Essential Sports Nutrition


IM Kona '18: 8 & 7 days out

The energy is building on the island. With more and more triathletes arriving each day, you can feel the excitement building. 

Now that Karel has brushed off most of the stiffness from travel, his training called for a 90-minute ride in the AM and an intense swim workout in the PM. I did a longer (and slightly modified) version of his swim workout in the morning.

MS: 3x's
300 strong
6 x 50's fast
6 x 25's very fast
300 smooth w/ paddles and snorkel
Total swim: 4300 yards

I shared a lane with Helle Frederiksen which made it easy to step up my game during my faster efforts. A few other stars were in the pool - Lucy Charles, Joe Skipper and Sebastian Kienle. I rode my bike to and from the aquatic center (~4 minutes away) instead of driving. By the way, in case you didn't know, the Kona Aquatic Center is free for anyone to use. 

Karel's meal
Karel and I got home around the same time and we both enjoyed our post workout meal/breakfast on the patio. I had a busy day of consults so while I spent the next few hours on the phone, Karel took his mom to Mountain Thunder for a coffee tour. Karel and I have been there before (we went with my parents back in 2011) but Karel's mom loved the tour and even came back with a few souvenirs.

The town of Kailua-Kona is slowly turning into the race venue of the Ironman World Championship and it's really neat to see the town changing with all the signs and tents. The official Ironman Village (expo) doesn't open until Tuesday but Ironman is wasting no time in getting everything ready. 

Late afternoon, I went for a ~47 minute run on the first part of the bike course to the Queen K. I kept it fairly easy but it was so hot out!

While I don't think any athlete would find joy in riding on a highway, an exception is made for IM Kona. There are so many athletes out riding on the Queen K Hwy that you almost feel like you are in a race each time that you are out training. Thankfully, the shoulders are extra large here in Kona and every local knows that there are athletes training here.

After dinner, Karel was craving ice cream so we walked down to the street (from our condo) to Kope Lani. Of course, I couldn't let Karel eat ice cream alone. Karel got some kind of coffee ice cream (of course) and I enjoyed a mint chocolate ice cream. 

Although we've been getting a solid 9 hours of sleep each night since we've arrived to Kona, I am still struggling to stay up in the evening. I tried staying up until 8pm last night but I was fast asleep by 7:45pm. 

While the alarm was set for 5am, we didn't need it as we were up just before the alarm went off. We've been waking up around 5am each morning which works well as we get to bed early and can start the day early. Around 5:50am, we walked to the pier for the 2018 Ho'ala 2.4 mile practice swim. We registered a few months ago and for the second time, we were both looking forward to this fun "race". After picking up our packet that included a t-shirt, chip and swim cap, we got body marked before putting on our swim skins (ROKA Viper X). The swim officially started at 7am but we got in the water around 6:35am for a ~5-8 minute warm-up before going back to shore to take one more look at the swim course (there are only a few buoys for the practice swim so it was not an easy to sight) and then swam back out ~50 yards or so to the official "start". I treaded water for about 8 minutes and funny enough, bumped into Karel. The memories of my past 4 IM Kona's were coming back as I was treading water and I was even getting a little nervous and excited for next year when I will be racing in Kona. Thankfully, the fishes were out today so we had a lot to look at during our warm-up. Sadly, the jellyfish were out too and many athletes got stung during the swim. 

With ~600 athletes, the craziness of the mass start was exactly what I thought it would be. It didn't seem to settle down throughout the entire swim so only a few sections did I find myself with clean water. I felt like I stayed on course fairly well until about 3/4ths way in before the turn buoy where I found myself way off course with a group. Because I swam with my watch for this event (I usually never wear my watch when I swim in races), I checked my watch at the first buoy and it read 30 minutes. Ugh, I was so frustrated. I started to get really down on myself, convincing myself that I was having a horrible swim and that I will never be able to swim well in open water without a wetsuit. All because I looked at my watch. This is why I don't wear a watch when I swim! Too much judgement. All these negative thoughts were getting into my head and I really had to work hard to get them out. Even though just a practice swim, I really wanted to test myself and push myself. As I was getting closer to the finish and could see the finish line arch, I took another glance at my watch as I was swimming and it said something around 53 minutes. Ok, maybe this isn't such a bad swim after all! I never found myself swimming alone but once I got within 100 yards or so from the finish, I really picked it up and gave it everything I had. Although I had some low moments during the swim, I really pushed hard at the start, tried to settle into a good strong rhythm and then tried to pick it up at the end. I was so thrilled to see 58 minutes on the clock when I got out of the water. Never have I broke 1-hour in a non-wetsuit swim and I even swam a little faster than what I did at IMWI just a few weeks ago (with a wetsuit). This gave me a lot of confidence that my swim training is working and is translating well from pool to open water. 

I waited at the finish line for Karel and he finished in 1:04. This was one of his best non-wetsuit open water swims, even though he felt a bit tired in his shoulders throughout the swim. 

Selfie with Talbot Cox!!

After enjoying some cold water and fresh fruit at the race finish, we walked back to our condo for another meal before heading to the car with our bike/run gear and heading down the Queen K to start our bike ride. Karel wanted to ride a bit more out of town to bypass all the lights so we drove about 10 miles or so out of town before finding a gravel parking lot before the Scenic Point to park and start our ride from there. Karel had a tough brick session so my goal was to stay on his wheel for the bike and use him for inspiration for my run. I did the same workout as Karel.

15 min warm-up
MS: 3 x 15 minutes build to very strong w/ 10 min EZ
Post set: 30 min IM effort

2 min smooth, 3 min HIM effort
2 min smooth, 3 min stronger than HIM effort
2 min smooth, 3 min even stronger than HIM effort
15 min IM effort

Because of the wind, long hills, rumble strips and cars/trucks on the hwy, I wasn't able to take pictures. I only managed to snap these two pics during our last recovery interval as Karel circled around to get me because I got dropped from his wheel on one of the downhills). 

It was windy and hot. Nothing abnormal for Kona conditions. 

After the run, we cooled off at the car before driving back to town. 

Aside from ice cream, we haven't eaten out at all since arriving to Kona. Karel was craving Poke so called it in at Umekes when we arrived home (~3pm) and walked over to the next street to pick it up so that Karel could rest and cool off in the condo.  Lucky for Karel, he got the last Poke bowl for the evening.