Essential Sports Nutrition


Road Atlanta Race Report

Since everyone is watching the tour (except us right now, without versus in our hotel room :( ) I will talk in "cycling" terms so I can sound just like Karel.
This race report is based on Karel telling all his cycling buddies what happened during the race as he was on the phone for our drive from the race until we got to our hotel and from just watching the race.
As for me, this was the race report I received from Karel....
"It was really hard, that climb was tough, I am happy with my performance, can you get me some cold water I had no fluids for the last 3 loops"

After a 7 hour drive, we arrived to the Road Atlanta car racing course around 5:30pm. We watched a little of the 35+ race and we both registered for the weekend. Karel for all 4 races and me for just sat and sun. I watched the girls race so I could scope out my competition. Karel relaxed for a bit and got ready to warm-up. I acted like a spectator so I just snacked on food and got my camera ready to take pics.
As Karel was warming up I prepared his water bottles (Heed + aminos and water and aminos).
The race started at 7:15 (a little late) and the race was 16 loops (around 35 miles of a 2.4 mile course). Karel placed 4th in this race last year and he absolutely loves this course. However, this year the course loop was backwards from last year so the crazy steep hill that the boys descending on last year was a crazy steep climb at the beginning of each loop. There was still a steep downhill with lots of windy roads along the way so this course is absolutely made for karel. All his intervals at his max would pay off at this race.
It only took 1 loop until Karel made his way to the front of the 50 Pro 1,2 field. Karel likes to sit in the pack and get a feel of the crowd until the race "gets going". However, this time Karel was all about action and instead of responding to moves, he was making them.
Karel and around 6 other guys formed a breakaway which stood strong for about 6-8 loops. There was one solo rider in the front that was totally TT'ing it the whole time. Karel and his group had the chase group trying to catch them for a few more loops and it wasn't until Karel's group caught the Cat 3 riders who started 2 min behind them. So the pro's lapped the Cat 3 riders and now the Cat 3's were hanging on with the Pro's. The Pro chase group got closer to Karel's breakaway group and there was no slowing down on the big climb.
I was enjoying taking pics and cheering but I knew I couldn't get too confident in karel. The race is never over until the riders cross the line. So much can happen in 1 loop and with the race only having 1 loop to go, I knew this would be a sprint to the finish.
The solo rider from a development team won the race by a min or so and then comes the big group of Pros and some Cat 3's. I see Karel in front of the pack but since he was first on the descend down the hill he knew there was no way he could keep up his pace. Karel had all the guys behind him as he was descending and then for a crazy sprint finish, Karel ended up in 7th place. There was a crash on one of the end loops which kinda shook up the riders but it wasn't until the end of the race that everyone looked like that had experienced enough pain for the evening.
So, congrats to Karel and a great way to start off the weekend of racing.
Tonight is the crit in downtown Norcross, GA at 8pm. Karel LOVES crits and hopefully he will have that boost in his legs for another great finish. Tomorrow (sat) we both do a road race and then on sun is the circuit race.
Karel and I rode 4 miles to the circuit race today and practiced 3 loops of the course which we will do on sun. Karel gave me some great pointers and I think he wants me to make some girls suffer...hopefully I won't be the one suffering :)

My computer at our hotel is a bit slow so I put the pics on snapfish for your viewing

Crit tonight!!!

If you are in the area or are looking for something EXCITING to do...
come watch the crit tonight in dowtown norcross, GA.

Pro's race at 8pm!!!!

There will be food, vendors, ME and lots of fun.
Let me know if you can make...I know there are some georgia bloggers out there :)

*Karel's race report coming soon...


Heading to Georgia!

It has been a while since Karel and I have been in Georgia. I was telling Kate on our trip up to Lake Lanier for Iron Girl ATL that it is weird to not go to GA without Karel. However, the trip was super quick with two girls just chatting away.

Tomorrow Karel and I head to Lawrenceville, GA for the Gwinett cycling race.
This time, we are both racing. I will be doing the road race and for the first time, a circuit race. I thought about the crit but decided to pass on it. I will leave that crazy stuff to Karel. The first race is tomorrow on a car racing course. It is a crazy course which is about 2.7 miles around and goes up on one side and down the other. Cars race on it so it is super fast. I will take lots of pics don't worry!
Then on fri Karel has the crit in norcross, Ga. On sat we will both do a road race (mine is only 35 miles, Karel's is around 65 or 70 I think) and then on sun is the circuit race which is a 2.5 mile loop of rolling terrain in an office center. I remember last year I ran around the course about 6 times. I was always finding ways to train for Kona in new places :)

I'm looking forward to getting away for a few days. We are staying at an extended stay so we have a full kitchen. No bad meals for us! There is a longhorn near by so I can't wait to have some bread, nuts and a sweet potato!

I will keep everyone updated.


Interval tuesday....AND....Workouts!

