Essential Sports Nutrition

4/18/19

IM 70.3 FL - Race Recap (Karel)


Race recap: 
As an early season race, I went into this knowing that I haven't done any race specific training so I saw this an opportunity to go through the motions again of racing. There was a lot of tough competition, which I don't mind as that's what racing is all about - racing whoever shows up on the day.

The nice thing about this race is having a pool to warm-up in. As a non-competitive swimmer, I always need to warmup in the water before the start of the race. This helps me avoid the "panic" feeling of swimming hard right from the gun. I swam about 700 yards in my warm-up and also jogged about 10 minutes to continue my warm-up before the start of my race.

The swim was non-wetsuit and AG wave start. The swim was very congested (especially with 6 turns) but I was happy with how I was able to swim, feeling strong and pushing all the way to the finish. The time was slow but it wasn't too bad for me as a non-wetsuit lake swim. My age group had two waves and I was in the 2nd wave. I lined up at the front and did a stronger effort to try to get away from all the moving arms and legs and to try to get a little more space before settling in to a sustainable effort. A few faster guys swam away and I couldn't stay with them. At that point, I was just winning my own race :) I was consistently passing people and nobody passed me. It was challenging to navigate through all the slower athletes from the earlier waves on this M shape course but I managed ok with sighting. I know this course well (same layout the past 4 years), but it can be difficult for first timers as the lake is small and it looks like there are buoys everyone. I always try not to disturb the slower swimmers and try not to be rough when I swim by them. I have been there before when I started triathlons and I know how bad it feels when someone swims right through you. I had to zig zag around them a bit more so that made me swim a little off a straight line to each turn buoy.

I try to make my transitions as quick as possible (nothing good happens in transition) but I did have a little hold-up as I couldn't find my bike. I was one rack off and I swore someone stole my bike! Thankfully our athlete Tony was there to give me a shout that my bike was one rack over. This is why we like to dust off the rust at the first race of the season - we like to get these laughable moments out of the way.

I felt strong and thought I was riding well but after looking at the results, there were a bunch of guys riding much stronger. I know I can't control what other people do so I made sure to stay present and focus on my riding, terrain management and execution. Since I pre-rode some of the course on Friday and Saturday, I knew exactly what the wind would be like on Sunday so that helped with my execution. We had headwind first, then some tail wind. And a lot of cross winds. This was different than the past three years. I usually struggle with back/hip pain in the 2nd half of HIM racing (and in training - it doesn't matter what bike I ride) but at this race, it was "almost" good. Only the last ten miles i would feel it but at that point I could manage. I do a lot of PT, strength and mobility to help my hips/back as well as specific breathing exercises when I ride (which has been helping). Sometimes I wish my quads would hurt and prevent me from pedaling harder but it's the pain in my hips/back that prevents me from pushing decent power. I struggle holding steady strong power for long durations but it's something I keep working on. I was happy with my effort and I stayed present and focused from start to finish. I passed Marni around mile 45 on the bike and I was just happy to see here not on the side of the road with a bike mechanical (then I'd be in big trouble).

This was a tough run and I really fought all the way to the finish. This was all I had today. My run was the 2nd fastest overall and I missed 3rd place in my AG by 13 seconds. Looking back, I wonder if I could have suffered a bit more to get into 3rd but then again, I passed the 4th place guy right before the finish line. At mile 12, I was 5th, almost a minute behind. It was great to see so many of our athletes out on the course. I thin I saw almost everyone on the bike and run.

I always run with sport nutrition (training and on race day) and I use the Naked Running Belt to keep the flasks in. I also like this belt because it provides a bit of back support. In addition to sipping my flasks, I grabbed water at the aid stations and a sip of coke in the later miles. I used the Enervitine cheerpac as it's very liquidy with a lot of calories. I like to have a variety of flavors (and mild flavors) when I run and I never decide on what sport nutrition I'm using for the race (running) until the day before. Luckily, I've never had any GI issues in any of my triathlon races. 

