 3 pounds and a lot of people do during taper. Andrew: Wow! Jeff:  So three to four days out I like to increase salt intake maybe 10 to 20%.Nothing crazy. Andrew:  Okay. Jeff:  Carbs might even be a little bit less than that.  So have a plan, practice it, and obviously collaborate with your coach. Andrew:  So eat maybe the types of meals your body’s used to eating, but maybe increase the carbs just a pinch and the salt just a pinch. Jeff:  Yeah, 10 to 20% is my recommendation.  Three to four days out you can start slightly increasing that salt, but not as much as you would think.  Then one to two days out… Andrew:  Because some people use race week as an excuse to just go crazy, right? Jeff:  Exactly! Andrew:  Give me all the bread!  Give me all the salty popcorn! Jeff:  Or in your race build you’re eating all you can get your hands on and you continue that diet through the taper period thinking that I want to continue that to carb load or salt load or whatever and it can and will come back to haunt you. Elizabeth:  And I think that’s one of the biggest things too is that, you know, some people are still fueling during their taper week like they do during those heavier weeks of training with all of those training hours. Andrew:  They’re used to for months and months and months eating all that food to fuel the training. Elizabeth:  And then you’re cutting down in the duration, but they still are following that same diet on a day to day basis.  Then that’s where they end up kind of over eating on race week. Andrew:  So you find yourself cutting back on your food intake if anything more than increasing it because you’re not training as much. Elizabeth: Yep. Very similar meals, but like Raines said, increasing salt just a little bit, incorporating some more like whole grains into the meals as well; so increasing the carbohydrate intake a little bit as well, but still being very mindful of the amount of calories that I’m intaking as the workout durations decrease. Andrew:  Perhaps the most crucial race week meal is breakfast the day of the race. Do athletes need to try to consume more calories that morning than they would for maybe a shorter race?  Or is it still kind of the same mindset that morning. Jeff:  I tend to follow the same breakfast protocol whether I’m racing short course or long course. Andrew:  I like that you call it breakfast protocol. Jeff:  Protocol.  It’s a protocol!  It’s a science! Elizabeth:  It is!  This is all dialed in. Jeff:  Oh yes!  Then traveling, you know, if you eat two fried eggs and avocado, traveling it might be hard to find your… Andrew:  Your two fried eggs and an avocado.. Jeff:  Your specific race day regimen, but I try to follow it as best that I can. There are a couple of key things I want to touch on real quick as far as breakfast.  There are some guidelines, some recommendations, but then I have my own little twist that I put on that and I want to explain that real quick. So grams of carbs per hour is key on the bike.  The carbohydrates, you know, they’re stored in the muscle.  Glycogen is stored in the muscle as a carb and there are a couple formulas of how many grams of carbs per hour do I need on the bike, right?  And I use a couple of different ways to calculate that.  But for breakfast I like to eat three to four hours before the start of the swim.  So whatever time that is… if it’s a time trial start I like to play around with that 15 minute window.  When am I going to be toes in the water?  And then at least three hours before that. Andrew:  If the pros start at 7:24 am, and I’m looking at my waves and I start at 7:56 am, that’s the time you need to consider.  Three to four hours before your start time. Jeff:  Exactly!  I like to have that kind of 500 to 800 calorie breakfast.  Again, I’m slightly on the higher end.  I don’t tend to have a lot of GI issues and so I tend to be on the higher end, but 500 to 800 calories is what I follow three to four hours before the race start.  But for breakfast the grams of carbs is key.  You don’t need a ton of protein before an event.  That tends to be more for recovery afterwards, but whatever grams of carbs I’m going to be consuming all day long, long course, three hours before the race I like to triple that amount. Andrew:  Wow! Jeff:  For example...I weigh 145 pounds and there’s a formula where you can take 0.6 times your body weight in pounds and that’s how many grams of carbs per hour that you need.  For most it tends to be 60 to 90 grams of carbs is kind of what you’ll see out there on Google or whatever.  You can take that number and multiply it by three.  So I’m 145 pounds times 0.6 that’s 87.  So I need 87 grams of carbs per hour on the bike and run throughout the rest of the race. Andrew:  That’s a few saltine crackers Jeff. Jeff:  Quite a bit.  So multiply that by 3 and that’s 261.  So I would like to get at least that many grams of carbs in my big breakfast before the race start.  Also, what you can do is convert your weight into kilograms and multiply that number by four.  That’s another kind of formula that’s out there and that’s going to be somewhat similar to the three times your 0.6. Andrew:  If you’re in our non-American audience you don’t have to do that conversion because you already know your weight in kilograms. Jeff:  Yeah, the whole metric thing.  But those are two of the kind of main formulas that you’re going to see online at least.  But again, knowing your body weight, knowing how your body processes that fuel and what you’re going to eat.  But I like to triple that amount and make sure that that grams of carbs is key. Andrew:  So basically, I mean for you it’s knowing that range.  Okay, this is the range that people generally need and you know that within that range your body can tolerate the higher intake of carbs and so you take a lot of them.  So for the folks out there it’s knowing okay, according to my body weight I do the math that Jeff just told me about and try to take in-- the goal at its core is getting a lot of carbs into your body on race morning to fuel your race. Correct? Jeff:  Yes.  