Essential Sports Nutrition


IM Kona '18 - 4 & 5 days out

First things first. The ebook of my book Essential Sports Nutrition is now available for only $0.99!! Take advantage of this great deal as it's only for a limited time (until the 17th).

Now back to Kona happenings....

The streets are getting super busy. Along with a cruise ship rolling in on Monday, the majority of IM Kona athletes and volunteers have arrived to the island. 

Monday morning started bright and early with a 6:15am swim led by Matt Dixon with Purple Patch Fitness. Karel and I got in a bit earlier and I swam a bit extra for a total of around 4300 yards. Here's the workout:

Warm-up: ~1100
100 smooth, 25 fast
75 smooth, 25 fast
50 smooth, 25 fast
25 smooth, 25 fast
6 x 50's fast
200 smooth
4 x 50's fast
200 smooth
2 x 50's fast
200 smooth
Post set:
6 x 100's strong
300 EZ pull
(I think I'm forgetting something but that was what I remembered)

As we were leaving the pool to ride back to our condo, we bumped into Natscha Badmann who is a 6x Ironman World Champion! Although she is no She was one of my biggest inspirations when I started Ironman racing. I even took a picture with her back in 2007 for my first Kona!

Me and Natascha at my first IM Kona, 11 years ago at the age of 25!

Around lunchtime, we had lunch at Lava Java (they have a new location just a street over for those who haven't been to the island in a few years) with our friend and doctor, Dr. Cassas. Because Karel and I don't have a primary care doctor, we always reach out to Dr. Cassas with our questions. We are so lucky to have such a personable, smart and easy to reach doctor! Dr. Cassas is getting his learn on here in Kona at the Sport Medicine Conference. It was nice to catch up with a few of his colleagues over delicious food. I ordered the Vesterby veggie bowl and Karel got the Potts Poke Bowl. 

Just as we were finishing lunch, it started to drizzle. By the time we returned back to our condo, it was pouring. The rain lasted all afternoon. Karel had an easy 45 minute spin on his training schedule so we managed to spin our legs on the Queen K around 5:15pm. While the rain had stopped, a beautiful double rainbow showed up during the end of our ride. 

Another beautiful sunset to end Monday. 

Although Monday starts race week, I feel like Tues is the "official" start of race week as there's so much going on. First off, the ocean becomes more crowded and the coffee boat makes it's first run out for a mid-stop java while swimming in the ocean. 

Karel had a 90-minute ride on his schedule so I joined in and we ventured out to the Queen K and then took a side road down to the ocean in a State Park. It provided us with a nice 5-minute climb back to the Queen K for Karel to do a little hard effort to wake-up his legs. After the ride, Karel was done for the morning and I followed up the bike with a 30 minute run. The streets were pretty crowded with cyclists and runners and walkers and of course, the normal car traffic of locals and tourists. It seemed like the humidity was a bit lower on Tuesday as I could sweat much easier and I didn't feel like someone was blowing a blow torch on me as I was running. There was one tent set up on Ali'i drive (Gu) with free sport nutrition but I didn't need any as I had my fuel belt on with my hydration/sport drink (Carbo Rocket hydration for this run...I'm almost out of my Clif hydration).

Tuesday is also the first official day for athlete check-in (9am-2pm). All athletes must check-in by Thursday. Karel told me that the official athlete wrist bands did not arrive so Karel received a shiny red wrist band instead. He is welcome to go back and get his official wrist band when they arrive (hopefully tomorrow they said). As Karel was checking in at the King K hotel, Karel's mom and I went into the merchandise tent (one of three in the area) and waited for Karel. 

From my own personal experience of racing in the IM World Championship, I think the athlete check-in makes it feel very real and it brings a new level of excitement for those who are racing. Several people have asked me if I regretted turning down my Kona slot at IM Chatty last year when I won my age group and my answer is still no. I am not only happy that I could give my slot to another athlete but I feel like I needed a few years away from racing IM Kona to get even more experience racing the Ironman distance. Now that I have qualified for 2019, I am super excited to return back to the island next year as an athlete. Plus, I never thought I could handle the winds in Kona but now that I have my new Ventum, I feel so much more confident riding here that I actually look forward to racing in windy conditions. 

Karel got a huge backpack/duffel bag which was perfect to hold free swag as we made our way to the IM Village to check out the expo - which just opened today (Tuesday). 

So official! 

As I mentioned in a previous post, it's really awesome to see how the town transforms from a small town in Kona to the race venue of the Ironman World Championship. As a huge fan of the sport, I just love race week and the energy you feel as you are surrounded by so many like-minded individuals. 

Although the main athlete village/expo is across from the Farmers market on ali'i drive, there are actually a few different booth areas along Ali'i drive (all within walking distance - no need to drive anywhere). We checked out all the different booths as Karel loves seeing new bike products/gear. There have been several "new" bike gear/equipment items revealed this week. 

We made a stop at the Ventum booth so see our Ventum friends. No expo is complete without a hello from Rachel. By the way, if you are in Kona, make sure to stop by their booth to make your free support t-shirt! 

How cool are these shirts that you can design???

Also Ventum is holding a free no-drop ride at 8:45am from the Ventum booth on 10/10 (Wed morning) for anyone who would like to participate. The ride is about 15 miles and there will be some refreshments afterward. You can even test-ride a Ventum (first come)!! 

Because my triathlon season is complete and my only event left this season is the Hincapie Gran Fondo (80-miles) in two weeks, I'm making sure that no workout here feels like a chore. I don't feel the need to make myself workout so everything that I do is for fun, because I want to do it. In the afternoon, I decided to go for an ocean swim, just because. I didn't have a workout or a set but I just swam and stopped when I was done. I swam for around 15-minutes, back and forth from the shore to the first buoy. It was super duper wavy but I was having fun just swimming around and looking at the fishes. 

During this time, the kids Dip n' Dash event was going on and the streets were packed with fans. Wow, those kids are super competitive! It was so much fun to watch the kids (our future triathletes) in action. 

Karel's mom even came out to cheer for the kids. I spotted her in her new Ventum shirt (Karel made it for her) as I was walking back to the condo from my swim. 

As I was heading up to the condo, I ran into Karel as he was making his way to the King K for the Parade of Nations walk along Ali'i drive. Although Karel is now a US Citizen, he enjoyed walking with his home country, Czech Republic. 

Despite another rain shower, the fans and athletes came out with smiles and lots of cheers for the parade. Karel's mom enjoyed her walk with the other Czech athletes. It will be sad to see her head back to her home next weekend. 

It's remarkable how many people from so many different countries are here on the island. I think that's one of the many reasons why this event is so special. It truly brings together all athletes from around the world. 

A selfie in the rain.