Overall thoughts: I love to race. I'm pleased with this season opener, especially with a long season ahead (and two more half IM races in the next 5 weeks). The competition was very high in my AG and although I didn't place top 3 like I did in the past two years, I placed much higher overall this year and I feel like I put together a solid race. Like I said before, I can't control what other people do and who shows up on race day. I can only control myself. It was a fight to the finish and I was glad I was able to keep trying and not give up. This race was a good reminder of how to do this distance again and I now feel like I can put myself in the hurt box just a bit more at St. George 70.3 in three weeks.



1.2 mile swim - 32:16
T1 - 2:37
56 mile bike - 2:22.23
T2 - 2:28
13.1 mile run - 1:27.49
Total: 4:27.33
4th AG (40-44), 8th overall 

Pre race nutrition: Oatmeal, half Skratch bar, coffee and bite of banana before leaving the house.
Swim gear: Michael Phelps Xceed goggles, Roka Viper X sleeved swimskin, Garmin 735XT.
Bike gear:Ventum One, Dura Ace DI2 groupset, Ceramicspeed OWSP and BB, 51-Speedshop Mono-Riser Bar with FSM extensions, Alto CT 86 front and Alto CT311 rear disc wheel, Dash Stride aero seat/post combo. Giro Aerohead helmet. LG Tri Air Lite shoes. Garmin Edge 820 bike computer. Scosche Rhythm 24 HR monitor.
Run gear: Nike VaporFly 4%, Garmin 735XT, Naked running band, Roka SL-1 custom sunglasses.

Bike nutrition: NBS carbo hydration drink (strawberry) in 2 bottles (~200 calories per bottle) +  Enervitine cheerpack.
Run nutrition: Precision Hydration 1000 (60 calories in 8 ounce flask). Skratch (90 calories in 8 ounce flask) + Enervitine cheerpack.

A big thank you to my coaches Cait Snow and Julie Dibens and to the Trimarni affiliates that support us and our team. 

Are you at risk for an injury, sickness or performance decline?



Many athletes believe that by reducing caloric/carb/fat intake and increasing training intensity/volume, performance will improve. But sadly, the opposite occurs. Sport performance declines, the risk for injury increases, hormones get out of whack, metabolism suffers and the body becomes overly stressed.

Consider these tips to help keep your body in good health as you train to improve performance.

1) When training volume/intensity increases, your energy consumption must also increase. An extreme jump in training volume/intensity does not make you a faster, stronger or fitter athlete.
2) Stay on the path of your own developmental journey instead of jumping on the path of another athlete. 
3) Loss of menstruation is not a normal part of training. 
4) You do not have to achieve an ideal/specific body type to improve your performance or to experience success in sport.
5) Sport nutrition products are designed to help you adapt better to training. By using products appropriately, you'll improve health and performance. Sport nutrition products are considered healthy when used correctly during training/racing. 
6) Your sleep can tell you a lot about your health, recovery and toleration of training stress. Restless or poor sleep is a sign that your body is not adapting well to training. 
7) Recovery is everything that happens between two workouts. If you can't recover, you can't improve performance. 
8) Your daily diet supports training. Missing links/cracks in the diet increase the risk for fatigue, injury, illness and burnout.
9) Performance does not immediately decline when you are living in an energy deficit state. Many times, it improves. However, this is only short-term as eventually, health and performance will eventually decline. Be proactive so you aren't forced out of your sport. 
10) Sport should improve health, not destroy your body. Focus on ways to improve longevity in sport, rather than chasing short term/quick improvements. 

4/16/19

IM 70.3 Florida Race Report



Pre-race
Going into the first race of the season, I had the typical phantom niggles (that make you believe you are injured) but thankfully, I didn't feel stale. With over nine hours of scheduled training from Mon-Saturday, each workout helped me sharpen-up for race day (Sunday). We stayed one mile from the race venue at Balmoral Resort and I would absolutely stay there again for this race. The location was perfect as we could jog, bike or drive to the venue through the back gate and could quickly access Publix grocery store for food. Although we didn't use all of the amenities at the resort, the house made for a relaxing stay leading up to the race.