And then I’ll be just under the hourly milligrams of salts.  So if I’m going to consume 800 mg of salts I might consume about 500 to 800 mg of salt with that breakfast three to four hours before. And I think Elizabeth is going to touch on well what do you do from 4:30 am to 7:30 or 8:00 am when the race starts. So there’s a second breakfast that I think Elizabeth is going to hone in on. Andrew:  I love the sound of second breakfast. Elizabeth:  Oh, that’s like a daily thing for me.  That’s not just race day.  That’s like every day for me. Andrew:  First breakfast, second breakfast. Elizabeth:  Oh yeah! Andrew:  Early lunch, post workout lunch.  Elizabeth has all the meals of the day. Elizabeth:  I’ve got that part down. Andrew:  So Elizabeth, what do you usually have for breakfast on race day? Elizabeth:  So kind of like Raines was outlining, I do kind of focus on the amount of carbohydrate intake for my breakfast choices and for me it has been like English muffin with peanut butter, about half a banana, and then a UCAN shake. Also like Raines, whether I’m racing short course or long course this is fairly standard.  About three to three and a half hours before the race start that’s what I’m consuming.  It ends up being just over 500 calories for me, but again that same focus on using those guidelines, using those formulas to get a range of what you should intake and then practicing it.  Making sure that once you’ve had the opportunity to put that in your body, seeing how that feels on a couple of those training sessions to be able to implement that on race day. Andrew:  So slipping out of the preparing for the race mode and into race mode. There are so many products that are marketed to endurance athletes these days with energy bars and liquid calorie mixes, gels, bananas, sandwiches, waffles...I mean there are plenty of things I am sure that people eat on course that I’m even failing to mention.  Is there a best type of food to consume that can help you fuel your swim, bike, and run? Elizabeth:  This kind of feels like a trick question because yes there’s a best type, but ultimately it’s what works best for your body.  I certainly have my opinions about the best types of fuels. I tend to lean a whole lot more toward the liquid calories and I have some products that I do recommend as a coach when athletes are preparing for upcoming triathlons.  But ultimately it’s so personalized.  For example, I don’t use any goos or gels, at least those that are pre made and already on the market.  I actually do make my own from UCAN products.  But I have coached athletes to incredibly successful races as they do use those products and that works well for them. Andrew:  So even though you don’t use goos or gels you have athletes that do to great success? Elizabeth:  Absolutely, yeah.  Correct.  And I think here you just need to know what your body requires in terms of grams of carbohydrate per hour that you’ll need to consume and then it’s making some determinations as to if you’re going to be utilizing the aid stations on the course, if you’re going to be carrying your own nutrition, and then practicing it and implementing that on race day. Andrew:  So why do you personally lean more towards a liquid calorie plan for yourself? Elizabeth: For me, that’s what has been the most successful in terms of eliminating any GI distress.  The liquid calories seem to sit very well with me whereas something more solid does tend to give me some issues.  I am a big, big believer in UCAN.  I have been using their products for years.  That’s what I feel best on.  That’s how I would say, you know, feel strongest. Jeff:  Yeah, I think what’s key is like Elizabeth said, trying out a number of different things.  But when I first started long course training, I feel like solid food was kind of the norm.I feel like the predominant liquid nutrition that is kind of more prevalent now is something relatively new.I mean, you hear of...I mean my first Ironman I had a turkey sandwich out on the bike course. I mean, it’s just crazy. Andrew:  No you didn’t! Jeff:  Solid food breaks down slower.  When you have those bigger, heavier, kind of “meals” blood rushes to your gut to digest that and we want that blood in the arterials, the working muscle to deliver oxygen so we’re kind of stealing away from performance so to speak when we have those heavier foods and there’s a way to…. Andrew:  So the liquid calories helps your body digest that without taking as much blood from your muscles that are working hard. Jeff:  Yeah and then there’s a blood sugar aspect.  So when you eat a big meal your blood sugar spikes and so you can leave that euphoric fat burn.  In long course we’re racing longer distances at slightly less of an effort and so we don’t want to leave that euphoric kind of fat burn and so we’ve seen the industry change from more solid food training and racing to more supplements. It would be kind of a middle step. Getting more of the bars, the shot blocks, wafers, you know things like that.  So instead of big heavy meals we went to more supplemental.  Now, it’s even more of a liquid.  So can we get all of those effects but have those help us to our advantage?  So, a more liquid diet, a powder source that you’re putting in your water bottle tends to be the norm.  I kind of say that 90% of your fueling comes from a powder that you put into your drink mix and then you might supplement that a little bit with goos or shot blocks or something like that.  But you’re seeing the more solid foods go away.  Now if you are going to try out a more liquid type of diet, one thing that I kind of want to take a quick back step on is, we talked about that big meal three to four hours before the race.  We get the big meal, we get all that heavy stuff in so that three to four hours later that food is not in our gut anymore.  