by Kristen Marchant
Race nutrition is an often talked about topic, especially given the fact that there are so many products out there. There are many articles written to tell you what you should be doing for your race fuel and hydration, which can lead to confusion and generally make things seem a lot more complicated than they need to be. Unfortunately, most studies that look at optimal fueling for racing use young, male, already-fit subjects. This means that in all likelihood, what the studies conclude to be most effective is not actually most effective for you. Age and gender, along with fitness level and intensity of exercise all play significant roles in your ability to absorb nutrition. As this topic could lead me to write a 20 page essay, I will stick to reporting what I do in a race and a brief rationale.
Typical 70.3 race:
For a race that will take approximately 4.5hrs and done at a moderate intensity (relative to max effort), I consume most calories from food. My choice is to use Clif Shot Bloks (no I’m not sponsored by them, I use it because it works). By consuming something that requires chewing (as opposed to gels), the digestion is slowed down. Also, Shot Bloks use maltodextrin as their sugar/energy source, as opposed to fructose. Fructose has to be taken to the liver first (delaying the time until your body can use the energy), and causes dehydration as when it is in the gut your body needs to draw water from your cells to help with the digestion of the fructose. Maltodextrin is metabolized differently and therefore, as long as it is consumed in moderate amounts, will not have this dehydrating effect.
I believe that hydration should remain almost completely separate to fuelling. Again, there is science to back up this rationale. Many sports drink companies will tell you that their product is taking care of both your fuel and hydration, but in reality this is not the case. A concentrated fluid solution (typical Gatorade/ Powerade/ etc) needs to be diluted in order to be absorbed. This fluid comes from your body where you actually want the fluid to go, in effect- causing dehydration. The ideal drink will have some (emphasis on some) glucose and/or sucrose and sodium, which drive the transport of fluid into the blood stream. My solution to this, while not perfect, is to drink a very diluted powerade on the bike- approximately 50% powerade/50% water in one bottle and straight water in the other- more water to be obtained on course (on a hot day I will consume up to 4 bottles of fluid during the bike portion).
Caloric intake: The studies done on fit, young, males show that it is possible to consume 300 calories an hour and be able to absorb and digest this amount. Again, most people do not fit into the ‘fit, young, male’ category, and therefore can probably not eat this much. In a typical 70.3 race I consume about 500-600 calories. On the bike this is about 100 from the Powerade, and 400 from the Shot Bloks. On the run, if needed, I will drink Red Bull or Coke in the second half. One note of caution is that if you start to consume caffeine in a race, you basically need to be able to continue to consume it for the rest of the race. Because of the way that caffeine is absorbed, you will feel like you are bonking if you do not continue to consume it during the race.
I hope that if you are having issues with your race fuelling/hydration plan that there are some nuggets of wisdom you can take from this to better optimize what you are doing.
by Taylor Reid
This is the second installment of my TaylorTime brand and some history about why I have chose certain images and appearances to build myself around.
Appearances are important in all aspects of life, if you are going in for an interview, working at a job or a professional athlete. They are part of your image. As a professional triathlete my image is also my brand. Last time I talked about why I have chosen to have Mohawk as a hair cut. http://taylorreid.blogspot.ca/2016/08/history-of-mohawk.html
This time I am going to look at what the Wolf represents in my life and why I have chosen it.
First of I am diffidently and animal. I like pretty much every animal even though I am allergic to a few of them … Cats! As a kid I loved watching the educational programs about wild life, especial Kratts Creatures. I really took a liking to dogs and wolves. I am not really sure why. Just something about how they work together and how we view them as strong and spiritual animals. There are a lot of sayings built up around wolves especial the ‘lone wolf’. This was reconfirmed after I read the book Once a Runner - it is a must read. The one line that clicked with me was ‘the lone wolf leads the pack’.
As I grew older I started drawing a few different designs of wolves. I found I really liked a couple that I had put together. I told myself if I ever ran under 15min for 5km I would get a tattoo of one. I finally did that on the Track with Andrew Yorke and Lionel Sanders in 2012. We set up a twilight time trial on the track with our cross-country coaches Paula, Rory and Pete all present. We traded the lead every lap for the first 12 laps and in the final 2000m it was every man for themselves. I just snuck under with a time of 14:57. I am pretty sure that was the first time Lionel had spiked up in years- his caves were wrecked.
