Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh Carbo-Pro, where have you been my whole life?

They say that nutrition is the fourth discipline of triathlon. I wouldn't know, because I certainly haven't done much food training. (My pre-Ironman diet is supposed to be "no chocolate before noon" and I can't even do that.) I had a great day in Ironman Coeur D'Alene, but the weak link was definitely nutrition; I got bloated and crampy and sick during the run.

All of the cool kids have been using something called "Carbo Pro" lately. We did a 112-mile ride Sunday and I thought I'd give it a try. After all, it couldn't be worse than my usual ride nutrition of a ham sandwich, Snickers bars and Mountain Dew, right? Since I had stomach issues last year, I also thought I would try doing the ride with all-liquid calories. No candy bars, no crackers.

Carbo Pro comes in a powder that you mix in your water bottle. I was surprised how much I had to use: 10-12 scoops. Ben told me about 30 seconds too late that I should put the powder in my bottle first, THEN add water. It was a little messy. I was warned that Carbo Pro tasted like cardboard, so I brought some Kool Aid mix with me and poured in about 1/2 package. That was probably a bit much, but I have a strong sweet tooth and to be honest it wasn't that bad.

The basic plan was to sip some Carbo-Pro every 10-15 minutes, then have a gel pack every hour. And that worked pretty good for the first hour, until I had to pee. The Pacific Coast Highway is a lovely place to go for a ride, but there aren't many places where you can discreetly do your business. And when the bike course leaves the PCH, it takes you through wide-open celery fields which is even worse for privacy. So I didn't sip a thing for many many miles until we got to a gas station. Then things were much better.

We rode up into Ventura County, fairly uneventful and headed back. Around mile 80 or so we stopped at another gas station where I had a Mountain Dew. (Those are liquid calories and I plan of having Dew in Wisconsin in my Special Needs Bag so it is perfectly legal.)

It seemed like a was a little behind with my Carbo-Pro so instead of sipping I started gulping. After a while we got to "Big Rock" which is where I rode with George the day before. I knew I had 14 miles to go, and knew exactly what hills and flats were ahead of us. And something happened. Somehow the Mountain Dew and Carbo-Pro mixed together and I... felt... great. I don't know what it was but I just took off and didn't stop for those last 14 miles. I felt better at mile 105 than I did at mile 25; of course, mile 25 is when I REALLY had to pee so that probably isn't a fair comparison.

So I think I solved my nutrition issues for Wisconsin: Carbo-Pro, Gu, and Mountain Dew. And more importantly, it was good to have a confidence-boosting ride this close to the race.


Blogger SWTrigal said...

I used Carbo-Pro at IMFL 5 years ago and had a PR. This reminds me maybe I should switch back!

8:39 AM  

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