What a first eight weeks this has been on the project. Wow. As a detail enthusiast – gaining the insight that the Supersapiens continuous glucose monitoring system provides has been… epic. To also team this up with the support of Precision Hydration and their new fuel range… incredible. As we head deep into the dark UK winter too, Zwift is a real motivator and allows not only meet ups with like-minded triathletes but also an engaging way to stay on track during a very tough mid-week interval session. This trio together is mind blowing and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Vox Performance Project.
Now to put this support to the best use possible! Toward some very lofty goals within the world of long distance triathlon and endurance cycling.
I have spent the first 6 weeks of the project learning about my current ‘status’ of fuelling using the Supersapiens monitoring system. I always had doubts about how well I was fuelling throughout my years in the sport, but a mixture of holding back to keep with something familiar and safe plus making the bad assumption that I was already maxed out on my carb/hour intake had been holding me back from really exploring my limits further. Knowing your metabolic efficiency point through lab testing is one thing (where the quality of the lab test plays a huge part, plus many other factors at that single time of testing), but seeing it applied in real time across a number of weeks in differing scenarios and in response to how you fuel your body – this is the gold standard. Following my first few longer rides and reviewing the data post session I have come to realise that I have been massively under fuelling; tracking nowhere near even a conservative ‘performance’ number during my sessions, plus experiencing mid-session drops and poor starting glucose. While this has never truly been disastrous in either training or racing (since I had practiced so often with a certain level of fuelling ahead of race day), it is clear that to perform to the best of my ability there is a lot of work to be done in establishing how I can a) get my blood glucose up to an improved level upon starting a session or race and b) maintain that level effectively for up to 10 hours of racing.
The Precision Hydration fuel, in particular the new gels, have been my first port of call for this first 2 weeks of beginning to experiment away from my normal fuelling strategy. I’m looking forward to also experimenting with adding carbs into my liquids, which historically has not worked well for me. The hydration products had already been a staple in my everyday training and I cannot recommend their varied strength electrolyte products highly enough.
On my recent Vox Instagram story take over you’ll see a few insights into what I have been up to over the Christmas and New Year period, including these snapshots of my recent Supersapiens data and progress.
Being a part of this project has allowed me to really dive into more detail with a scientific and hard data backing for what I’m doing. I’m also recording changes in feel following each session, so while my love for hard data is there, I’m not letting it completely take over! Safe to say I’ll be in my element for the coming weeks of experimenting and validating changes, and I’m also looking forward to being able to share this knowledge and insight with my cycling peers and the athletes I work with. Really spreading the love and joy of correct fuelling and the benefits it can bring having gained this extra layer of detail and insight.
My main advice so far would be don’t be too afraid to push your carb/hour limits, try many different energy product ‘types’ too and you will eventually find your sweet spot for consistent strong performances and recovery thereafter too! I’m learning to be much braver with experimenting and I hope reading this has inspired you to be, too.
As we really kick now towards the first races of the 2022 season & thinking of race specific fuelling while getting in the winter miles, I’m looking forward to experiencing a reliable and well practiced feeling of energy stability on race day. In long distance triathlon the energy demands are complex (terrain plays a part, as does changing temperature through the day, and the general longevity of sustaining peak performance) and I’m relishing the opportunity to simplify this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, you can follow my continued journey on the Vox Performance Project here – @jadearooooo.