It took me a couple more years until I was fully satisfied with how the tattoo looked and finally I got it emblazoned on my leg. Andrew and John Rasmussen came a long. Pretty much right after Andrew was in the chair getting his own tattoo.
After that I started placing the wolf on different things like my helmet and my desk. I really started embody my ‘animal sprit’. Other University cross-country teams started identifying me by the tattoo. Say, ‘There is one of McMasters top runners the one with the wolf Tattoo.’ As I started to build my own brand in the triathlon world it was easy to center it around the wolf.
It really embodied the true mindset of fighting no matter what happens out there and even if I am the under dog my real sprit is a fighting wolf.
Expect to see more and more of the wolf as I develop as a Triathlete.
by Taylor Reid
Ironman 70.3 Racine was a crazy race.
The day before the race was perfectly sunny weather but by the time race morning had rolled around that had changed. A massive thunderstorm was on its way. I did not change any of my routine that morning just in case the race did go off as planed. I was up at 4am and at the race site by 5am. I went through my normal set up and started off for a 15min run. When I got back Ironman had decided to delay the till at least 8:00am (the scheduled start was 7:00am) and remove the swim portion. I was fine with this and started to rap my head around racing a duathlon, when the first storm hit. It was a few minutes of heavy rain. I hid in a tent with Robbie Wade another pro. When that storm had passed the race organizers announced that another large storm cell was on its way with lightning and they would announce what was happening at 9:30 with a planned race start time of 10:30.
It was only about 7:50 at this time. With a storm on the way and having eaten breakfast almost 4 hours ago, I chose to go to Starbucks with a few other professionals from the GTA area. We got some coffee and a little to eat. It allowed us to stay warm, dry and get a little food before the next attempted race start.
We got back to the race site around 9:20. It looked like the storm had passed and there was some blue sky. We were told due to the late start of the race the bike would be shortened to 31.4miles and the run would stay at a half marathon 13.1miles.
We then were told that the pros would have a mass start on the bike. Starting at the base of a steep little hill. Most of the pros were not happy with this. It would have been a dangerous way to start the race and there would be a large amount of drafting going on. We argued to have a rolling TT start, where someone started every 30second. This did change the dynamics of the race but it was the fairest way to do it.
Since I was ranked 8th in the race I would be the 8th man off the line and 4minitues back from Lionel who was ranked 1st. The officials did let us out to have a short 10-15min bike warm. Finally it was go time!
It was a very different feeling starting on the bike. The crowds were there all eyes on you. I felt a little shaky standing there on the start line watching the clock tick away the seconds till I started. I just kept thinking stay calm just clip in properly and do your job out there. 3…2…1…go. I was into my clips smoothly and out of the saddle climbing up the short hill to start the race. It was nice to have people to chase up the road. I chose to build a little into the bike since there was a lot of cross winds and rough roads to start.
In the first 2miles I saw Tim Don walking back with his bike. It looked like he had gotten a puncture and was out of the race. He stayed around for the whole race cheering on the rest of the field, a true sportsman. I stayed focused on avoiding holes putting down the hammer. Drew Scott passed me about 10miles in he had started 30seconds behind me. I knew if I kept him in my sites I could out run him. After playing with the wind and bumps on the road for 20miles I passed Paul Matthews and Luke Bell. I then started to mentally prepare for the run. I made sure my transition was clean and quick.
I went out onto the run knowing that I was in the race but with the TT start I did not know what position. I had to run smart and fast. I opened up quickly getting my legs turning over. I could see Drew Scott up the road and focused on catching him. Tim Don and Andrew Starykowicz where giving out splits. I new Paul Ambrose and Richie Cunningham were 30 seconds up the road but had no idea where the people behind me stood. I passed Paul Ambrose and Richie Cunningham about 6km into the run as Paul Matthews ran past me.
I knew that I had 30seconds on Paul Matthews so all I had to do was stick with him and I would take him down. I guessed I was close to the top three, either in third or fourth position at that point. For the next 10km I sat on Paul making sure he did not get away from me. At the far turn around about 6km from the finish we noticed that James Hadley had been making up time on us and he very well could be beating us. I put in a last ditch effort to try and bring back the ‘virtual’ James Hadley who was now in third place. I gave it all to see if I could bring him back in the final 5km but in the end he took 3rd place by 42second. I finished in 4th.
