Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Triathlon Training: Nutrition Coffeechug Style

I have been sitting on this blog post for some time now. I don't know why. I have been craving to get started and hear some responses to discover new ideas, suggestions, and recipes. However, I have kept this at bay, but today I thought I would finally get to it.

As I continue to push my body to new heights in my training for the 70.3 mile race in Racine, WI I continue to read about ways to replenish the body after a tough workout and throughout the day. Everyone has their own things they prefer.

Here are a few of mine. I am not a nutritionist so don't take this as pure science. Perhaps it will give you some new ideas. I would love to hear from you about what you use to fuel your body.

Here we go

Pre Training Fuel
12.23.11 4:30 am long run prep
IMG_2072As many of you know by now, I start my day at 4:23 am each day to get ready to be training at 5:00. During the week I don't eat before workouts. My stomach can be sensitive. However, my stomach is lined with cast iron when it comes to the amount of coffee it can withstand. Years of coffee training has allowed me to drink coffee like water. I start each day out with coffee before my run. I do add creamer to throw in a few calories. Yes, not maybe a smart choice, but it is what it is.

**I will note that before going out to run with the Leadville guys on the longer runs I do consume two waffles with syrup prior. For some reason I feel the need to fuel for those runs, but not the rest. I eat plain waffles or Kashi multigrain waffles.

In Training Fuel

While training I don't usually take anything. When I swim I take nothing, but I see lots of people with water bottles. The way I swim I consume plenty of chlorine tainted water to keep me hydrated. It must be that darn gap in my front teeth that allows me to drink so much delicious pool water.

While on the bike I do take two water bottles. One bottle is just water. The other bottle I switch up between Powerbar Endurance Powder or GU Electrolyte Brew. This seems to do the trick for me. I will have to get use to eating and drinking more on the bike, but I have time for that later.

During my weekly runs I don't fuel at all. I am just fine running on a coffee stomach for 60 minutes. On the longer runs with the Leadville crew I will stop during the loops for water and Gatorade. I have learned that Gatorade and I don't mix. I will stop the Gatorade use. I had issues in the past, tried it again, and to no avail it killed my gut. I recently bought a tub of Hammer Perpetuem to use and really liked this product. My only concern is the one I bought is Latte flavor and therefore contains caffeine so I cannot take it at night. I can see myself using this more and more as I build up my endurance to this product.


Overall, my staple fueling product is GU gels. I love them. They work for me. I can only use so many before they make my gut hurt as I learned during the marathon. I can take about 5-7 of them during long endurance runs/training, but these bad boys are my lifeline come spring and summer. Just in case you have not had it yet, the Peppermint flavor is the bomb. A cold morning and this is like candy. Mix it with chocolate flavored GU and watch out. I still need to try Peanut Butter, but right now this one is tops.

Top Flavors
1. Peppermint
2. Chocolate Raspberry
3. Pineapple
4. Chocolate/Chocolate Mint/Espresso**
5. Triberry or any fruit flavors**

** Positions 4 and 5 switch depending on weather. Fall and Winter they stay as stated. Come Spring and Summer I switch them around as I don't like the chocolate flavors in the heat.

Overall, nothing too special or crazy, but I know that fueling during training is one thing I need to work on so I am ready come race day. The key is finding that right balance of just enough and not too much. Right now I need to work on fueling more while keeping my stomach from exploding.

Post Race Fuel

Because I train mostly in the morning, most of my post race fuel is breakfast oriented. One thing I really focus on is getting the key nutrients back in the body within 30 minutes after a workout. I read and read and read about how important this time frame is to help the body. 30 minutes after and again around 2 hours.

IMG_2074When I come home I usually drink some water while waiting for a brew of coffee. I will then drink more coffee and one of the following. I mix these items up. If I eat one first, I will then eat the other later or vice versa.

When I get home in the morning I usually have about 45 minutes to eat, pack my son's lunch, shower, get dressed, load up the three kids and head out the door to school. I need something fast and easy. These little Weight Watcher breakfast things are money in the bank. They give me just what I need to fuel the body. Are there better options? Sure, but I can snarf down the turkey sausage links while walking up the stairs to the shower. The key here is put the syrup between the french toast slices and eat like a sandwich. No syrup spill and you can indulge while waiting for the shower water to heat up. Time efficient and proper fuel down to a science. I know, amazing stuff.