We’re digesting that, but there’s still a three to four hour window where we might get hungry again before the race starts.  So an hour before the race starts I like to match the product I’m going to be drinking the most on the bike. Andrew:  So for Elizabeth if that is Generation UCAN, it’s having some UCAN an hour out from your race start. Jeff:  Yeah.  So the rule of thumb that I use is three to four hours out is the big 500 to 800 calorie breakfast.  You’re getting your salts in.  You’re getting your grams of carbs, all that stuff we talked about.  One hour before the race starts I like to get 100 to 200 calories of something in.  I’m starting to get hungry again, but I’ve still got an hour before the race start. I don’t want to eat a whole nother meal. I might have a banana.  I might have a bar or half of a power bar or something to get those extra calories in.  But 30 minutes before the race starts I will have one serving of that powder source that I’m going to be utilizing for the majority of the bike ride. I will have one serving of that 30 minutes before the swim starts so it can already be processing in my body, getting used to it by the time the race starts.  As far as those products, I also use UCAN.  It is my favorite.  That starch. It’s a revolutionary form of starch that breaks down slowly.  You can ride that out longer, but that breakfast and our “carb loading” and “salt loading” up to the race, we have enough of that kind of key fueling to get us about 90 to 120 minutes into a higher effort event, straining, races. Then there’s a point an hour and a half to two hours into the race where that stored energy is gone and we have to rely on our nutrition plan or that more liquid diet.  So if 65% of what we need is that kind of grams of carbs, the other 35% are fats.  That 65/35 ratio is what we’re going to be utilizing for the rest of the day for our energy sources.  And that stored fat… Andrew:  If I need a little bit of fat, can I take an avocado on course with me Jeff Raines? Jeff:  I dare you, but actually no.  So we have enough stored fat to fulfill that 35%.  So fat on course isn’t something you need to monitor as much as you would think, or like the whole avocado thing. Andrew:  Yeah. Jeff:  But following that 65% grams of carbs is something that we’re going to have to refill.  We are going to have to fuel with that every hour.  That other 35% of fat is stored already. Andrew:  So my takeaway from both you guys sharing all of that is the recommendation is in your training, probably try a liquid calorie diet first and see if it works for you.  Because if it does there is a tremendous amount of advantage to consuming those carbohydrates in a liquid form.  And if maybe that doesn’t work for you for some reason then maybe consider some goos or consider some bars.  But both of you guys are seeming to recommend those liquid calories. Jeff:  Yeah.  I mean, a lot of people find that certain products give them that kind of hungry or empty stomach feeling.  So I do recommend a more liquid diet, but more importantly finding a product that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry even if you are hitting the hourly recommendations of fluids and calories and salts and grams of carbs and all that.  You can still have that kind of empty hungry feeling. So play around with different products. I still like to every now and then have a goo or some gummies or something as that supplemental, just kind of top off the tank.  So yes. If you are going to play around with a more liquid diet for long course training make sure that the flavor at which– so every brand tends to have kind of a salt heavy drink, their kind of carb heavy drink.  So just make sure that whatever product you’re trying is this your main fuel source bottle?  So look for that starch or that more carb heavy drink.  Are you using this product for more of a salt base?  And make sure that you’re understanding the tiers of the product and what you’re trying to accomplish with it.  But also, there are multiple flavors of each of those.  I’m personally someone who doesn’t like a heavier, like a chocolate or peanut butter type flavor. Andrew:  I want chocolate in my recovery, but I want fruit out on the course. Jeff:  Exactly!  I’m the same way. Elizabeth:  Oh, that’s me too. Jeff:  That heavier kind of chocolate or something like that– I like to burp a kind of lighter, fruitier taste.  So find the flavor that you like the best as well. Andrew:  Got it.  You mentioned a little bit there, kind of salt.  Is this drink for your salt not necessarily for your calories.  Let’s talk about salt for a little bit. Because even beyond calories athletes need to consider how to keep their body pumped full of the salt that they’re going to be sweating out during the entirety of the race.  These days there’s salt tubes, there’s different pills you can pop, there’s drink mixes, there’s a ton of different options.  What do you guys recommend to keep electrolytes going into your body throughout the race? Elizabeth:  Well, I think first here Andrew, you touched on that electrolytes are necessary and proper hydration is going to include electrolyte replacement. Jeff:  When you have too much hydration, but not enough salt…So lets say that you are drinking just water all day long, well what can happen is the salt regulation, fluid retention around the cell.  So salts actually help the fluid coming in and out of the cell.  So if you’re just drinking too much straight water, I don’t recommend more than four to six, maybe six to eight ounces at a time of water during an Ironman.  You always need some sort of salt mixture in that kind of secondary bottle. If you’re powder source is your main fuel source, but then you’re drinking multiple other bottles throughout the day or each hour even, those bottles that you’re drinking all day long that aren’t your main fuel source need to have some sort of salt in it. Andrew:  So you’re not just taking in water. Jeff:  Just water alone in big amounts can bloat you.  