Over all it was a good day. I stayed positive through out all the crazy changes and placed reasonably amongst a strong field.
I am back in Caledon for a month now to prepare for the Ironman 70.3 world championship in Australia on Sept. 4. I will also be racing Timberman on Aug 21 to sharpen up for worlds.
by Kristen Marchant
I have had many conversations with people who have trouble swimming open water in race situations, for various reasons, so I thought I would compile a list of tips to help you get through the first leg of the race.
Dealing with the sun
Because races start early, it is quite often that you will be facing a blinding sun at some point in the swim, making it difficult if not impossible to see the buoys up ahead. It is important to take note of this before you start, and count how many buoys you need to pass before you hit the turn buoy. Then you need to trust that you are swimming in a straight line (if there are a lot of people ahead of you it’s easier, but that’s not always the case). By counting how many buoys you have passed you will know if you need to keep swimming straight or if you are supposed to turn (the sun can make it hard to distinguish colours too).
Dealing with SO MANY PEOPLE
This is the most often heard issue. 2000+ athletes in the water means it’s going to be crowded. There are a couple of ways to minimize the stress. If you are a slower swimmer, wait 10 seconds after the gun goes off to start swimming. This will put you behind the chaos and you will be more relaxed, making for an easier, more enjoyable, and faster swim. If you are a mid-pack swimmer you can choose to swim to the sides. Staying way to the outside will inevitably lead to a longer swim, so it is better to go on the inside of the buoys. The only buoys you need to pass on the outside are the turn buoys, so by swimming on the inside during the straight sections, there will be far fewer people and sighting will be easier. If you are a front-pack swimmer and don’t like swimming with people, swim faster ;)
Not being able to see
There are times when the lake you are swimming in is dark, and you can’t see much around you. This can be very unnerving for some people. There is really no substitute here for practice. The more you swim outside, the more comfortable you will become with it. You need to trust your stroke even if you can’t see your arms, and trust that where you are swimming is safe to do so (if it’s a triathlon venue, you can be certain they’ve already verified the safety).
Tips to be comfortable on race day
- PRACTICE!!! Of course, the obvious, the more you swim in open water, the more comfortable you will become with it
- practice sighting- there is an art if you will, to incorporating sighting into a smooth swim stroke. Think of crocodile eyes to sight, then breathe to the side
- be comfortable with bilateral breathing- you never know which way the waves will be coming from, so it is important to be able to breathe to both sides
- swim in the water before race day- if possible, check out the swim the day before the race. This will allow you to test the temperature of the water, see if there is a current, and if there are things in the water to be aware of (weeds, logs, fish). Then there will be no surprises on race day
-warm-up properly- especially important if the water is cold. Getting your body used to the temperature of the water before the race starts will help to keep your heart rate relaxed when you start
by Taylor Reid
Triathlon is a very physically demanding sport but there is so much more to it than just going out there and training. There is a whole mental side to it. I would like to touch on this a little bit and talk about some tools I have used to mentally prepare myself for races so I can dig just that little bit deeper.
These strategies have worked for me but it really is a trial and error kind of process. No one can tell you exactly what will work since every one is a little different. I have worked with sport psychologists in the past and have taken ideas from all sorts of people to build my own mental strategies to help get more out of my body.
The most important points for me is to go into every workout with a purpose. You already are spending the time to go and get better why not make the most of it. We all have limitations on the amount of training we can do. Make sure every workout is there for a reason. This does not always mean that the workout is meant to for you to go hard and stay very focused. Some workouts are built for you to relax and recover. I find that going easy for easy workouts is very important to do. It really helps me remember why I love the sport. It is very important to know what the purpose of your workout is and follow that. Go easy on the easy days so you can go hard on the hard days.
Once I have determined that, a workout or a race is one that I must execute to its fullest. I have a few things I go about doing to make sure that happens. First check all of your equipment to make sure it is ready for the hard work. Second make sure your body is as prepared as it can be. Have you eaten well before hand? Have you recovered as best as you can from the last workout? Do you have the food and tools you need to recover quickly after the hard effort?
Once all of that is taken care of the next part is to get the most out of the workout on hand. I like to really focus on form and tempo. I try to keep a high turn over in all three sports. Swimming I think about holding the water but never pausing in my stroke, on the bike it is all about RPM I try to aim for 100rpm but still staying relaxed, on the run I really think about turn over, stride length and staying relaxed. When it really gets hard I think about my body position, staying relaxed and remember that I am doing this for a reason.
