Displacement of your big goal.
In today's day and age, unfortunately we all have to deal with the cancellation, rescheduling or even last minute cancellations of events. Fortunately, this is not the case for the Ironman in West-Friesland and a new date has been found so that we can all reach our goal.
Completing or winning a specific distance, or improving your own PR will be the most common goal here. Of course, moving the date of the Ironman West-Friesland also has implications for your training build-up. Although at first it will be a big setback that you have to move your goal, in a certain sense it also offers opportunities. You get the opportunity to prepare even better, to increase your base and to experiment with your nutrition. The latter is very important and also a common mistake: having a plan ready before the race and only applying it on race day.
Now that the new date has been pinned, we'll give you a challenge to the original date.
For example, choose from: completing the enrolled distance by yourself in your home situation, try to execute your planned nutrition plan there already completely as you had in mind for race day.
Another option is to run, for example, only the half marathon or 10 km at the planned pace (this will feel a bit easy since you haven't swum or cycled beforehand). Now that the days are longer than in winter, when you normally train the biggest volume/longest time, you have the possibility to challenge yourself by, for example, doing a really long bike ride, or an endurance run which is longer than your race distance. Thus, it will not be too bad on actual race day.
Both options give you the opportunity to test an important part of the competition already: your nutrition plan.
In the area of nutrition there are many choices you can make, below we list everything for you per phase: pre-race, during, post-race. Per phase there are different types of food you can choose from, we also list the most important ones.
A few days before the race, replenishing your, already depleted, energy reserves from prior training is crucial. After all, you don't want to start a tough Ironman race with a low tank.
Classically, a method is used where you start to deplete your energy reserves and only replenish them 2-3 days before the race. The disadvantage of this is that you enter a period of malnutrition, which can suppress your immune system and recovery. You don't really want that before a tough race.
Newer methods opt for an additional supplement 2 days before the race. The emphasis is then on additional intake of CHO (carbohydrates) during these days. Please note that this extra intake is not for everyone. Try it out beforehand to see if you can digest it. You can also choose to take extra CHO 3 days before the race and eat normally again the day before the race. In this way, you relieve your gastrointestinal system on the last day so that it is completely in shape for race day. One of the advantages of this is that you take in enough energy in advance and your digestive tract comes to rest in time, which in turn helps to prevent complaints later in the race.
As you get closer to your start time, you reduce your food. The last "big" meal before the race is best done 2 to 3 hours before, depending on what you are used to. Eat enough, but do not overdo it. It's best to avoid too many fast sugars and fibers; they slow down the digestion process. A (small) snack up to 1 hour before the start is best. If you are used to caffeine, this is also the moment to take 3 to 6 mg/kg body weight. Caffeine can indeed have a positive effect on your performance, but it also takes some practice to find out how your body reacts to this substance during exercise.
During CHO loading and during the race, drinking is important. When CHO-loading it is best to drink sufficient water. As mentioned before, higher concentrations of CHO increase the chance of gastrointestinal complaints and can hinder the absorption of fluids by the body. Carbohydrates also need water to be consumed or stored by the body, if you make a hypo- or isotonic drink, the fluid will be better absorbed than when you take normal water.
See here for pre-race products.
In general, it is best to aim for an intake of around 60 to 90 grams of CHO per hour of exercise. So do the math and time it!
Carbohydrates during your race are crucial, if you don't supplement them you will quickly get a "hunger knock" due to the shortage of energy that can be released quickly. After all, the intensity of the race is so high that the energy demand of your muscles cannot be met quickly enough with fat burning alone, so you need carbohydrates.
Uptake of this CHO during exercise can be done in several ways:
Depending on CHO intake via drink or supplemented with gels or solid food, you can opt for 2 "recipes": the isotonic and hypotonic mix.
Isotonic Sports Drink: The isotonic sports drink is a combination between a thirst quencher and as an energy provider for the body. The isotonic sportdrink replenishes electrolytes as well as carbohydrates. The ratio is 70g on 1 liter of water/or 35g in a 500ml water bottle contains about 8g of carbohydrates per 100ml and virtually the same osmotic pressure as body fluids. Ideal for endurance athletes who go for a long intensive effort.
Hypotonic Sports Drink: The Hypotonic sports drink is used as a thirst quencher and mainly replenishes electrolytes. The ratio is 20g to 1 liter of water or about 10g in a 500ml water bottle contains less than 4g of carbohydrates per 100ml.
Use as an isotonic sports drink
Suggested dosage: dissolve 1 measuring spoon of powder (approx. 35g) in a bottle of 500ml of water (or 1.5 measuring spoons of 50g in a bottle of 750ml of water)
Suggested use: Divide the drinking of the Isotonic Sportdrink during the warming up (ideal is drinking 200 to 300ml) over a period of 1 hour before the start until just before the effort/competition. During the effort/competition when possible drink approx. 300ml of Isotonic Sportdrink every half hour.
Use as Hypotonic sports drink
Suggested dosage: dissolve one half scoop of powder (approx. 20g) in a 500ml water bottle (or one almost full scoop approx. 30g in a 750ml water bottle)
Suggested use: Before and during training/competition as required. Guideline: drink 500ml (1 bidon) to about 1 liter divided over 60 minutes, the amount depends on the temperature outside and the level of exertion.
In warmer temperatures it is better to opt for a hypotonic mixture, since your body needs more fluids with the same intake of CHO.
Gels are a good supplement to CHO, if you don't digest so many drinks well. They are easier to use in the race and the dosage makes it clear what you can take per hour. The PRO Isotonic gels from BYE! can be taken in parts thanks to the user-friendly swivel top and are very fluid. You do not need to drink any extra to wash it down. Very convenient!
These gels, like many on the market, have caffeine as an added bonus. So you don't have to take your cup of coffee with you on the bike and you still have the necessary energy boost! Caffeine also has the advantage that your fat burning process gets a boost, which is important if you want to save your CHO-stock, which you have built up in the previous days, for those last few kilometers.
It is recommended to experiment with gels on training though. Train the gut!
Solid food is also possible of course, although you have to chew it up and process it. At (sub)maximal effort, this can be hard on the stomach. Some people find it more pleasant from a gel, that is a personal choice. On races longer than 5 hours, something to chew is a welcome change.
See here for products for during the competition.
A nice refreshing beer after the finish can certainly taste good. However, since alcohol has a water-draining effect, it is not ideal after heavy exertion. If you have no further short-term goals: dig in! Otherwise, it's better to opt for a recovery shake with enough CHO to supplement, proteins (whey and casein) and other nutritional substances to speed up your recovery.
Remember to replenish fluids, ideally with a hypotonic sports drink, spread out over the hours after the race.
See here for post-race products.
Anyway, enough options to keep your motivation high and to prepare even better for the 'big day'! For now, on our behalf, good luck with your midterm 'test', and go for it!
Keep the spirit high and become an IRONMAN!