So the salts help regulate the fluid coming in and out of the cells.  So what can happen is the fluid build-up around the cell can cause bloating and then later on when you are taking in or need more nutrition your body isn’t utilizing it as well.  So too much straight water can be a negative thing. Andrew:  So you recommend putting the salt in that water as opposed to– some people like taking the pills, some people like shaking the Base tube over their thumb.  Does that do the same thing or is it better to have it mixed in with the water? Jeff:  To each their own. Andrew:  Okay. Jeff:  Yeah and some people don’t want to carry extra bottles or extra weight to get those salts and so if their drinking at an aid station they may take the lick of the salt or pop a salt pill, but finding that balance of are you going to carry two bottles, three bottles, or four bottles on the bike during an Ironman and how you’re going to get those salts in is key.  You want to be as efficient and weightless as possible, but if you just cannot figure out a way to make that efficient, then maybe you want to put a third bottle on your bike.  Maybe that’s worth it to you. Andrew:  So let’s– we’ve talked a lot about what we need to be putting in our bodies. And again, my first Ironman is coming up and I’ve got questions ya’ll.  I’ve got questions just logistically about when I’m on the race course going through race day what am I going to do at different stages of the race.  So before we end today, let’s walk through a race real quick.  Now it would be a really, really neat trick to see someone pop an energy gel mid stroke on the swim or to see somebody take a sip of UCAN while they’re out in the water, but I don’t think that’s exactly a viable option.  Are there any nutritional considerations to be made before the 2.4 mile swim leg? Elizabeth:  There’s no nutritional considerations during the swim leg. You’re right, you’re not going to stop in the middle of the swim and take a gel.  But this is where proper nutrition prior to the swim is very critical. I know that we’ve kind of touched on a little bit that between my pre-race breakfast and the swim start I’m still consuming calories.  By the time that I would get to the swim start I’m kind of already burning through those breakfast calories and I need another snack pre-race and then again I’m going to do some UCAN about 30 minutes prior.  So you have enough carb stores to get you through the swim as long as you are being very mindful about what that pre-race breakfast is three to four hours ahead of time, having a snack again as the race start gets closer, and then likely consuming something again about 30 minutes ahead of when you’re actually starting.  During the swim itself, no need to take anything in there. Andrew:  It’s all the pre-stuff we’ve already talked about. Elizabeth:  But yes.  Very diligently planning what you’re going to do for breakfast, a snack, and a little bit of additional intake before the swim start. Jeff:  Yeah and luckily in our sport for long course, the cutoff is what, 2:20?And so by the time that you’re getting out of the water you’re kind of starting to need that second meal or you need to start that nutrition regimen.  So if we have enough stores to get us 90 to 120 minutes, by the time you get to T1 or the early stages of the bike for long course you pretty much start the first hour on the bike following that specific nutrition strategy. Andrew:  So you talked about T1.  Now while we’re in T1 and T2 athletes are on the clock during both of those spots, but in kind of getting ready for the next leg of the race is there an opportunity to get calories in?  Do you recommend athletes try to eat at all in transition or is it better to save the time, get in and out and then get those calories in during the bike and run? Elizabeth: So I’m actually very picky and particular about this with the athletes that I coach. I coach them that transition is really a grab and go.  You grab the gear that you need and then you go.  You get out of transition because you are on the clock.  You know, nutrition and hydration those can be consumed on the go.  That should be a primary consideration as you’re starting the bike, as you’re starting the run. But in transition I would say no, don’t consume them there.  Now that may vary a little bit with what your goals are for the day, but as a general rule and the athletes that I work with, transition is grab and go.  No nutrition there. Jeff:  Yeah, I’m going to have to agree with that.  Get in and out of transition.  Get the race going and because you’ve practiced this being able to fuel on the bike.  I’ve even had my athletes set up stools in their neighborhood and they have to bike next to the stool going at various speeds and have to grab a water bottle off… Andrew:  Practice that grab, yeah. Jeff:  Yeah.  I mean, are you going to stop every 40 to 50 minutes all day long and spend a few minutes dumping a powder or refilling a bottle?  So knowing how to refill an aero bottle.  Knowing how to let go with one hand and grab that goo out of your pocket or something.  Those technical aspects are something that you need to practice so we don’t have to add ten minutes in each transition. Andrew:  So once we’re out on the bike, 112 miles is a long way and we have to fuel our bodies accordingly.  What is the best strategy to stay fueled on the bike? Jeff:  So we actually haven’t really dove into…well we know we need salt, we know we need grams of carbs.  We kind of broke it down for breakfast and have an idea of how many I might need to eat, but most people tend to follow the per hour rule.  So you’ve started the bike leg and you’ve got through the swim and T1 and now our body’s a little bit depleted, it’s time to eat, it’s time to get on the regimen.  So what are those hourly recommendations? Andrew:  A turkey sandwich Jeff? Jeff:  It used to be!  There are tons of guidelines out there.  