Before I start wittering on about gel, this is an interesting chart from QS EMFIT. It’s a 6 month daily trend of night-time and waking HRV. The green line is the waking HRV and the higher it is the better it is; the entire white line represents night recovery, sort of. It suggests that I’m not in a good place right now even though I feel OK.. these kind of charts are a great thing to keep an eye on…just like I did…not 🙁
As I started out on my ‘Ironman Journey’ several months ago I knew there were several things I needed to do. the obvious one was “Do them for longer”.
And of course that needs fuelling.
Normally I don’t overly worry about weight or weight loss. I expected the Ironman training would make me lose weight as I probably wouldn’t eat enough. I remember someone saying to me a while back that an Ironman was like a ‘very long meal’. That made some sense at the time.
After my recent 3 weeks off running – now almost back to normal, thank you for asking – I seem to have gained 1kg. In reality I secretly had hoped to lose 1kg. With a HM coming up in a few days that will hopefully signal a return to increased running mileages and then, perhaps, weight loss will become an issue. Although with about 2 months to go losing 2kg is unlikely and probably unwise.
I’ve got very good at eating.
What I’ve decided to do now is to practice eating/fuelling during every session when running rather than just whenever I sit down at home 🙁 !!. I’m now just about able to remember to eat when cycling but, when running, I have this urge to hang on until I get to the end or to not think I need any more combos of fructose:glucose. So, I’ll endeavour to take a gel for every 40 minutes or so.
Here are my new running friends and I’ll tell you how I met them:
A couple of weeks ago there was an offer from WAHOO on SiS products (?why?) so, unlike the normal me, I actually followed it through and bought something. I’m not usually a sucker for advertising. Then, on the SiS website I found *this* deal to add to the one from WAHOO (now that IS the sort of thing I do, a deal on a DEAL..nice 😉 ). So I got lots of freebie branded SiS plastic drinkwear as well as a plethora of Raspberry gel that I wasn’t too sure I would like. Although I vaguely remember trying one and liking it at the Triathlon show in The Excel..or was that the apple one I didn’t like??? I digress.. the gels at the front were from Sigma Sport’s end-of-season sale – that was so long ago they’ve probably turned from sugar into alcohol by now. Yummy!
So I had actually bought all of that stuff.
I think I had tripled SiS’s turnover all by myself in so doing. So after that it looks like they have decided to give me some *NEW* free stuff for the next few months to report back on. That’s the caffeine+B12 shot on the left. I think that’s one of their new (perhaps unreleased) products. They are a tad smaller than the Beet-It shots BUT contain 150mg caffeine + vit B12 and that is just perfect for someone who is 70ish Kgs (actually a bit heavier…as discussed above). I have tended in the past to use 3x the Proplus tabs for caffeine but they often get stuck in my throat so the freebie caffeine shot could be handy. It’s not fuel, obviously, but I have tended to take caffeine on Wednesdays before the hard swim session which followed the earlier hard running session (when not injured). That was in a vain, weekly attempt to give me the edge to get near the front of my swimming lane. It works for about 30 minutes before I decide to practice my pack drafting skills for open water (in the pool)
I guess this time of year it is hard to find any deals on gels. Best in the off season. However if any of you consider yourselves athletes then contact Beet-It directly and, if you buy a couple of their cases in one go (that’s what I do..no freebies), you can get a nice ‘athlete’s discount’. I think it’s something like £20 a case. I also think they are a bit fresher and seem to taste a BIT nicer; either that or they have put a bit more apple juice in than before.
PS Caffeine has a ‘half-life’ I forget what it is right now but it DEFINATELY wears off during an Ironman, so you’ll need quite a bit of caffeine during your race. Caffeine has proven benefits and should really be banned and indeed it DID used to be banned. But it’s so common the International Federation of Something gave in and now we can all enjoy the jitters without worrying about being banned.