My nearest and dearest would tell you I have an obsessive personality and won’t stop until I am satisfied. I won’t disagree, that is me to a T!
Inspired by multiple Ironmen in my life i took up triathlon at the start of this year and recently overcame my increasing feelings of self doubt and signed up to Ironman Switzerland 2023! My triathlon journey has been incredible so far, learning more and more about myself and continually pushing my boundaries and limits. I am excited to see what my body and mind is capable of with continued commitment, consistency and hard work.
Weymouth 70.3 was my first big event. A realisation that as much as you have to put in the work and effort in each discipline, (which I know I have nailed under the watchful eye of Catrin Ford at Team NFT) you equally have to show the same effort and consistency in nutrition and hydration, a steep learning curve for me. Training the gut is a concept I didn’t give much thought, but I now fully understand the importance of getting this spot on to perform to the best of my ability.
Prior to now I have gone on 4 hour cycles and bonked due to an inconsistent fuel and hydration strategy and even when I thought I had this dialled in ahead of my 70.3 I didn’t practice it enough, which prevented me taking on anything in the run. A lesson learnt the hard way and one I’m committed to putting right.
First stop, sweat test! I invested in a sweat test prior to the project so I paid for this myself and its something I would highly recommend. Understanding your sweat rate and sodium loss has allowed me to dial in my hydration strategy across each discipline, the immediate benefits of knowing and practicing this really was a game changer for me. Your sodium loss is very unique to you; For example my husband’s loss is over double what mine is so our hydration strategies are different but I would recommend you investing in some high quality salt tablets as these will really aid your performance. I use the PH 1000 tablets. Gary at Precision Fuel and Hydration spent time with me discussing how to effectively pre load and how I can implement a strong hydration strategy during and post event to make sure I am not only hydrating sufficiently but recovering effectively. Honestly I couldn’t recommend him enough! Untap your potential and invest in a sweat test, you wont regret it!
With my hydration nailed, the more difficult part for me was and is adequately fuelling. Having learnt the hard way I knew it was time to take this part of my training more seriously and there was no better time to practice this than on a 100 mile cycle. I knew it would be a long day out so I charged up my Supersapiens monitor and tried to fuel in accordance to my glucose levels to keep me in the optimal performance zone. I very quickly realised I had been under fuelling. Again fuelling is very unique to you and your goals but for me I am focusing on increasing my carb intake to 90 grams per hour to see how my body responds, I am hopeful I will achieve a more consistent glucose reading hitting the optimal performance range. This is something I failed to do at 80 grams of carbs per hour. I am fuelling using a mix of PH powder, gels and bars again find what works best for you but keep practicing it and train the gut, this is something I am continuing to do myself. I am forever a working progress but I am hopeful by my next blog, I will be able to share some further hints and tips on how I have managed to do this successfully.
On this journey, one thing I have found profoundly useful is the Knowledge Hub on the Precision Fuel and Hydration website as well as the learn section on the Supersapiens app. I believe your desire to achieve your ambitions should be coupled with the thirst for applied knowledge, these two companies are very generous with the amount of information they give out for free so try to take advantage of this and absorb everything you can, test and learn and see what works for you!
I am deep into my improvement season now, getting thick in to the winter miles with what I hope will bring summer smiles 🙂
Good luck on your journeys, I look forward to updating you again!