So, let’s get this out of the way at the start; I fucked up and unintentionally became a dirty cheater! I’m not going to bore you with the minute detail, but I misunderstood the swim course briefing and ended up cutting part of the course – In my defense, I was probably the only person who ended up swimming anything close to the 1900m distance, (the swim course was VERY long, and everyone else did ~3000m!) which is probably why, when in the water, and with no one around me at the time, I thought I was correct heading to what I thought was the final buoy… I’d been in the water about 30 mins at the time.
Oh well, I recognized my mistake as soon as I was out on the bike and not having to overtake anyone, (I’m usually hunting down the fish that get out in front of me) but as this was only a training race for me, I decided just to roll on regardless. As soon as I crossed the line I grabbed the race organizer, explained the situation and politely disqualified myself. Lesson learned, know the course, pay attention, and never go full retard.
So with those shenanigans out of the way, how did the rest of the race go? Quite well actually.
I tried something a bit different for my race week loading phase. I kept my 5-day caffeine abstinence the same, (to help reset my adenosine receptors) but in addition to my usual 200ml beet juice a day, I added tart cherry, maca powder and cordyceps mushroom extract, blended in a concoction I call WAR JUICE.
Beetroot juice for the nitrates – to enhance muscular oxygen uptake. Cordyceps mushroom extract for improved aerobic capacity and cellular energy. Maca powder to help testosterone production. And tart cherry juice to aid recovery. Also threw in some berries and greens… because, berries and greens, that’s why.
It’s hard to quantify the improvement, but there is solid research behind all of the ingredients; I felt good and performed well, with no stomach problems… so I’ll take that as a win. Plus it tastes nicer than it sounds.
For race day it was fairly standard fair – I felt good energy wise the entire race, but had mild stomach discomfort on the run, (potentially due to the maltodextrin in the gels), not enough to limit performance… but I’m going to experiment with some different brands
- White rice with chia seeds, almond butter, blueberries, maca powder and almond milk
- 1 x BeetIt Shot
- Black Coffee with cordyceps mushroom extract
- ‘Perfect Aminos’ amino acid tablets, (10g about 30mins before swim start)
- 1 ‘Hammer Bar’ (Bike)
- 2 x Bottles of ‘Tailwind’ + 10g Amino Acids (Bike)
- 2 x ‘Clif Espresso Gel Shots 10g Amino Acids (Run)
This was really about laying down some benchmarks and learning some lessons. A couple of things jumped out on the bike; while I had a strong ride relative to the field, I went out a little too hard and wasn’t able to sustain the power for the entire duration, dropping from287 NP for lap 1 and 279 NP for lap 2. I think being a little more conservative and averaging out the effort a little more evenly would probably set me up for a better run. I also want to work on upping my cadence a little too, I’m naturally a low cadence rider, and for triathlon, I don’t think that’s a problem; however, I do think at ironman intensity, the muscular fatigue cause by riding lower than 70 rpm may hurt my run. This is something I will experiment with in some test sets. It was encouraging not to see much cardiac drift at this level of intensity. Given that it was a very rolling course I was also happy with a VI of 1.02… meaning I didn’t get too excited and start burning matches on the short climbs; I also kept the power on during the descents.
On the run, I could do with improving my aerobic fitness at race intensity, (you can see a little bit of cardiac drift occurring at a pretty stable pace). I’ll be adding some more periodic longer ‘race pace’ sessions to my training to compliment the MAF + sprinting approach I’m currently using.
Overall, pretty happy with where I am at the moment… ‘Project Port’ continues 🙂