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Friday, April 20, 2018

Road to Ironman: Beginning the Journey

Andrew Buckrell is back with the second installment to the Road to Ironman series! Before you begin reading, catch up with the first post of the series here:

"To start off my training "journey", coach Alex VanderLinden from Healthy Results had prescribed an easy ramp up in volume, focusing on building a lower intensity aerobic base, rather than my "all or nothing" training style I had followed for shorter distance events.  Seeing as my progress had somewhat plateaued and I was no longer making significant running or cycling gains, I knew it was time for a change, and welcomed the external input.  For full disclosure, I should note that previous training sessions were purely based on making myself hurt -- regular intervals of very high intensity repeated over and over, with no macro scale periodization or general training philosophy.

Following the recommendations of Darcy from my initial phone consultation, I used a spreadsheet that he had developed for measuring and quantifying sweat rate.  It was no real surprise to find out that I'm well above the average sweat rate (1.8-2.0 L/h of sweat -- gross!).  This provides an excellent baseline for the amount of fluid that I'll be losing during exercise.  Knowing that it's impossible to replace everything, both Darcy and Alex independently recommended taking in about 1 bottle per hour, and 300 calories -- bang on a single serving of the Infinit Custom Blend.  This will make sure that I keep well hydrated throughout the course of long workouts and competition, provided I manage to stay on track.

I ordered up my first few batches of the custom blend, the composition of which was shaped by a conversation with Darcy.  Not really knowing what to expect, I was surprised by the lack of overpowering sweetness that you usually associate with sports drinks.  This was a bit of a shock to me -- given the carbohydrate concentration, I was anticipating something overly sweet.  I'm very happy to confirm that you quickly get used to this, and I will continue to want to dial back the flavour concentration as I further adapt to the flavour.

I've always been adamant that you need to race like you train.  Nutrition is no exception.  I've been extremely regimented in following the race hydration plan with training sessions.  I'll admit that the first few sessions involved some mild GI distress -- my body just wasn't used to taking on this kind of nutrition in liquid form.  This is why you should never try something for the first time in a race!!!  Had I been racing, it would have been a disaster.  However, I fortunately experienced this in training at home, and after doing a few workouts with "race-day nutrition", I've adapted, and can now easily take on quite a number of bottles of Infinit during a long workout.

The next stage of my training (and guest blog post) deals with flavour fatigue and dialling in the proper nutrition for a longer workout."