Ironman has their guidelines, USAT, American College of Sports Medicine, you know I even have my own little one that I send to my athletes with a blend of kind of all these together.  But 700 to 1000 mg of salts, of multiple types of salts are recommended per hour. Heavy sweaters might even consume 1200 mg of salts per hour.  Again, know your course, do you sweat a lot, is it going to be hot and humid on race day.60 to 90 grams of carbs tends to be a typical norm.  The body can’t ingest and utilize more than kind of 90 to 110, so overkilling the grams of carbs won’t help you.  So knowing that range and how specific you want to be there.  32 to 40 ounces of just general fluids per hour.  You might be able to get all of these guidelines of grams of carbs and salts in 8 or 12 ounces of fluids, a half a bottle, but you still need 32 to 40 or even 30 to 36 ounces of total fluids.  So if you could get the guidelines in 8 ounces, you still need 25 or 30 ounces somewhere.  So ounces, total fluid ounces, means something.  So 30 to 36, 30 to 32 ounces of fluids.  60 to 90 grams of carbs per hour.  700 to 1000 mg of salt and if you’re kind of getting all of those in per hour there’s kind of no way you’re going to hit this last one.  I feel like a lot of people– the first of their list they are so worried about the calories per hour they’re consuming.  I put that fourth on the list.  It is extremely important and 300 to 350… Andrew:  Most people that’s the first thing they focus on. Jeff:  Exactly and that’s the last thing I focus on.  If you’re getting your grams of carbs in per hour and all the fluid ounces and you’re refilling that aero water bottle at every single aid station that you pass there’s no way that you’re going to be on the low end of the calories per hour.  So I would almost put cabs and salts ahead of the others on that list.  But lastly to answer your question a good strategy to stay fueled on the bike is obviously to follow those guidelines.  Get those four main things in correctly per hour, but also to know the aid stations on your course.  Are they every 12 miles?  Are they every 15?  Is there a ten mile hill that’s going to add 10 or 20 minutes between the third and fourth aid station?  So knowing when you might need to refill or when you need to eat on the course.  Is there a long 30 minute 30 mile per hour downhill?  But you have to eat or finish that hour’s recommendations. Andrew:  Yeah. Jeff:  So timing your eating with your specific course, knowing if you’re on an uphill.  Uphill it’s easy to eat.  You’re going slow.  You can grab stuff. Andrew: You’re not losing time as much if you’re breaking aero to reach for a bottle or reach for something in a pocket. Jeff:  Exactly!  We could go on and on.  One last thing I will say is that if you are going to eat something significant like a goo or something that is very potent to time it with an aid station.  So like if I see an aid station up ahead and it’s about time to eat something, I might pop a goo and then the first ten people are usually water and then those kind of last ten people tend to be Gatorade Endurance or Base products now.  But I will time the eating where I can grab a fresh bottle of water to wash it down or help dilute the potency of that.  We could go on and on, but know the course, know how often you’re going to eat during that race, and time that with certain technical aspects of the course. Elizabeth:  And this is where it’s great too to talk through those things with a coach. I mean, when my athletes and I sit down and talk about their nutrition plan, oftentimes some of those first factors that Raines mentioned with the milligrams of the salts that you’re going to take in and how many carbs per hour it can be very intimidating to an athlete. It can be very new to them.  As we mentioned, a lot of them focus on how many calories do I need per hour.  So it’s great for my athletes to send me what they’re planning on consuming even if it is just based on the calories that they’re planning per hour and then I can sit down and say, okay.  Let’s look at the actual nutrition in this product.  Let’s see what they’re planning on consuming… Andrew:  Is it going to be enough? Elizabeth: Exactly. Andrew:  Is it more than you need?  Is there maybe…and this starts diving into different products, but is there a best way to carry all this food?  Like, is it best to just stash what you need in your jersey pockets and dump those powders in bottles as you’re going?  Is it best to just rely on aid stations and carry as little as possible?  What are kind of your thoughts on…what is your approach to how to carry the things you’re trying to consume on course? Elizabeth:  This is one of the great things I think about the new market of nutrition products that has come about in the last couple of years is those products will include enough of those requirements that you really don’t have to carry a whole picnic lunch with you on the bike.  You don’t have to have your jersey pockets stuffed full of items. You really can make a more concentrated mixture of a liquid nutrition source and take that on the bike and then utilize special needs possibly for a refill.  It’s not going to be the same as having to pack five sandwiches and then worry about mixing this and that powder.  I feel like the nutritional products have been able to streamline this a lot for us in the recent years. Jeff:  Exactly.  Some products you can stack; you can make extra potent and some will not give GI issues. Some products you can make a very potent bottle.  I’ve even had some people do that that don’t want to stop at special needs. Andrew:  So instead of like one serving of a powder mix, they might put three or four in the same amount of liquid is what you’re saying. Jeff:  Yes, and what they’ll do is as their front aero bottle is gone, let’s just say, they might take that extra potent bottle and pour a third of it in their aero bottle and then refill their aero bottle with water at an aid station and so they're diluting it. Andrew:  Okay, before they drink it. Jeff:  Yes.  