Ok, so I'm not all about sports nutrition and Karel. Even though those are two of my loves in life :)

Training has been tough but good. Tough as in, I am sore, tired and moving slow. But good as I am loving every second of it....until I have to walk up 3 flights of stairs with my bike after a long bike ride just to get into my apartment.

Fri morning I did a nice 30 mile ride on my tri bike. After the ride I went to the pool for a good 2000 swim of fast 100's and 50's. Trying to get my swim pace a bit faster for an upcoming Olympic distance in the end of August.
Sat morning I headed out for my long run at around 7am. I think I made it until 7:15am before I was covered in sweat. My M-dot hat has to be deeply cleaned after my sat morning runs because it is hot, hot, hot here in Jacksonville, FL. I ran for 1:48 and covered a lot of ground. 13.2 miles of it. Not too shabby for a long run (mileage and time) but I am still moving my way up. Moving up for what? Not sure. My marathon isn't until Dec. but I just love seeing my body get a little stronger every week. I had to stop at the Trek store on the way home because I was SO thirsty and my fuel belt was done. I aways carry a gel with me but I have been good with just my two flasks of water + aminos and Heed. Now, if I was running a race I would absolutely want more fluid and on sat morning..oh did I need it! I filled up my flasks with water at the Trek store and the guys working were nice but I'm sure I looked just awful. Semi-depleted, sweaty and with only 1.3 miles to go, I was in la-la land and in need of fluids.
I made my way home and quickly grabbed my bike. Out the door for my favorite workout post-run spin on my tri bike. Oh, it feels so good to just spin my legs at 15 mph. I usually ride my run route to give me around 45 min of spinning my legs. Althought riding my bike after a long run is the last thing I want to do when I am standing in my air-conditioned apartment, it is always nice to have loose legs after the run-ride.
I wasn't able to rest much on sat because I had 3 assignments due on mon for school and a mid-term. I studied all day and then watched a movie with Karel once he got off work.

Sunday was a long ride with Karel and it ended up being me and Curtis, Jeff and Karel (Linder capital riders) for 35 miles of my ride. It was great just sitting on their wheels and since Jeff (karel's boss) just got back from Trek bike tour in Europe, Karel was enjoying listening to Jeff's stories of beer, food and riding in beautiful Czech. I made my turn home around 35 miles while the rest of the guys headed straight to give them 90 miles. For me, well I planned on doing 50 but I didn't realize how far out we were, so I ended up with 65 miles. No time to run, it was around 10 and I needed to start my studying. That's school for ya...a big reason why I am not doing an Ironman this year. Studying for school is one thing that you can't crame and same goes for long training. You miss one day of what you are suppose (school or training) to do and you feel the negative affects later on (exam or race).
That evening Karel and I went to the Cheesecake of my favorite "fine-dining" restaurants :), Second to Outback, the Cheesecake factory is upscale for me :) We met another couple (Chris and Sara) at my talk and invited them to come with us. It was nice to get to know another couple but with 4 athletes at the table (Sara is a runner, Chris does motorcross) we went through a few bread baskets and most of the talk was on nutrition :) Appropriate place right??...Don't make eye contact with the cheesecake Karel!

Monday was a well needed day off. I took my Food service mid-term in the morning, finished up my assignments to turn in later that afternoon and then walked to the Trek store (about 20 min. walk) to work from 4:30-7.

This morning I had a good interval tuesday. A little bit of everything this morning since my legs are a bit tired. But with watching the beginning of the tour on the treadmill TV this morning (Don't miss the tour is a GREAT one of climbing! But we haven't watched the finish so don't tell me who wins!) I was entertained for all of my run.
10 min warm-up at 7.3 mph
5 x 50 sec at 8.5mph w/ 10 sec recovery
5 min run at 7.6 mph
5 x 30 sec at 9mph w/ 30 sec recovery at 7.7mph
5 min run at 7.6 mph
4 x 90 sec at 8.8 mph w/ 30 sec recovery at 7.6mph
2 min run at 7.7 mph
4 x 60 sec at 9mph w/ 30 sec recovery at 7.6mph
4 min run at 7.7mph
Total: 51 min, 7 miles

I did a few weights to give my heart a break from pounding and then headed down to the pool. I love my outdoor pool!

500 warm-up swim, 200 kick.
4 x (50 easy, 50 fast, 100 easy, 100 fast). cycle for 50's:50 sec, cycle for 100's 1:50.
Nice and easy, plenty of rest. 2000 yards with warm-down.

Phew...I'm tired just typing all of that!


