Essential Sports Nutrition

7/27/18

One more sleep until the Challenge Prague Middle Distance



Wow - time sure does fly! I can't believe that we raced Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt just under 4 weeks ago and now we are gearing up for a half ironman distance triathlon in Prague!! With only one more sleep until the race, here are some details if you'd like to know more about Challenge Prague.



Marni: Bib 115
Karel: Bib 641

Race information: Click HERE.
Facebook page: Click HERE.

Start time:
12:05pm CEST - Marni (Female wave)
12:25pm CEST - Karel (Male 35-45 wave)
My only race goal is to try to cross that finish line without Karel passing me on the run. 

Distance:
1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike/13.1 mile run


Course: Click HERE.
Transition area: Strelecky island (Prague)
Swim: River Vltava
Bike: 2 loops, closed course, ~2300 feet
Run: 4 loops, ~300 feet



Predicted race day weather:
High 89 degrees Fahrenheit (start time ~85 degrees)

Water temperature:
~63 degrees Fahrenheit

Results:
Live Results: Click HERE
Finisher results: Click HERE. (under the athlete tab)

Coverage: Tune into the Facebook page or watch the live broadcast on Czech TV Sport, on the website of Czech TV or through Czech TV mobile app.

INTERESTING STATS (from the event guide)
  • Average age of participant of FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE 2018: 39 years 
  • The oldest male participant: Jiří Langmajer (CZE) 72 years old (relay)
  • The oldest female participant: Ulla Schniewind (DEU) 62 years old (middle distance) 
  • 45 nationalities will meet on the start line. Of all participants, 20% are women. 
  • It is the first triathlon experience for 116 participants of FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE 2018.
  • It is the first racing experience in the Challenge Family Series for 665 participants of FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE.


7/25/18

Things to do in Znojmo, Czech Republic



                               

I had never heard of Znojmo before I met Karel. Prague, yes but not Znojmo. If you were wondering, Znojmo is pronounced Znoy - like joy but ZN instead of J and then mo - said like Joe but M instead of J. ZNOY-MO.

If you have ever traveled from Prague to Austria or the other way via car or bus, you probably went through Karel's hometown of Znojmo, Czech Republic.

Znojmo is a major town in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, located near the border with Austria. The town is situated on a rock outcropping on the steep left bank of the Dyje River (thus, we always have to climb on our bikes to get out of town).


The Gothic Church of St. Nicholas and the Late Gothic Town Hall tower are the most recognizable landmarks in Znojmo. St. Nicholas Church was built in 1348 by Emperor Charles IV and the town hall (250 feet tower) dates from around 1446.

There's a lot of history in the town. The Romanesque Rotunda of Virgin Mary (later of Saint Catherine) is the only fully preserved sight of the premyslid castle in Znojmo, founded at the turn of the 11th and 12th century. The significance of the rotunda is due to its unique paintings. Under the city and castle is a vast labyrinth of connected passageways and cellars. The Znojmo Catacombs (which you can tour) were developed in the 14th and 15th century for defensive purposes and contained wells, drainage, fireplaces, trap doors and escapeways that led beyond the fortifications of the city.

For the wine drinkers, because of the land and warmer weather, Znjomo is at the center of wine-region - known for their white wines. Znojmo is famed as "wine center" which is evidenced by a labyrinth of long wine-cellar corridors dug directly beneath the town. But don't worry beer drinkers - like most places in Europe, beer is much cheaper than water. In September, a historic wine parade takes place. Znojmo is one of the oldest wine growing areas in the Czech Republic.
The Znojmo region is predominantly agricultural because it has a warm and dry climate. It sits at 290 meters above sea level.

For the fitness enthusiasts and adventure lovers, you will not be bored (or inactive) here. In addition to walking all around town, you can enjoy the Podyji National Park, swimming at the Louka Znojmo pool (open May until September) and of course, cycling! There are so many cycling tours going on in the summer as it's the most fun (and nature-filled) way to go from town to town or to just be outside and enjoy the sights. The cycling routes are for everyone, of all fitness abilities. It's very typical to see families and young kids on bikes, riding from town to town and then camping, as part of summer vacation.

