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Nutrition Plan for Ironman

This is another Ironman Nutrition Plan to consider.

 

Race Day Fuel

“50g porridge. 1 x toast and jam. Water or 350-400ml JW 50/50

Between now and race: sip Nuun but not too much

15 mins pre swim: 300ml 2:1

T1: H5 isogel, water – few gulps

On bike:
850-1000ml 2:1 per hour (NOT 4:1!) for first 2.5hrs Make sure you drink it. Can drink more if hot, be guided by thirst.

2 saltsticks per hour throughout bike

Next section of race switch to gels and water. 1 gel every 20 mins with a few gulps of water – still at rate of about 850ml per hour (you MUST take the gels every 20 mins or you’ll get water poisoning! Hypernatremia)

Stop drinking and gelling for last 10-15 mins of bike

T2: Water, not too much, can take an isogel if you like

Run:
2 saltsticks per hour
Isogel every 20 mins with water OR 2:1 at rate of about 600ml per hour. No solids. Can take some of the Coke they give out if you like but don’t take it with or near a gel.

Ironman Nutrition Plan from Allan Pitman

This is a nutrition plan from Australian Ironman coach Allan Pitman.

Race Day Fuel

Start the bike with three bottles – 2 x 750ml of Endura (2 scoops + 1 salt stick cap) + 1 x 750 Optimizer with 1 salt stick cap added.

At special bike needs – same three bottles.

I carry 5 gels on the bike in case I lose my special needs etc – I often don’t take them (if I do I wash them down with water – not sports drink) Underfeed – don’t overfeed.

The run – I carry 4 gels and a waterproof canister with 6 salt stick caps – I tune into my intuition – if my body says take coke – I take coke diluted with water coke is 12% sugar – your body can only handle 6% sugar while racing.

I have 4 more gels and six more salt stick caps at run special needs – once again underfeed – don’t over feed.

More races have been ruined with overfeeding than underfeeding – don’t try to take more fuel in racing than you have needed in training.

Some use caffeine – you probably won’t go any faster with it but it may help you concentrate – you don’t need pain killers – you need to learn to concentrate – good run technique is the key – practice this in training.

Starting from Zero

I had a new athlete start with me two weeks ago who for the past few years have done nothing in regards to training.  In fact, he charged his Garmin three weeks ago and the data that came up on his screen was from a DFN Ironman three years prior. From my understanding, this was his last activity he has done.

He wants to celebrate his retirement with a comeback to triathlons and has gone so far to and booked in for an Ironman that is just under a year away.

He was worried about when and how to start and going from doing nothing into a full training schedule.  He mentioned he may start in a month or two. I explained that I was keen to only start him off week one with one swim, one bike and one run and we will slowly build from there. Now this sparked his interest and he was ready to get started training right away.

Over the next three months, all I am doing with this athlete is getting his body ready to train consistently trying to limit the risk of injury and most of all build his confidence through the training.  He has had three full years off so the next six months needs to be handled with care.

To give an insight to his first week:

 

Tuesday – Swim 900m

Warm Up:

  • 2 x 50 freestyle
  • 2 x 50 freestyle with fins
  • 2 x 50 pull buoy and paddles
  • 2 x 50 freestyle

Main Set:

Multiple sink downs in deep end – until you’re really comfortable exhaling (e.g. 3 x 3)

  • 4 x 25
  • 2 x 50 easy freestyle B3s
  • 100 freestyle with pull buoy breathing every 3/5/3/5 strokes
  • 100 freestyle breathing every 3 strokes

Cool down:

  • 100m choice

 

Thursday – Run 30min

Run 3min at a moderate effort, walk 1min

 

Saturday – Bike – 30min

All moderate effort

 

This is it.  A very achievable week of training.  This will be his first step to finishing an Ironman in 49 weeks.

The Ten-Day Diet Restriction

This is a great diet to lose some extra weight ready for that big race.  Given to me by my mentor Allan Pitman, the bases of this ten day challenge are:
• No Wheat
• No Sugar
• No Dairy

You can have beef/ham, chicken, fish (tin or fresh) and as much vegetables as you like. No need to go hungry. For the people who are active including athletes, include one cup of cooked brown rice.

Burning Energy
This diet is more of a high fat/low carb diet that is similar to the paleo and other high fat diets. While this is a high fat diet, this doesn’t mean fried fat. This is healthy fats found in the allowed foods within this diet.

What to expect
Most people on average will lose between 2kg and 5kg within the ten days. This diet restriction doesn’t need to be a ten day challenge; it can easily become a lifestyle.
You will find that by the end of the challenge, you will have more energy and need less fuel than before.

Tim Egge

Increasing FTP

Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is simply the maximum power your body can maintain under aerobic condition for typically one hour. Most of us do not do the one hour FTP test as it can be done doing a 20 minute time trial and your FTP being 95% being the average of that 20 minute time trial.

VO2 Max

FTP is actually a percentage of your overall VO2 max capacity. So next time someone says triathletes don’t need to worry about their VO2 max, you can tell them to rack off.

