Heading into the race, the main concern I had was the heat and how to prepare for it. I sweat a lot and that can be a problem in the heat and dealing with muscle cramps. This season, I’ve been working with Nicci at Elevate by Nicci and, in short, she’s nailed it. My body burns energy more efficiently and reaches towards fat as the main source. I can bike at 85% of FTP and run at 6:25 pace without crossing over and burning more carbs. This gives me a chance to focus on the race and not worry about gut rot, consuming massive amounts of calories, and crashing from sugar lows.
The second part we’ve worked on is focusing on muscle cramping. Together with Coach Earl from Tailwind Endurance, my workouts have served as race day tests. Even the races themselves are rehearsals for the big A race later this season. Each one has an opportunity for learning and we implemented a sodium focused strategy. The night before the race, I went through sodium loading and consumed a certain amount of salt with orange juice and water. Then, on race morning, I went through another round of sodium loading. Breakfast was toast with a scoop of peanut butter and half an avocado followed by a UCAN drink shortly before the race.
It worked perfectly. The water was hot, I was sweating right away, but the cramps that have plagued my run never came. I ran as comfortably as possibly in 85+ degrees and sun and just kept dumping water on myself.
In race nutrition was simple:
Bike: 1 bottle of 3 scoop UCAN + electrolytes as discussed + water
Run: 2nd Surge gel for a little boost at mile 10 + electrolytes as discussed + water
Nailed it all around! Nutrition has been the missing piece and I’m happy to say that things are coming together nicely and constantly developing. Now it’s time to get back to the pool and get ready for another hot day out at NJ State Triathlon.