They’re diluting it before they’re drinking it so that way they don’t have to carry three, four, five bottles during the race or they don’t have to stop at special needs.  So there’s certain products that advertise different things.  Do you want to stop at special needs and just grab a whole new bottle that’s already made the night before?  It’s there, you replace it, boom you’re good to go.  Or do you want to learn like me the hard way and try to create that mixture and dump a powder while going 20 miles an hour and it getting all over you and turning my kit pink for the rest of the day?  Or now, do you want to make one big potent bottle and dilute it as the race progresses.  So there’s just a million different ways to tackle that.  Get with a coach and know your goal.  Is five minutes off of your Ironman finish time a big deal?  Is that important for you?  Then you’re going to want to find a way to carry these products the most efficient way possible. Andrew:  So once we’re out on the run we still need to get calories in, but now we don’t have a bike to help carry them.  What do you all coach athletes to do for nutrition on the run? Elizabeth:  So on the run, athletes are going to typically be at a higher heart rate than they are for the bike and so this is where many athletes will kind of run into a more difficult time with digestion.  So the nutritional considerations for the run may vary a little bit than what they were doing on the bike.  This is also somewhat dependent on the environmental conditions of the race, the availability of aid stations both in like the frequency and the nutritional offerings there.  I always say if an athlete has been practicing with and using a particular nutrition product then we’re going to work together for a strategy for them to carry that and consume that on the course either with a handheld bottle, possibly again something very concentrated that they can sip on and then utilize some water at the aid stations.  It could be using a fuel belt or inclusion of some of those nutritional items in an athlete’s special needs bag.  So even though we don’t have the bike to necessarily carry those products there are still ways that athletes can carry their specific nutrition if they want to utilize something that isn’t available on the course. Andrew:  Do you typically recommend using the same or similar product that you had on the bike or is this a spot to mix up kind of what you do? Elizabeth:  For me personally I still use the same type of product.  I use UCAN from my pre-race breakfast all the way through the end of the run.  It’s just a little bit different in how I consume it.  So on the bike, I’m consuming the UCAN in a liquid form kind of mixed with some electrolytes and that’s just available in my aero bottle. For me on the run I make my own personalized UCAN kind of goos. Andrew:  Home chef Elizabeth James. Elizabeth:  Exactly, yeah.  It’s like arts and crafts project the night before the race.  So I’m still consuming UCAN, but it’s just kind of in a different form.  Very easy for me to carry, easy for me to put a couple of those homemade goos in my pockets and then utilize just the water at the aid stations. Andrew:  Jeff, what do you use on the run course? Jeff:  It’s tough because running puts a higher toll on the body.  Swimming let’s say approximately 80% of your weight is taken against gravity due to the buoyancy of water. Andrew:  Thanks water! Jeff:  Yes!  The bike, so much of your weight is taken against gravity sitting on a seat.  But running all of your weight is on your feet, so it puts a bigger toll on your body and you burn through fuel faster on the run, but also you’re already six to ten hours into the race.  You’re already tired.  You’re already maybe a little bit depleted.  It’s already been a long day and now you’ve got to do something that puts an even bigger toll on your body. Andrew:  A marathon, Jeff!  You have to run a marathon. Jeff:  Oh gosh!  My heart rate just doubled.  So you don’t need quite as many grams of carbs per hour.  I know that’s hard to kind of fathom.  Like, it’s a bigger toll on our body, but at that point I like to fuel a little more often.  So if I’m eating, let's just say every 30 to 40 minutes on the bike, you might eat every 20 to 30 minutes you might consume something.  But I rely a little bit more on the on-course support.  Like on the bike I carry the majority of what I’m going to fuel with, but on the run you have aid stations approximately every 6 to 20 minutes in an Ironman, approximately every mile.  If you’re running fast, a six minute mile, if you’re speed walking you’re still hitting 20 minutes so you’re getting an aid station, you’re getting fuel offered to you approximately every 10 to 20 minutes where on the bike that could be every 40 to 60 minutes.  So you have stuff being offered to you more frequently during the run so I typically don’t like to hold anything in my hands or carry a bunch of stuff while running.  So long course I will utilize my UCAN refueling at the half marathon mark, the special needs.  So I make sure that towards the end of the bike ride or even in T2 I might set a bottle. I know we want to be fast in transition, but I will set a bottle of UCAN, a serving of it in T2.  I might grab it and carry it with me that first mile of the run, ditch it later. Andrew:  So you’re not just standing there taking a minute or two to drink it. You’re still moving. Jeff:  Exactly.  And whether I do that or not, towards the end of the bike or in T2 I make sure I get that big serving of UCAN in so I’m good to go for the run course.  No pun intended, but you can ride out that serving of UCAN. Andrew:  The folks at UCAN will be pleased you made that. Jeff:  Yeah.  And so you can utilize that serving of UCAN for about an hour and a half to two hours. That revolutionary form of complex carbohydrate starch you can ride that out for longer and so I make sure that I get my serving in before the run starts and I’m kind of good to go through the half marathon mark.  