Having Campy with us also made our trip feel a bit more like home as he kept me on a routine and I always had something to look forward to throughout the day. Campy enjoyed all the new sights and smells and had plenty of butt rubs from our athletes.


We shared the house with 4 of our athletes and the rest of our athletes stayed in various houses and hotels around the area.


We had 16 athletes racing, not including me, Karel and our assistant coach Joe. It was great fun to have our standard pre-race pizza party and course chat on Friday, and to get all the Trimarnis together. Pre-riding the course on Friday and Saturday was very helpful with our race execution as the wind direction was the same as the predicted wind direction for Sunday. Unlike years past, the start of the ride was headwind and crosswind and then we finished with tailwind. The weather was predicted to be warm (upper 80's) on race day! On Saturday, we did a short bike (~50 minutes), followed by a 15 minute run and then an open water swim (~800 yards) when the lake was opened for the practice swim. In addition to eating throughout the day (emphasizing carbs with a little protein), the afternoon was really relaxing. Karel spent his time in the bedroom and I enjoyed a marathon of Impractical Jokers on TV - laughing my way through the afternoon. It was a great way to go into the race as I was excited to race and my nerves were low. We had an early dinner and a small snack before bed and then it was lights out around 8:30am.

Race Morning
I had a pretty good night of sleep and felt good waking up at 4:15am. After one cup of coffee for me (two shots of espresso for Karel), I had my standard long workout/pre-race snack of 2 waffles + PB + brown sugar + syrup + banana. With the predicted hot temps, I pre-loaded with sodium (Osmo) starting on Friday morning (1 scoop), and then continued this on Friday evening, Sat morning and Saturday evening. I also had 1 scoop on race day morning. After my meal, I put on my race day kit and took Campy for a quick jog to help move things through my digestive tract. This is a tip that I learned from Karel to do before you leave the house in the morning for the race venue. Afterward, I did some light foam rolling and band work to activate my glutes and nearing 5:35am, we jumped on our bikes (with our race gear) and rode to the race venue (about a 5 minute bike). It actually felt rather good to spin the legs before arriving to the race venue. After body marking, we racked our bikes (optional race day bike check-in), set up our transition gear and then made our way to the team tent in the TriClub village area. It has been about ten months since I've set up a transition area so I checked and re-checked my set up a few times before making my way out of the transition area.
After dropping off our stuff in the tent area, Karel and I walked over the pool at Lake Eva. This is one of the best things about this race - being able to swim in a pool before the start. I'm surprised more athletes don't take advantage of this as it's not only a great way to warm-up and test the wetsuit (or swimskin in the case this year - water temp 79 degrees) but it's also good for the body to keep moving instead of sitting/standing around when transition closes. The water felt refreshing and it felt good to loosen out in the water. I swam about a 600 (didn't count my laps or wear a watch) and mostly just swam and adjusted my Roka swimskin but through in a few fast 25's. After my swim, I did one more bathroom stop and then walked back to the beach area to get ready for my wave start at 7:26am. I found myself a bit cold before the race so note to self: Bring a towel next time to dry off after the warm-up swim. It was great to see so many of our athletes throughout the morning as this made the race vibe positive and exciting.

