Are you prepared?
The swim leg represents only a small percentage of the overall length of the race and because of this it is quite often not given the attention it deserves. You want to be exiting the water feeling comfortable and ready for what lies ahead. This means getting in the pool and in the open water doing long sessions, if you are consistent with your swim training and feel confident that the 1.9km is merely a warm up to the bike leg, then you are on your way to having a solid 90km bike ride.
Unlike most races the Busselton Half Ironman will be a mid-morning start, so for those of us who have difficulty eating food before the race this late start should be a bonus. To be confident that you are entering the water well fuelled take one Carboshotz Energy Gel 15 minutes before the start with a mouthful of water. Try this in your training before a training session.
You have had an exceptional swim because you trained hard at it and now you are exiting the bike transition feeling comfortable and relaxed ready for 90km in the saddle. In your training you have set yourself a realistic time for the bike leg and you know pretty much what average speed you need to sit on to achieve that goal. Now you need to concentrate on keeping fluid/carbohydrate and electrolyte levels up to provide the energy required to achieve the bike time you have set and prepare your body for the 21.1km run.
REPLACING MY LOSSES:
Fat represents virtually a limitless supply of energy for muscle to burn (or metabolise). However, the rate at which fat can be metabolised has a ceiling. Carbohydrate makes up the difference between energy demand and supply during exercise, depending on intensity. As exercise intensity increases, the contribution of carbohydrates as an energy source also increases. Unfortunately, the liver and muscle have limited supplies of carbohydrates. When these supplies dwindle, energy must be derived more exclusively from fats and the rate of energy production is decreased. This results in an athlete’s performance slowing down and fatiguing.
The bike leg is where you set yourself up for the 21.1km run, making sure you maintain fluid and carbohydrate needs is super important, make sure you have a nutrition plan set out that works for you and stick to it.
Carbolyte Sports Drink will be available on the bike and run legs, try to consume at least 3 x 750ml sports bottles (1 x bottle per hour or so) of Carbolyte during the bike leg, there will be a bottle exchange at the completion of each lap, this makes monitoring your fluid consumption easy.
Why is fluid consumption so important? For each 1 litre of fluid lost in sweat your heart rate increases by 8 beats per minute, your core temperature increases and so does your perceived exertion. On a hot/humid day it is not uncommon to lose up to 2-3 litres of sweat per hour. If you are like most athlete’s chances are you do not drink near enough to replace your losses, so be sure to practice drinking more in your training.
Am I getting enough carbohydrate? Research shows that during a race of this distance you need to be replacing around 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per hour. E.g. if you weigh 75 kilograms you would need to consume around 75 grams of carbohydrate per hour. To be sure you are meeting your carbohydrate requirements during the bike leg Carboshotz Energy Gels are ideal for replacing energy quickly. Consume your Carboshotz with a mouthful or two of water.
The nature of running makes it difficult to maintain adequate fluid/carbohydrate consumption, so setting yourself up during the bike leg is important to prepare your body for the 21.1km.
On the run leg there will be Carbolyte Sports Drink, Carboshotz Energy Gel, Cola and Water. If your choice is Cola make sure that you drink a cup of water with each cup of Cola.
Good luck, the crew at Energy2go wish you all the best and trust that you have an enjoyable race.