So I will utilize as far as salts and fluid ounces the aid stations.  I always take multiple cups every single aid station. Then at that half marathon mark I decide, okay I’m a little depleted.  I might have some twinging, cramping.  I’m 100% going to stop at special needs and grab that refuel of UCAN. If the sun is not beating on my back, I’m having a good day, and I think I can continue the second half of the race without going into special needs then I don’t always grab that. Andrew:  So both of you guys have referenced the special needs bag now and kind of using that at various points during the race.  Every Iron distance athlete has the chance to grab that bag or they can choose to skip it.  Nutritionally what should athletes be putting in these bags on the course? Elizabeth:  I would certainly say for athletes to include a refill of their personal nutrition and kind of as Raines just mentioned you may stop for it, you may not.  That’s the glory of the special needs bag.  It’s there.  It’s available.  It’s your choice whether at that point in the event you want to make that decision to stop and utilize what’s there or not.  But having that packed and available is something that I would always encourage athletes to do. Andrew: So once the race is over and you’re proudly declared an Ironman, you need to head off and celebrate with friends and family for sure, but you also need to replenish some calories.  What should we have ready to consume after we finish an Ironman? Jeff: After a big event, a big workout, obviously an Ironman you need to replenish.  That’s where protein comes in.  There are specific guidelines that help your body absorb a certain amount of carbs and protein as far as enhancing recovery.  Most people will kind of follow that 4:1 grams of carbs to 1 gram of protein within that key 30 to 60 minutes.  Your body is going to utilize what you eat that first hour after a race as far as enhancing or recovering.  So training and crossing the line of an Ironman is kind of a different story because after I cross the finish line of an Ironman from one second after I cross the line to seven days after a full Ironman you kind of are allowed to eat whatever the heck you want.  But for key workouts I drink a Boost, kind of like an Ensure or Pedialyte; a nutritious rich… Andrew:  A nutrient dense drink of some sort. Jeff:  Exactly.  Chocolate milk is big.  Very, very similar to the whole Boost idea.  But getting the protein in for recovery is key, but crossing the finish line of an Ironman it’s all fair game. Andrew:  You start scouting out the local buffets in your neighborhood back home. Jeff:  Living in Texas, TexMex food is awesome.  Big rides or workouts I crave queso and margaritas.  I guess it’s salt.  Your body craves kind of what it knows it needs. Andrew:  What it needs. Jeff:  So TexMex is always a big one for me after IRONMANs. Andrew:  Elizabeth, do you have a lot of TexMex after an IRONMN? Elizabeth:  Oh my gosh!  Like absolutely!  Yes! That’s something that moving down to Texas I didn’t realize how much I was missing out before I was here.  For me after races I still hold myself to consuming that recover drink.  So a product that has kind of that 4:1 ratio with the carbs and protein.  I still am diligent about doing that just to kind of kickstart the recovery.  But once that’s consumed then kind of all bets are off and I’m headed for the chocolate ice cream. Andrew:  I will say, guys, as a staff the TriDot staff in general…you know we’re all triathletes.  We all enjoy racing.  We all enjoy healthy foods, but of all of us no one takes it to the extreme as much as Elizabeth James. Jeff:  Do you train to eat or eat to train? Andrew:  I’ll tell you, the first time I saw her have a burger with a chocolate milkshake was right after Half Ironman Waco when she had a great result there and I was like, oh my gosh it’s so refreshing to see Elizabeth eating a burger and a shake.  But that was post-race.  Exactly what you said, post-race I can have that burger, I can have that… Elizabeth:  Yeah.  I had my recovery shake and then it was time to celebrate. Andrew:  We should reach out to Chewy’s or Gloria’s or all the wonderful TexMex chains and see if one of them want to sponsor today’s podcast. Elizabeth:  There we go, yeah! Andrew:  That’s what I’m talking about. Jeff:  I’m down. Elizabeth:  As long as they bring lunch right? Jeff:  I’ll be the taste tester. Cool down theme: Great set everyone!  Let’s cool down. Andrew:  If you are with us here at the end of the show for the cool down, you are either a dedicated fan of the TriDot podcast or interested in racing long course. So to cool down today, Jeff, Elizabeth, let’s talk a little bit more about some of our other TriDot podcast episodes that focus on the Ironman distance, or longer course racing and how about just to cool us down if you could each give us maybe two other episodes you recommend athletes go listen to in their training for long course racing. Then I’ll close us out by teasing a few of the episodes we have coming up that might help athletes heading into race season.  So Elizabeth, what are two episodes that you would like to point people to as they start gearing up for those long course races this season? Elizabeth:  Oh man, I mean gosh.  There’s so many good ones we could point back to.  I’m trying to think of which two I would recommend.  Thankfully we each have two so that we can really kind of go back and highlight here.  One I would say is #30 back with Dr. Austin.  And this is the one where it was Sweat Science Made Simple and it was all about getting your hydration and electrolytes right.  I mean I know that this episode applies well beyond long course racing, but man, I mean, if you don’t have that down for a long course event you’re going to know and you’re going to suffer.  So that is definitely a critical one.  