 

Increasing your FTP

There is already a lot of information out there about how to improve your FTP by doing 20min sweet spot sets (sweet spot is between 84-95% of your FTP). Yes this will work but at some point, you will need to focus on increasing your VO2 max ceiling in order to give your FTP room to grow.

 

What now?

Start off 5-8 minute efforts @110% FTP, move towards 3 minute efforts @ 120% of FTP. Start off doing 3-4 reps and slowly build towards 9 reps.

 

FTP intervals:

Building FTP is more a case of building endurance at a high percentages of VO2 max. The standard interval is 2x 20 minutes at sweet spot (84-95% of FTP), as you progress, you can slowly increase this to 100% FTP then do 3x 20min @ sweet spot.

 

Strength Endurance:

If you are looking at raising your VO2 max ceiling and FTP, I would recommend including into your weekly program a strength endurance session. Doing hill repeats or low cadence sets with cadence or around 55-65 RPM at 84-110% of FTP. Starting off doing 4min efforts and slowly building over time.

 

Don’t have a power meter?

Moderate: keeping it all aerobic (should be able to hold a conversation comfortably)
Medium: this will be your FTP intervals (this should be uncomfortable but manageable)
MAD: this will be your VO2 max intervals (As fast as possible without compromising your technique)
Easy: when doing these intervals, easy is EASY

 

Tim Egge

tim@trainsmooth.com

Race Weight Diet Log

I’m a big fan of mixed martial arts, I just love watching UFC, Bellator and other promotions. It’s not so much the fighting that I love the most but I’m fascinated with the athletes. What most people think of are just a bunch of rough nuts jumping into an octagon and punching each other are in fact wrong. These are highly skilled and trained athletes who have full control of all aspects of their life and when it comes to weight loss and weight cut they are ninjas.

The way these athletes diet and then cut weight, they have this down to a fine art or to be more correct, it’s a science. I was recently listening to an interview with UFC fighter Kevin Lee.

He described in this interview the way he dieted and the way he cuts weight. He mentioned that he writes down in great detail everything so when it’s time to redo his diet and weight cut in coming fights, he can look back and see what worked and what didn’t.

In the lead up to his past fight against Tony Ferguson, Kevin decided to follow a weight loss program he had done in a past that had gone very smoothly. At one stage during this weight loss he found himself ahead of schedule. Because of this he slackened off slightly and lost momentum. Now comes time when he needs to start cutting the weight and taking all the fluids out of his body and he really struggled.

My point here is when getting down to race weight, it will pay dividends if you logged in great detail everything you consumed as with all your training. Making note what worked and what didn’t. The more details you can log the better it will be in coming races when it’s time to start losing weight again.

History can tell us so much and help shape our future. It’s so easy to forget all the little things so don’t leave it to your head to remember, log everything down and create a blue print for the races to come

If you would like a written diary to log all your meals, below is a form I use.

Written Meal Intake Form: – CLICK HERE

Tim Egge

 

Race Weight Hack

MMA Coach Clayton Hires talked about fighters who need to lose extra weight for an upcoming fight normally have to run in the morning and often again in the late evening before bed on top of their normal training to help lose the weight and it is often these athletes who have to lose a lot of weight as well as cut the water from their body who goes into fights in better conditioning than the athletes who don’t need to lose as much weight and don’t need to be running twice a day.

 

What is my point?

By adding in some extra training that will not impact the rest of your training block, you will simply burn more calories.

 

What about junk miles?

If the training has a purpose, it isn’t junk miles.  Junk miles is simply just doing miles for the sake of doing miles. This isn’t it.  The purpose is simply to help lose extra body fat so these sessions have a purpose.  Going for a 20-30 minute easy run or a ride or going to the gym and using the cardio equipment will help you to burning more calories and get down to race weight faster.

The main factor to look out for is the extra sessions can not negatively impact any other session you have set in your program.  The extra miles are not worth doing if it is going to create any issues no matter how small the issues seem.

 

Is this a optimal way to help get down to race weight? 

No.  This blog is simply offering a hack to consider if you are struggling.

I will post a few more race weight hack blogs in the coming weeks.

Tim Egge

 

Useful Drills for Triathletes

  • What are some of the best drills I find useful for triathletes?
  • How should you add drills onto your program?

 

I wanted to write something for a little while now on drills I find useful for most triathletes to add into their swim training all year round.

If you are unaware of what each drill is, I suggest you YouTube them as these should help you become a better swimmer. I will give a list of the most common drills I use for athletes and I will give some ideas on how to use them.

Yes there are many other drills I use but I use others drills for the reason for the athlete’s individual needs. These drills I believe most triathletes can benefit from.

 

Drills:

  • 6/1/6 with fins
  • 6/3/6 with fins
  • Scull with a pool buoy
  • Doggy paddle with pool buoy
  • Broken Arrow with fins

 

Including drills:

I am a big fan of including drills into your warm up.  Here are three different warm ups you can use.  I made these simple to do and remember but you can change and have fun with them.

