IM Kona race week is nuts.
Until you are here in Kona to experience the craziness in which athletes from all over the world take-over Ali'i drive, it's really hard to describe what it is like here in Kona during this week.
Seeing that triathletes are extremely passionate about swim/bike/run and ALL gear and products related to the sport, this island feeds any triathlon addiction and you simply feel "normal" all week as you are surrounded by thousands of other like-minded individuals.
I say all of this as a 4x Ironman World Championship finisher but also as a first time spectator.
I'm overwhelmed by all the stuff going on and I'm not even racing! :)
There's really no other way to describe this week as it's filled with so many to-do's.....funny enough, many of which have nothing to do with race day! There is no much hype going on with the Ironman World Championship and it's so easy to be busy all day, every day.
Our athletes are sticking to their training while still making a little time to experience everything going on here in Kona.
On Tuesday morning, we planned a 40-45 minute run at the energy lab for Justine and Leigh Ann to see the 4 miles that they will cover from mile 16-20 of the marathon run of the Ironman but first we made a stop at the Levelen house for sweat testing.
Certainly, here in Kona, fluid loss is extreme so most athletes will drink at least 1/2 - 1 full bottle of water per hour in addition to a bottle of sport nutrition.
I'm hoping to incorporate sweat testing into my nutrition services where I can use a system to test my athletes so stay tuned.
Thank you Levelen for introducing us to a great system of dialing in sport nutrition to optimize performance!
The method of sweat testing:
-Get naked and weigh yourself
-Weigh all bottles that you will use during training (and fluids)
-Put on the patch to collect sweat (fluids and electrolytes)
-Weigh yourself for fluids lost
-Remove patch, get it analyzed
-Get your results
-Adjust your nutrition protocol as needed
After we left Levelen, we drove to the energy lab (6 miles from Palani drive) and we parked at the parking lot at the end of the main road of the energy lab).
It was nearing 8:30am and it was warm and a little windy. Certainly not extreme conditions for the "natural energy" portion of the island.
Total 45 minutes
The energy lab has a slight net decline for about a mile off Queen K (which occurs at mile 16 of the IM run course) and then it veers to the right to finish up the out section of the energy lab. Special needs is at mile 18. Then it's a slight incline back up to mile 20 to exit the energy lab for the last 6 miles of the IM run course on the Queen K, to Palani and back into town to the finish.
It's been very special to share this all with my athletes (and Karel) as everything is so new to Justine and Leigh Ann so we are trying to give them every tip and trick and suggestion for the best race performance, execution and experience possible.
After we returned back to our condo (Kona Plaza) we walked to the pier for Justine and Leigh Ann to see the main stage (start/finish area) of the IM World Championship for the first time.
With SO many triathletes everywhere, it's hard not to bump into familiar faces. It was great to see Trimarni campers Alex and Angie who are here in Kona to spectate.
Since this was the first time for our athletes to be in the ocean, we let them play around for a 15-20 minute "splash" to see the fishes and to experience the beauty of swimming in the Kona ocean.
After getting some food into our bellies, I accompanied Karel to registration until I was no longer allowed to cross the line "Athletes only".
Around 5pm, it was time for the Parade of Nations where we watched athletes from all over the world walk down Ali'i drive.
It was a long day so we were asleep by 9:30pm in order to get a good night of rest before another exciting day in Kona.