On my way out the door I make a smoothie. I cannot remember where I found this idea, but this makes one tasty shake(Pulp Fiction reference anyone? Actually, a combo reference with the word "tasty" and the "shake")

**I cannot share the milkshake reference due to vulgar language.

Jules:Good. Looks like me an Vincent caught you boys at breakfast. Sorry about that. Whatcha havin'?
Brett: Hamburgers.
Jules: Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind of hamburgers?
Brett: Ch-cheeseburgers.
Jules: No, no no, where'd you get 'em? McDonalds? Wendy's? Jack in the Box? Where?
Brett: Big Kahuna Burger.
Jules: Big Kahuna Burger. That's that Hawaiian burger joint. I hear they got some tasty burgers. I ain't never had one myself. How are they?
Brett: They're good.
Jules: Mind if I try one of yours? This is yours here, right?
[Picks up burger and takes a bite]
Jules: Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger. Vincent, ever have a Big Kahuna Burger?
[Vincent shakes his head]
Jules: Wanna bite? They're real tasty.
Vincent: Ain't hungry.
Jules: Well, if you like burgers give 'em a try sometime. I can't usually get 'em myself because my girlfriend's a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger. Mm-mm-mm. You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?
Brett: No.
Jules: Tell 'em, Vincent.
Vincent: A Royale with cheese.
Jules: A Royale with cheese! You know why they call it that?

Sorry, back to the shake

Coffeechug Shake To Go
- Chocolate almond milk (about 8 ounces or so, you pick)
- Scoop of chocolate protein(get your protein boys and girls)
- Big scoop of crunch peanut butter (or creamy if you don't like crunchy)
-Handful of oats
- Banana

Mix this delicious concoction together and you have one heatlhy and replenishing shake that will fill you up for a while.
Breakfast recovery

I have both of these each morning after a workout along with a multivitamin.

If I am in a mad scramble I will just whip up one of these shakes by Yoplait. Always good to have a backup plan for those days when you are running late.

Alright, there you have it. My little nutrition talk for pre, in, and post training in the household of Coffeechug.

What about you? What is your system. How do you keep the body fueled? I would love to learn a few new recipes, tricks, etc.

Next nutrition post I will cover all the stuff I bring to school every single day and why I need such a big bag for just my food and beverage.

GETTING IT DONE! sure looks delicious.


Matt said...

Aaron, I always find it interesting to read what others do for nutrition, training, etc. Nice post. I run 95%, maybe 99%, of my runs in the morning. I typically don't eat anything before I run and maybe have some water. If I'm running longer, > 15 miles, I'll take gel along and some water. My marathon training has been in the winter so far so I haven't had to deal much with sweating and can get by on my 20 milers with little or know water.

As far as nutrition otherwise I always eat a lot for breakfast. Lately I've been eating oatmeal with blueberries or other fruit on it. I usually have a nice glass of chocolate milk for recovery right when I get back from a run. As far as the rest of the day, I don't eat anything special. I try to eat a lot of fruit and veggies. I feel like it's worked OK so far.

timmermans said...

Food for such events is interesting but it differs a lot person per person. Mainly I would say don't experiment to much, once you like a particular flavor and performance was satisfactory, don't change or mix it. In the end it's a mental thing, so also train on that via visualization, motivation.

As you like coffee, have you tried chocolate covered espresso beans during your runs? These are not bomb of calories but they do give a boost, taken SEPARATE from electrolytes, ...30-40 min before. You can carry a lot of them and they do not take a lot of space, and they are easy to gobble down.

Josiah said...

Like you I love coffee, but it is a no go in the morning before a workout, causes the plumbing to wake up, I start with a strawberry banana power bar gel for any workout and wash it down with 8 oz Gatorade G2 mixed with chia seeds - great stuff. On the long bike rides I like to eat, clif shot bloks are my favorite.

Post workout is always a frozen fruit protein smoothie, the blender firing up also serves as an alarm for 2 boys if they are slow to waking up, multi tasking at its finest.

Also have to agree with the espresso beans, awesome!