1.2 mile swim - 31:55, 2nd AG swim, 9th female swim overall.
Goggles - TYR special OPS 2.0 (clear lens)
SwimSkin - Roka Viper X shortsleeve swim skin

The layout of this swim is unique in that it is a M shape course. There are a lot of buoys on the course, which can make it difficult to sight when you are in the water but overall, it's a straightforward course to navigate. The sky was cloudy which was nice to not have the sun in our eyes. I was shaking a bit from being cold just standing around wet so it was nice to actually get in the water and know that I would warm up soon. We had an in-the-water start for the female 35-44 age group waves. When the gun went off, I tried to take off as hard as I could to get away from the pack. There was a group of about 4 or 5 of us, one being my athlete Stephanie (who is a great swimmer). Two of the girls got away and I was swimming with Stephanie for a buoy until she dropped me. I didn't feel like myself in the water, especially since I've been swimming some of my best workouts ever over the past month. I tried to not let it get to me and instead, just focused on making good strokes and staying on course. While I am not one for excuses, I think my Roka swimskin (with sleeves) is too big for me as it felt like I was pulling a towel as I was swimming. I've only wore it once (in the Kona practice swim in October) so I really didn't have much to go by. I was extremely happy for Stephanie for having such a solid swim so I used that as my motivation to keep swimming as strong as I could. While it was a slow swim for me, the swim times appeared much slower than normal so I took it as a slow swim for everyone. I swam all the way to the water edge before getting out of the water and on to the sand. I made my way to the transition area and gave Stephanie a cheer as I passed her for having such a great swim.

T1 - 3:14
I made my way to the first bike rack to remove my swimskin, cap and goggles and then put on my CEP compression socks (calf height - easier to put on than full socks), cycling shoes and helmet. I kept the shield up on my helmet as it's easier to put on this way. I turned on my computer and then rolled out my bike to the mount line. I made my way a bit past the mount line, near the barricades, before mounting my bike and off I went.


56 mile bike - 2:32.16. 2nd fastest AG bike, 2nd fastest female bike.
Nutrition: 2 bottles with INFINIT (hydration system Grape and bottle with Watermelon, each bottle ~250 calories)). 1 bottle with CarboRocket 333 black cherry (~220 calories for the last 30ish minutes)
Gear: Ventum one bike, Alto cc56 front wheel (tubeless) and lightweight autobahn tubeless disc. Bontrager Velocis Women road shoes. Giro Air attack helmet. 

Immediately on the bike my legs felt good. I used the first few miles to settle in a good rhythm and spent little time in my aerobars in the first mile. After a few turns through a neighborhood, I started to ease into my effort for the first part of the course. Knowing there would be headwind/crosswind for the first part of the bike, I stayed aero and just focused on making smooth pedal strokes. I didn't have any metrics to chase but I do have my normalized and 3 sec power, current cadence, current speed and lap time on my Garmin to check-in on as I ride. I wore my HR monitor (which is something I usually don't do when I race) but little did I know, it never picked up. My legs were working hard during this first portion of the race and I felt it mostly in my quads, right above my knees. I couldn't help but think of Karel saying "you don't need to "save" your legs for the run. Have you ever seen a fast marathon runner with big quads?" I couldn't help but laugh and build confidence from hearing his voice in my head. I broke the race down into segments and lapped my computer at each segment. This helped me manage my effort and only focus on one segment at a time. I made sure to stay up on my nutrition - sipping my drink every ~10 minutes (4-5 chugs). I also grabbed water at the second aid station to use for cooling my body as it was getting warm. I found myself passing a lot of athletes while on the course, which was very motivating for me to always have someone to "chase" ahead of me. I saw a few familiar faces out on the course (hi Caitlin and Sam!) which was fun and I also passed several of my athletes - and gave each one a big cheer. Nearing the tailwind section, my legs were still feeling good so I stayed strong on the pedals but used this time to sit up and get out of the saddle here or there on the climbs to open my hips. I felt really good on my Ventum and loved riding the disc wheel for the first time. I felt very confident in the wind - which is why I love my Ventum. I never had a low moment during the bike and really enjoyed all 56 miles. Karel passed me around 45 miles on the bike and told me I was riding really strong. He quickly rode away but it was nice to see him and give him a cheer. After the bumpy section of the course, I started to switch my brain to thinking of the run. I made sure not to jump ahead in thoughts as I was riding for if I did, I may have backed down my effort on the bike. I just focused on stayed present and keeping up with my nutrition. With the finish of the bike right in front of me, I slipped out of my shoes and did my first ever flying dismount (that I learned how to do on Saturday before the race). There's no better time than the present to try something that scares you! I didn't look at my total time until the end of the bike and when I saw just over 2:30, I felt like I put together a strong bike on a very tough day. I wasn't sure where I was in my age group (or overall) so I was anxious to get some reports from the spectators on the run.

