Experiment or stay the course?

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Experiment or stay the course?

Postby dpg31 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:10 am

I'm a 46yr old male mop age grouper. 5'10" 150# 11-13% bf. Newbie to tri's (first yr) I've done 1/2doz sprints,2 oly. Training for full in late Oct. All long training (an full strategy) is well within my zone 2 hr. Long training bricks have been from 6-8 1/2 hours. I've tried to keep my nutrition as simple as possible, Hammer products only(woohoo) My very first attempt was a epic fail tried 300 cal/hr after 5 hrs it was over.(great learning exp) so actually read the little red book and started with less. Right now it looks like this. 1scp Heed per hr in 18-20oz of water, 1 perpetum solid every 30minutes endurolyte caps as needed depending on temp and how much I'm sweating. Every(end of 3 thru end of 4) 4th hour I switch just a bit and cont. the Heed, no perpetum, but take one Tropical Gel. Start back on perpetum for 3hrs Reapeat til end. Based on my training I should be in the 14-15 hour range on the full. I've done 100mi bike with 10mi run bricks (8 1/2hrs) with no problems, done 20mi run(4hrs) with same no issues. Since my training bricks won't get me into the 10+ hour range, my question is. Am I getting enough of what I need for 15hrs? Really hesitant of seeing how much more I can stomach, not knowing if I'm good at 8hrs but in trouble at 12. Also if this course is good, what do you recommend as plan "B" for special needs if I start to bonk? I know I'm running out of time to experiment, so any info from those with experience would be helpful. Thanks...
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Re: Experiment or stay the course?

Postby natellerandi » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:16 am

Hello dpg31:

Great question!

The ability to "go the distance" comes more from cumulative training effect than anything you might do once or twice to test yourself on the ability to "stay out there" for 15 hours. As long as you're getting in longer workouts (4-6hr rides, 2-3hr runs, an occasional brick of 4-6hrs), training the body to spare muscle glycogen (by consistently, not exclusively, training in Z1-Z2) and have your nutrition dialed in, then you should be able to handle a longer race day without incident.

Be careful on the uber long days. There are points of negative return. Research continually appears to indicate that the training effect of long runs starts to plateau and then recede after 2.5-3 hours. In other words, running longer than this tends to simply extend the post-run recovery period with little to no added training benefit. So, why run longer than this? Instead, shorten your runs and run more often during the week. Let's say you want to run 6 hours per week. Better to run 6 times with a long run of, say, 2:30 than to run 3 times of 2hrs each. Day-to-day exposure to a given discipline, especially a rigorous one like running, will better "battle test" a body.

I'm not saying there is "no value" in fewer, longer workouts. We are all time-constrained. So, maybe you can cycle your workouts. One training period can be a Swim focus, where you up your pool time while pulling back on the B and R. Then, the next training cycle can be a Bike focus, followed by a Run focus training cycle. You can get creative and keep your approach fresh.

Hope this helps. Good luck in October!
Nate Llerandi
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Re: Experiment or stay the course?

Postby levi-hoch » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:51 pm

Hello dpg31,

As usual, Nate provides very valuable information (Thanks Nate, awesome!).

I would also add that the article written by Steve Born Tips For a Successful Half or Full Iron Distance Triathlon is an excellent resource for triathletes as it goes over fueling for the different stages of the race.

The only thing that stands out about your fueling strategy to me is that you might sometime experiment with using more Perpetuem and less HEED during the bike rides and bike portion of your race. The 9:1 carb to protein ratio in Perpetuem works very well as a primary endurance fuel source for most people. Some people do well with using more carbohydrates (HEED) and less protein (existing in Perpetuem) especially if they have a sensitive digestive system but I would encourage you to try relying on Perpetuem to satisfy more of your fueling needs if you haven't experimented with it yet as you might find it supports your energy levels better and reduces hunger feelings. If you don't like it you can always return to doing it as you are now but it would be worth trying in training.

Best of luck in your race!

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