I know we talked a little bit on this episode about replacing salt and that electrolyte balance, but this is where athletes would really get the opportunity to dive down a little bit deeper and Dr. Austin just does a fantastic job of outlining some key things to know and to practice headed into that long course race.  So that would be kind of recommendation number one.  Then I think that I would also say #6 which was Top Tips for Choosing Your Next Ironman.  So, you know, for those athletes that are listening that are like, well you know maybe I do want to do long course.  They haven’t done one before or kind of looking for that next one.  This is just a great way to think about some things to consider as you are choosing what your next event would be.  So that’s very much geared toward the longer distance and I think that would be a great one for people to go and listen to as well. Andrew:  Yeah, no.  That’s a great thought.  Thanks for that Elizabeth.  For all the athletes listening that maybe want to take on that distance and haven’t really picked one yet, that’s a great episode #6 to go think about and dream maybe. What factors come into play when you’re trying to decide which race is the best one for you to kind of take that leap and take that step into the next distance.  And obviously #30 with Dr. Austin, I mean that’s one of our most popular episodes for good reason.  Hydration, electrolyte balance, getting that right is so key.  Both of you guys touched on that in this episode a little bit, but we intentionally didn’t go too, too deep on it in this episode because episode #30 exists and people can go and should go listen to that one gearing up for that Ironman race day.  Coach Jeff Raines, what are two more episodes that the aspiring, potential Ironman athlete should go back and listen to? Jeff:  #54 and #32.  So #54 is What to Expect on Race Day: Answers and Advice for the Aspiring Ironman.  It just talks a lot about just the key components that makes long course different from short course.  Sherpas, transition, special needs bags what are those?  You know, stuff like that.  You can kind of sort of get away with not eating perfectly maybe in an Olympic, maybe luckily in a Half Ironman, but in a full it’s got to be on point.  So with that being said, episode #32 which is titled Pre-race Fueling for Race Day Success and Porta Potty Prevention.  So a little bit of the nutrition aspect, what to eat, how to be prepared, and then the #54 is more so just what to expect on a long 17 hour day; 12 to 17 hours I should say.  But even so 24 hours.  So race day has so much to learn and it’s even intimidating.  So I think those two episodes really– that more timid athlete like I don’t know.  That’s too much to learn.  Too much to think about.  Just listening to those two alone would ease those nerves dramatically I believe.  So those are my picks. Andrew:  And Jeff, I’m glad you brought up #32 because on this episode Jeff you even talked a little bit about what you like to have on race morning as you’re kind of heading into that race and you talked about how you are an athlete that is on the higher end of the caloric need intake and so you’re eating a certain amount of calories and Dr. Austin does a great job of talking athletes through figuring out how many calories it is that they need on race morning leading up to that event.  So it just takes some of the principles we talked about today and just goes way deeper on episode #32 with Dr. Austin.  Two episodes we have coming up that I’m going to tease right now.  They’ll be releasing here in the next month or so before everybody starts getting too close to those first Ironman races of the season.  The first one is going to be about race rehearsals.  You race rehearsal is one of the most important sessions in an Ironman or Half Ironman, or really any race training cycle as you’re getting ready for that event and so we’re going to do a whole episode with Coach John Mayfield and Coach Jeff Raines just talking about how to make the most of your race rehearsals.  In your TriDot training plan you get two race rehearsals leading up to a big A race and so we’re going to really break down how to make the most of those workouts. So be on the lookout for that episode here coming your way shortly.  And the other one, we’re going to do an entire episode on the race taper. Tapering obviously is that period of time where we’ve built the endurance, we’ve built the stamina we need, we’ve gotten as fast as we’re going to get before race day and so to be fresh at the starting line on race day and be ready to really crush it on race day you’ve got to taper and you’ve got to take some time to kind of back off the duration a little bit in your workouts.  So we’re going to talk a whole episode about how to do that, why to do that, how to use some of those spare hours since you’re not training quite as much as you were getting ready for the event.  So those are just two of the many exciting race-specific topics we have coming up that I want to tease today.  So be on the lookout for those. Well that’s it for today folks.  I want to thank coaches Jeff Raines and Elizabeth James for talking us through fueling for long course racing.  A big thanks to our friends at UCAN for bringing us today’s show.  Head to UCAN.com to find out which of their SuperStarch products are right for you.  Enjoying the podcast?  Have any triathlon questions or topics you want to hear us talk about?  Head to TriDot.com/podcast and click on submit feedback to let us know what you’re thinking.  We’ll do it all again soon.  Until then, happy training! Outro:  Thanks for joining us.  Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew.  For more great tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.  Ready to optimize your training?  Head to TriDot.com and start your free trial today!  TriDot – the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.
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