There are moments in our lives that change the course of the rest of our lives. These moments can be big or small; ceremoniously celebrated with a large group of people, or silently witnessed alone; they can be moments that you saw coming ahead of time, or moments that surprised you; you may recognize that these moments are about to change your life, or they might do so without your awareness: moments such as the day you first set eyes on your future life partner; your wedding day; the day your child is born; a time when you were in need and someone was kind (or unkind) to you; a conversation with a friend; a look from a stranger that penetrates you deep inside, a moment in a book that impacted you… No matter what these moments look like, somehow your life is irreversibly changed by them. I had one of these moments this year. This moment happened about 7 months ago during a long distance triathlon race in California.
Entries for month: January 2013
By: James Adams
In the triathlon world we listen and read so much about swimming, biking and running. We learn how to improve our technique, aerodynamics, workouts, gear, nutrition, etc, etc. We spend hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars to get that extra edge - ANYTHING to take that extra time off of your PR or gain that "free speed." Triathlon is a business just like anything else out there and you have to be careful of buying into all of the hype, gear and trends that can break your bank if you're not careful. The good news is, the single most important thing to get you faster in triathlon is free. Listen to your body! The body has an amazing way of giving you signals on whether to back off or push it. It can save you from injury, sickness and burnout; which can be the fall of any triathlete whether you're experienced or a newbie. As typical "Type A" personalities it can be often hard to coach or listen to the advice but if you look for the cues it can save you days/months of missed training. So what are the cues?
In the last article,
you learned about why you should fuel differently when you go to a
triathlon camp (like the upcoming Wildflower training camps coming April
During my time spent at triathlon camps, I have developed four crucial guidelines to assist in high-volume meal planning and daily nutrition.
1. Prioritize Activity-Based Fueling. When your body is active and engaged in exercise, with blood flowing and the heart beating rapidly, your cells become more insulin sensitive. This means that your pancreas does not produce such an enormous surge of insulin in response to high sugar and calorie intake, and your body is more likely to utilize circulating blood sugar for energy, rather than convert it into circulating triglycerides (packaged fats) in the liver. This window of insulin sensitivity ranges from 5-10 minutes prior to beginning and training session, during the training session, and up to 20-30 minutes afterwards. Based on this concept, you should choose the sweetest, most calorie dense fuels and actually consume them immediately before, during and after a training session. This means that packaged gummy sugar bites or gooey morsels of chocolate should be eaten only during the training window, and not while lounging on the couch at the end of the day, or sitting in a transport vehicle 45 minutes before a session. Some of my athletes refer to this guideline as “saving your sugar”. If you want a very slow release fuel, then check out this article, in which I describe my personal race day fueling protocol, which also works very well on long training days.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the official Wildflower triathlon training camps (this April 5-7) are just days from being announced! These camps are for both Olympic and Long Distance Wildflower triathletes, and in the meantime, you might as well start studying up on how to fuel your body during a multi-day training camp - where you may be exercising much more than usual and need more fuel.
So this two part article series will fill you in on everything you need to know to eat adequate calories without destroying your body.
Oh yeah, before we jump in – did you get your no-guesswork 18 Week Wildflower Triathlon Training Plan yet? Click here to grab it now.
Of course, most triathletes can easily understand that based on training volume, some days will require more eating and some days less. But when it comes to a high-volume day or week, such as a triathlon camp, a century bike ride, or a big build week, it can be difficult to navigate the decision-making process of choosing which fuels to consume and how much, especially when compared to a “normal” training day. A paradox arises when a triathlete desires to eat healthy, but must somehow consume significantly more fuel.
My journey to triathlon and the significance of my race number for
the 2012 Avia Wildflower Long Course race began when I was a kid.
From around second grade, I struggled with my weight. I was always self-conscious and worried that people were judging me not by who I was but by what I was, which simply put was a fat kid. In high school I was still self-conscious but being a football player it was accepted by not only me but my family. My senior year my playing weight was in the area of 315 pounds and I’m 5’11”.
After high school I had a full ACL reconstruction while also
going away to college. The pizza and beer being compounded by the
inactivity except for physical therapy took its toll. I ballooned and
the last weight I saw was 336 pounds after which I stopped getting on
the scale. At the Age of 19 I was hypertensive and pre-diabetic. When I
learned that I was risking diabetes I decided to change my life for the
better. I joined up with Kennedy Club Fitness (KCF) in San Luis Obispo
and started working out. I managed to get myself down to 286 pounds and
that was enough to get me away from diabetes and off the medications.
However, I was still self-conscious and felt like I was literally a
prisoner in my own body.
I would be lying if I said that dark thoughts never crossed my mind, the feelings of isolation and helplessness are two things I will never forget.