It’s officially race week. The Cardinal Harbour Half-Ironman is this Saturday and I’m excited to get through this week and get to race day. I’ve had some good workouts lately, so my confidence is pretty high going into the race. Workouts this week will be even easier than last week as I continue my taper.
I’m also trying something new this week leading up to the race…carb-loading. I’ve read lots of studies and articles showing that carbohydrate loading leading up to the race can give you an advantage come race day. The human body is able to store carbohydrates for energy use in the liver and the muscles in the form of a substance known as glycogen. This carbohydrate store is able to be quickly broken down to fuel the muscles during high intensity exercise (muscle glycogen).
There are many carbohydrate loading philosophies out there. Everything from loading up for a whole week to just loading up the day before your race. I’ve landed somewhere in the middle.
On Saturday (1 week from the race), I did a hard workout in the morning on an empty stomach, which deplete my energy stores. For the rest of the day on Saturday, the majority of my food was in the form of protein. I did the same thing yesterday….morning workout on empty stomach, mostly protein all day, with the exception on a post-workout meal with lots of carbs.
Today is pretty much the same. Empty stomach workout, mostly carbs all day. By the end of the day today, I will have pretty much used up all the gylcogen that I have stored up. Then tomorrow, I start to introduce a little more carbs into the diet. Wednesday, Thursday will see even more increases in complex carbs and then Friday is pretty much all carbs. Heading into Saturday morning’s race, I should feel full of energy and ready to conquer six hours of racing!
Covered 20.83 miles in 1:03:51 (19.57 mph). Lots of rolling hills with one big hill at the beginning (down) and then again at the end (up). I pushed it pretty hard to try and simulate how my legs would feel coming off the bike during the race. I also experimented with some Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes (electrolyte tablets) that contain 40mg of sodium each and tons of other good vitamins. They had no ill effects on my stomach, so I plan on using them during the race. Avg HR = 139 bpm
Pretty quick transition.
Avg HR = 113
Covered 4.10 miles in 30:21 (7:24 min/mile pace). My legs felt heavy the whole time and I was regretting not doing a brick last weekend. It really does take a few of these bricks to get your legs used to running after being on the bike. Course was downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back (fun!). Avg. HR = 156 bpm
Avg HR = 144
I little bit shorter bike ride with some rolling hills, but no giant inclines. Covered 10.48 miles in 31:09 (20.19mph). Since this was a shorter ride, I tried to keep up a good pace the whole way. I experimented with a few bites of a vanilla PowerBar. Stomach handled it fine, so I’ll include it in my race nutrition. Avg HR = 135 bpm
Forgot to take my feet out of my bike shoes while still on the bike, so that cost me a few seconds.
Avg HR = 112
Covered 4.42 miles in 32:39 (7:23 min/mile pace). Legs were still pretty tired coming off of the brick the day before, but I pushed through and maintained a pretty steady pace (see graph below). Avg. HR = 159 bpm
Avg HR = 146
1h15m on the bike. 45 minutes of Spin Class with some long 3-4 minute flats and hills. Did an additional 25 minutes after class before a 5 minute cool-down and some stretching. My body is really feeling the affects of the lack of carbohydrates in my system over the last few days. I felt very weak and sluggish on the bike this morning….NEED CARBS! Avg HR = 130 bpm