T2 - 2:33
I tried to make my transition as quick as possible. I walked a few steps to get my breathing under control before jogging the rest of the way to the official start of the run course. There weren't a lot of bikes in the transition area but I still wasn't sure where I was in the overall standings.


Run - 1:41.10, 3rd fastest AG run, 6th fastest female run, 50th overall fastest run
Nutrition: Naked Hydration Band with 2 x 10 ounce flasks. One flask with NBS (3 scoops Hawaii flavor, ~90 calories)) and one flask with Carborocket hydration (raspeberry lemonade, ~105 calories)
Gear: Roka custom sunglasses (SL-1 series). Nike 4% running shoes. Garmin 235 watch.

My legs felt relatively good after the tough bike. By now, I had forgotten completely about my lack-luster swim time. I was filled with energy as I ran past the crowds of people but I made sure not to run too hard to start as it was getting really warm and the sun was blazing. With the first two miles being the hilliest of the course (3 loop course), I focused on not being too aggressive up hill (to try to manage body heat) but I attacked the downhills. I kept looking ahead for females that may be ahead of me but I didn't see anyone. I used the first loop to settle into a good rhythm and didn't worry too much about my pace - knowing that my pace would likely be faster on the first loop relative to loop 2 and 3. From my experience racing in hot conditions, I know that paces/times are not all that important as it's all about managing the conditions to prevent a heat illness, dehydration and glycogen depletion. The first loop was rough - I felt depleted. The sun was stealing all of my energy. I took two quick reset breaks in the neighborhood section at the top of the loop to catch my breath and to stretch out my back. They were quick breaks and well needed. I kept up on my fuel/hydration throughout the race - being strategic with where I drank (I tried to do it on downhill or easier sections of the course). I grabbed water from every aid station to cool my head, face and body and tried to steer clear of hoses as I didn't want to run with soaking shoes. When I started the second loop, I finally got word that I was 3rd. However I didn't know if that was 3rd AG or overall. I was racing for a place in the overall so I anxiously awaited more information. The course was getting more congested, which was actually nice to see more people on the course. However, this also made for more crowded aid stations. I finally got my hands on some ice which was fantastic - I held on to the ice for as long as I could and also sucked on the ice cubes whenever I had extra to spare. Cloud cover helped on loop 2 and I finally started to feel less depleted and more normal. I felt like I had good rhythm and form and never felt like I didn't want to be running/racing. I kept pushing the effort to see if I could catch any females ahead of me but I never caught anyone. I wasn't passed by any females after the swim so that was encouraging for me. However, with the wave start, I wasn't sure of what was going on behind me so I had to keep fighting to the finish line. On the third loop, I finally heard that I was 3rd overall female so that was my mission - to stay in that pace. I started to see more of my athletes on the course which was extremely motivating for me. My pace was getting a bit slower but I still felt in control of my effort and form. Considering I haven't done any speed work or long runs (only one 1:20 run), I felt really strong and resilient and surprisingly, didn't melt in the heat despite not being acclimated. I had one sip of coke around mile 11 because it sounded refreshing but other than that, I felt like I did a great job with my fueling, hydration and cooling - which was key for this race. Nearing the last mile, I tried to give it everything I could. Knowing that the finish line was within my sights, I did whatever I could to feel like I was sprinting. I saw Karel at our team tent, just before the finish, giving me a big cheer. Hands up, big smile - finished!!