Amino Acids

My first love of sports nutrition is protein (in the diet and for recovery) and the active individual (aka athlete/exercise enthusiast). My second love, is the building block of protein: amino acids.
Just the other day I was scrolling MSNBC.msncom and read something very interesting about Dara Torres, the 41 year old Olympic swimmer who is rumored to be doping. Now the talk is about a supplement she is taking.....long pause.....Amino Acids!
Hum...amino acids? I mean, can you tell me something new that athletes don't already know. Or maybe it is just one of the many supplements that is mixed with the many other supplements that are available on the market. You have heard of them, you've read about them, maybe you have tried them, but just aren't sure if they will work for you.
Time for me to step in.....
Take a look at almost any current nutrition products (hammer, GU, Accelerade, cytomax, infinit, base nutrition by Chris Lieto, first endurance and amino vital) and you will see one of the following ingredients:

The most common amino acids are glutamin, isoleucine (BCAA), leucine (BCAA), valine (BCAA), Tyrosine and Arginine. These amino acids, among many other ingredients, help you feel better during exercise. So, how do they work?

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are similar to the proteins found in real food but in a higher percentage when found in sports drinks.
The branch chain amino acids, leucine, isolecuine and valine and the many other essential amino acids can be viewed as brain fuel. During endurance exercise your brain increases its level of tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin. You all know of serotonin right? That feel good, boy I’m tired for no reason chemical in the body? As serotonin levels increase, BCAA levels in the brain decrease. This isn’t good. The brain begins to fatigue and performance, exercising or competing begins to suffer. Through the supplementation of BCAA’s (around 3-6 grams per hour during exercise) you will feel more energized during the workout, use fat more efficiently and you will also think more clearly.
Another sport fuel that people love to use during training is sport bars. Anything liquid will get into the bloodstream quickly. Anything solid must be digested, absorbed by the small intestines and then taken up into the blood…if it is properly digested. If you are exercising, where do you want the blood to go? To the muscles of course. Not to the stomach. I like to view solid food, like bars, sport beans and gel blocks as accessories to your liquid fuels. They are stomach satisfiers not fuel givers. I recommend having a bar if a workout lasts longer than 2 ½ hours and not having that bar until you reach the 2 ½ hr mark. Have ¼ bar will help you digest the bar a lot easier than eating it all at once. A lot of people look for sport bars with protein because of the muscle damage that occurs with long distance training. The BCAA’s are your best bet for reducing muscle damage during exercise and giving you fuel because they can be consumed in liquid form to get into the bloodstream very quickly.
Any protein that you consume must be broken down into amino acids in the small intestines, absorbed through the tissues and then taken to the liver where it is broken into ketones. At this point, amino acids can be used for repair. Since you don’t use protein for fuel during exercise, the protein that is in a bar or packaged food is broken down many times before it can be used to repair. So if you look at a bar that has 10, 15 or 20 grams of protein, think about how much protein you are actually getting into the muscles and tissues after it is broken down? Not very much. However, BCAA’s are not broken down in the liver. They go right to the skeletal muscles and after they are metabolized they can actually be used for immediate fuel. I think everyone would benefit from amino acids during exercise to help you go longer and to delay fatigue. Even for the short workouts, a scoop of base performance with 30 calories may help you increase your running or cycling pace and help you get in a high intensity hour workout.
If you want to use protein in food to receive amino acids in the diet, choose milk/soy milk, lean meat, eggs, whey protein, cottage cheese, cheese or even beans and nuts which provide more of a complete protein than anything processed (whey, eggs, lean meat and milk are your best choices for complete protein.

Here is what I recommend:
Whey protein: 90-120 calories per scoop (around 18-22 g protein) around 30 minutes after long workouts. Choose an affordable protein powder (whey) of almost ALL protein. You can mix with water or milk if you can't get to a blender (working out on the road away from home) or make a smoothie after a long workout. Factor in smoothie calories into your post workout meal so you don't end up with more than 500 calories at your post workout meals. Aim for around 350-400 calories with your long workout meal even with a 200-250 calorie smoothie. Eat the meal around 1-2 hours after the smoothie. This way you don't overdo it and listen to your body who is incorrectly telling you that because you burned 1500 calories (mostly fat if you are working out long and mostly aerobically) that you need to eat a 1000 calorie meal. WRONG!
For those shorter workouts, 1/2-1 scoop whey protein with water (or a little milk) after 60 min. high intensity workouts or two a day workouts (either workout you can have it after but I recommend after the harder workout).
Two Amino acid products I recommend, in addition to HAMMER as your primary sports nutrition fuel (Maltodextrin as primary ingredient for your sports drinks):
Amino vital pro for your drink during long workouts. 1 scoop in a bottle. You can also choose amino vital endurance which has a little more calories.
Amino acids base nutrition (by Chris lieto) is what I totally LOVE and that can be added in hammer heed (add about 1/2 - 1 scoop of the aminos into 1 scoop heed) per water bottle.
Amino acids base nutrition can be added to water during high intensity workouts around an hour (around 1/2-1scoop), especially if you workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (which I recommend).

Good luck!