 

Session One:

Warm Up:

200m free

200m of 50m 6/1/6, 50m free

200m pull and paddle breathing done as 50m B3s, 50m B5s, 50m B7s, 50m B3s

200m of 50m 6/3/6, 50m free

200m building over each 50m

 

Session Two

Warm up:

200m free

200m of 25m scull, 75m free

200m of 25m doggy paddle, 75m free

200m of 25m scull, 25m doggy paddle, 50m free

Build:

100m done as 25m MAD, 75m easy +20s

100m done as 50m MAD, 50m easy +20s

100m done as 75m MAD, 25m easy

 

Session Three

Warm Up

200m free

200m of 50m 6/1/6, 50m free

 

200m of 25m scull, 25m doggy paddle, 50m free

200m of 50m broken arrow, 50m free

200m of 50m doggy paddle, 50m free

 

Weaker Kick

If you have a weaker kick, doing your cool down with 200m of 12m torpedo kick, 12m free is a great way to build your kick and help cool down from your session.

 

Different Long Runs

It is very easy to get into the habit doing the same kind of long run each week. That moderate effort for a long period of time. I am guilty of this myself as I like to do my long runs with a small group of runners. However, by making some changes to your weekly long run in the lead up to your race can not only have a massive impact from a physical prospective but also from a psychological point of view as well.

Here are some great options for mixing up your weekly long run.

Building Miles:
Adding walking within your long run is the best way to increase volume each week and lower the risk of injury. Simple things like adding 30sec every 10min of running, run 9min and walk 1min. every 5min of running add 20sec of walking.

You can mix and match this to fit in with where your fitness is at.

Depleted Long Run
Not having any carbs before or during the run and keeping the pace moderate. This is a great session if you are training for a marathon, Ironman or longer. I would however recommend bringing some nutrition with you. Best to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Medium/Moderate/Medium
Breaking your long run into three parts and running medium effort, back the effort off into a moderate effort and increasing it again into a medium effort. For example if I had a Ironman athlete do this sessions maybe three or four times in a twelve week lead up to their race, the session would look like 10 miles medium effort, 10 miles moderate effort, 10 miles medium effort. The medium efforts should be uncomfortable but manageable.

Three rounds of 5x 1min effort
Adding 5x 1min medium effort (uncomfortable but manageable), 1min easy in the early part of your long run, again somewhere in the middle and again towards the end. The rest of the long run is done at a moderate effort.

Fast Finish
Long run with a fast finish could be from 20 minutes through to 10km. The effort could be from race effort through to an uncomfortable but manageable effort. Unless you really know your body, no efforts on the long run should be completed at a MAD state (as fast as possible without compromising your technique)

Ten Push Ups every Ten Minutes of Running
This isn’t the best session if you suffer from back pains but is a great session to do in the off season and even better to do with friends. 10 push ups every 10 minutes of running. If you do this with your friends, you can have some fun and do one or two extra push ups each time so by the end, you can say you did more push ups.

1min on, 1min off – Focus on Focusing
Chopping between 1min at race effort and 1min easy is a great way to get your body use to the demands of race day without the damage of doing a race. To me it is a greater session to help with focus. The difference between a good race and an average race is often focus.

Effort vs Pace

Note that I don’t mention pace.  I don’t really care about pace. I care about the effort.  What does it feel like for you.

 

Ironman & 70.3 via Power Numbers

You have a power meter.

You have a Functional Threshold Power score.

You have a power zone list for training.

Now what should your race power be?

 

This is a guide for Ironman and half Ironman events you can used based off a percentage of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) or critical power score.

Looking at your predicted race finish time, you can use these percentages to help guide your training and what power you plan to hold for your race.  Many athletes simply pick a number they see often when they feel good on their long rides. This doesn’t translate too well come race day.

 

Remember:

These hours are total race times and not bike split time. The percentage is a percentage of your FTP

 

Half Ironman Power:

  • 3-4 hours = 83-85%
  • 4-5 hours = 81-83%
  • 5-6 hours = 79-81%
  • 7+ hours = 75-77%

 

Ironman Power

  • 8-9 hours = 78-80%
  • 9-10 hours = 76-78%
  • 10-11 hours = 74-76%
  • 11-12 hours = 72-74%
  • 12-13 hours = 70-72%
  • 13-14 hours = 68-70%
  • 14-15 hours = 66-68%
  • 15-17 hours = 64-66%

 

Example:

To use nice simple maths, if my FTP was 300 watts and I wanted to race a Half Ironman in 4-5 hours and a full Ironman in 9-10 hours, my racing power would be:

  • Half Ironman: 243-249 watts
  • Ironman: 228-234 watts

 

Hills

For both half Ironman and Ironman, riding up hill at these power watts will be too low however you don’t want to go over threshold. so bringing it up to threshold but not over threshold.

With downhill, big gear and peddle softly.

 

Hope these numbers help.

Tim Egge

 

 

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