I quickly cooled myself off with water and took a deep exhale when I heard I was officially the 3rd overall female. After my finish, I went back to our tent to see Karel, hear about his race and to cheer on the rest of our athletes. Eventually we biked by to our house for a quick shower and to grab Campy and to finish cheering for every Trimarni until they all crossed the finish line. Then it was time for the awards. This was a great start to the season ahead and although it wasn't a super "fast" race, we are both extremely happy with how strong we felt and how we managed the tough conditions.



And the best part of the entire race....the Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition TriClub placed 2nd overall in the TriClub competition! Way to go team!





Thank you to our supporters and affiliates! 


Official Results
Marni Sumbal
Swim - 31:55
T1 - 3:14
Bike - 2:32.16
T2 - 2:33
Run - 1:41.10
Finishing time - 4:15.05
2nd age group (35-39), 3rd overall female (out of 346).

Karel Sumbal
Swim - 32:16
T1 - 2:37
Bike - 2:22.23
T2 - 2:29
Run - 1:27.50 (2nd overall fastest run)
Finishing time - 4:27.33
4th age group (40-44), 8th overall (out of 1330)

4/15/19

IM 70.3 FL - quick recap


The nerves were low for this race. I was bottled up with excitement to kick off the 2019 triathlon racing season. I remember my very first half Ironman (in Disney) back in 2006 and I was filled with thoughts of the unknown. But this beginner's mindset opened my mind to possibilities instead of being paralyzed by results. Over the past decade-plus of endurance triathlon racing, it's easy to compare race to race, often wanting to validate improvements by times and paces. However, I've wanted to do things differently this year - starting with my mindset. Instead of seeing improvements as pass or fail based on paces and times, I want to do things well when I race. Karel always has this mindset when he races whereas I often put a lot of pressure on myself to be better, faster or stronger. While this has worked for me at times, it also creates a lot of mental stress that can easily take away the fun of racing.

This season is the first time ever that I've had a coach - someone other than Karel to report to and hold me accountable to my training. I'm grateful that Cait Snow (and Julie Dibens) took us on as athletes this season for the training has been incredibly challenging but also fun - because it's new. With this, I am entering this season with new possibilities, new periodization, new guidance and new excitement for training and racing.

Approaching this first race of the season, I tried a lot of new things. Although we often say not to try new things on race day, this isn't always true. Sometimes the race environment is the best place to try something new for it brings much more stress, fear and fatigue than in an at-home training environment. Rather than getting caught up in results, my mission was to try new things - like a disc wheel, a flying dismount, filling up my Ventum hydration system while riding, wearing calf-height compression socks instead of the full sock, wearing a HR monitor when I raced, wearing the Naked Running Belt, wearing a sleeved swimskin, wearing clear (not tinted) goggles and doing a bit more training volume/intensity on race week. Above all, I loved every minute of racing. It was not easy and it was filled with highs and lows but I was reminded why I train for this sport - because race day is my favorite day to celebrate all the hard work that was done alone.

Although the race was not easy and the competition was stiff, I am very pleased with my performance. Karel also felt like he couldn't have done anything better - the results were an honest assessment of managing the conditions and racing the competition. We both went into this race feeling incredibly fit and strong and it always takes a race (or two) to feel the "hurt" that comes with racing. We are both grateful that we are healthy - not sick or injured - and that we can do this sport, that we love so much, and share it with our athletes and so many other like-minded individuals.

Full race recap to come.

Official Results
Marni Sumbal
Swim - 31:55
T1 - 3:14
Bike - 2:32.16
T2 - 2:33
Run - 1:41.10
Finishing time - 4:15.05
2nd age group (35-39), 3rd overall female (out of 346).

Karel Sumbal
Swim - 32:16
T1 - 2:37
Bike - 2:22.23
T2 - 2:29
Run - 1:27.50
Finishing time - 4:27.33
4th age group (40-44), 8th overall (out of 1330)