Tuesday, March 20, 2007

pondering nutrition

If the past weekend has taught me something, it is that I need to revamp my nutritional strategy for a long event.

For the past year, I've been an Accelerade/Accel Gel devotee. Having something with a little protein in it really seems to be the best thing for me; perhaps because I'm so darn dense. I weigh in at 155# but I'm only 5'6"...there's a lot of muscle on these little bones.

After a year, though...it's gotten pretty boring. Now I am reluctant to drink/eat because I am tired of the taste, and this is no good.

This past weekend, I decided to experiment with a few new things:

1) I replaced my Bento box of gels with a flask of raspberry Hammer Gel. STRIKE! When you are deep into an endurance event, the physiology of your taste buds actually changes. Hammer Gel is cloyingly, disgustingly sweet to me at that point. It was also hot out, and hot fruity gel? EEEEEW!

2) I added a Profile Design under-saddle bottle mount so I could carry more liquid. With 4 bottles, I brought 2 of Accelerade and 2 of tri-berry Nuun. The Nuun worked great--it was refreshing even when warm. It will also be very easy to replenish on race day. I think I will drop down to 2 cages again, and bring a tube of Nuun tabs with me to mix more at the aid stations. That will be easy!

3) The question of solid food...Gels and drinks are fine for a 3 hour Olympic race, but WF Half-Iron is probably going to take me about 7 hours. That means my stomach will be empty for a long time, and growly. I had thought that PB&J would be good in transition, but after cadging a few Fig Newtons off a teammate, I have decided that's the way to go. It's no wonder they are an official Ironman sponsor.

4) Tried the new Powergel formula--not bad! And it now comes in Caramel... I think I may switch to it for a few weeks, and see how it runs out for me...

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