And of course, I can't forget the ice cream! If you see a sign that reads "Zmrzlina" you know you are getting close or have arrived to an ice cream truck or shop. Yes, there are signs everywhere letting you know where the ice cream is and it's even advertised on the radio. The town of Znojmo loves ice cream! But don't be let down if your scoop of ice cream is the size of a golf ball as the servings are small....but it'll only cost you around one dollar (or 20-25 Czech Crowns). And instead of sitting down to eat it, you'll be eating it on the go as that's just how things roll around here. It's not surprising to see construction workers, business people and of course, kids (and parents) walking around with ice cream cones.

You can start planning your vacation with this guide - HERE. If you are considering visiting Znjomo, don't hesitate to reach out to us and I'll have Karel help you with your Znojmo vacation.

Sources:
Muzeum Znojmo
Znojemska Beseda
National Park - Jizni-Morava
Wikipedia

Here are some pictures from the town.





















7/22/18

It's race week - in Czech!


                             

Wow - I can't believe I'm saying this but we are racing on Saturday in historic Prague!

When we planned our 5-week trip to Czech to visit Karel's family and race Ironman Austria, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to race the 2nd running of Challenge Prague to conclude our race-cation. This will be an exciting opportunity for Karel to race in Czech and I have a feeling it's going to be a race to remember as you can't beat the location and the views we will see on the swim and run course are going to be incredible!

As for training, it's been an interesting past few weeks. I felt I recovered quickly for Ironman Austria as my muscles felt rather good the first week  but then again, we also did very little exercise and then the next week was rather light. However, that second week was a bit frustrating for me because my muscles felt ok but I was still feeling incredibly low in energy. It was just an empty feeling that I knew wasn't normal for me but something that is common post Ironman - the highs and lows of Ironman recovery. One day you feel great and then the next day you feel like someone sucked the energy out of you. Oddly though, I was feeling rather good on the bike and swim but running was slow to feel my energy level rise. I respected my body with freedom to just run without structure, walk whenever I wanted and I also ran on the trails because I love trail running, I give myself permission to run at various paces based on the terrain and it allows me to be in nature and it's less impact for my body. We've also been biking a lot because it's how we can combine sight-seeing, move blood and also take advantage of the many bike-friendly routes. Three weeks after the Ironman (this past week) included all structured training sessions (with a purpose to each workout and most sessions with a main set) and I was pleased that my body has been responding well (finally) and feeling fresher with each passing day. I've also made sure to fuel well - which isn't hard when we have such a great selection of feel-good food, including homemade meals prepared by Karel's mom.

I was asked by a Trimarni follower how our bodies will react to racing so close to an Ironman and my response was "that's a good question!" I've never raced a half Ironman (or anything less than that distance) after an Ironman in one season. And the only time I have raced after an Ironman was another Ironman (~8 and 10 weeks for the two times I did it, respectively). So this will be a new experience for my body but I'm also not going into the race with any expectations or pressures. I want to have fun and also treat it as a training day where I give my best knowing that I just did a very tough effort at Ironman Austria and I still have another Ironman left this season in 7 weeks (Ironman Wisconsin). I want to make sure that I can recover quickly from this race to get back into my Ironman training when we settle back into the states the following week. I also need to be respectful of my body that I can't dig deep or take any risks at this race as I am still carrying around some fatigue from this past week of training after the Ironman - and it was a big week of training for me. As for Karel, he is still recovering from the Ironman but he has a long season still ahead of him with Augusta 70.3, the Ironman World Championship 3 weeks later and then Ironman Florida 3 weeks after that so he won't be doing anything silly but still giving his best for the day in a competitive setting. It's going to be a fun experience for us both.

Here are a few pictures of our last week of training in Czech. I am just loving this different training environment with outdoor pool swimming (lately it's been short course meters), running in thPodyjí National Park and riding on the very bike friendly roads in Czech and Austria. 







Feeling so safe riding on the roads here. Thank you cars!