Some things that I have been working on is writing down how I can improve on the workout that I just did. But trying not to focus on the time or effort that I put out. I try to find the small things I can do better, possibly a longer warm up or staying properly hydrated on a long ride. How could I have better executed that workout by being more consistent and not letting the last rep fall apart? If I can improve just a little bit every time it will really help when I get to my big races in the season.
These are just a few tools that I use to help improve my workouts and mentally prepare myself for the big race days. Remember a race is no different than training.
Taylor's Race Report:
Mt. Tremblant 70.3 was the last of my three races month. I really enjoy this event. Mt. Tremblant was my first podium in a 70.3 race and the race that showed me that I could thrive at the 70.3 distance. My pre race week was a little different going into this race, with TV interviews and sponsorship appearances. I think it is very important to give back to my fans as much I can, it makes Triathlon more exciting for everyone.
The build up to the race was phenomenal- about 5min from the start an F-16 did a fly by over the start. Setting the stage for the race!
The swim was fast with a few new swimmers in the mix. I was able to make my way out of the craziness of the start and moved into the lead of the chase group. The lead group slowly got a gap of about 90 seconds by the end of the swim but I was pleased with keeping it at that with some very strong swimmers like John Rasmussen, Jarrod Shoemaker and Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches leading the charge. I exited the water with Trevor Wurtele, Chris Leiferman and Cody Beals on my feet. I was ready to give it all on the bike.
As the bike started it was clear that Trevor Wurtele, Cody Beals, Chris Leiferman and myself were going to be the main chase group. The race was playing out as I started to chew into the top swimmers lead. Lionel went by us at about 20km and I rolled the disc, trying to go with him. I found that his pace was to hot for me and I had to let him go. I led the group as an official gave us splits to the other athletes up the road. We where brining them back slowly. At the 50km mark Trevor Wurtele made a move and I just could not react. For the next 20km I work very hard to bridge the little gap that had formed between the group and myself. I was able to reconnect at 70km but I was spent. I dropped back into my own pace to prepare for a solid run. I got off the bike in 7th place.
I worked my way through the run. I caught TJ Tollaksonn in the first 5km. I split the run up into 7km sections breaking the run in to thirds. I new that the run was going to be a war of hydration in the heat and I paced myself for it. By the 11km I had moved into 5th position. I dug deep to hold of 6th place while I tried to reach 4th. I was able to stay in 5th from the rest for the race and I am pleased with this result.
I will be taking a lot away from this race and applying it to my future events. Next up will be Ironman 70.3 Racine on July 17.
Thank you too:
Kristen's Race Report:
The race started at 8am in Lac Tremblant- it is a massive lake and quite cool, so I allowed extra time for a swim warm-up to adjust to the temperature. With such a quality field of women and some great swimmers, I had no idea if I would end up swimming with anyone. The gun went off and we ran in to the water, and I was almost immediately gapped by a handful of women. I focused on settling in to my own rhythm and eventually found myself swimming on my own. The lake is pretty calm so the only challenge was to not be blinded by the sun. In the last couple hundred meters I caught up to a group of 3 women ahead of me and we began the long run to transition. While the swim time itself looks pretty decent, no swim course is the same, and if they are short (or long) it can have a pretty dramatic effect on the swim time. I was 4 minutes down on the leader, 3.5 minutes down on the eventual race winner, and 2 minutes down on the chase pack- in other words, I still have a lot of work to do on my swimming.
My plan for the bike was to ride at a lower effort level than I typically do. Having been using a power meter occasionally in training I became aware that my perceived “90km race effort” was bringing me in at about 93-94% of my FTP, potentially even higher in an actual race situation. That is, by all research that I can find, too high, so my goal was to be closer to about 90% and see if that had any effect on my run time. I never looked at my watch (since with a stages power meter my watch has to be placed near the seat post in order for it to be close enough to pick up the data from the power meter), so I was still going by effort level. Starting out a group of 4 of us were riding close to each other with a bit of back and forth happening as we tackled the hills going out to the first out and back section. Once it flattened out I was at the front and only one of them stayed with me. As we came back to town and had the last 30km of hilly terrain she went ahead, but I was willing to bet money that she was going to suffer from that effort on the run (fyi, I was right). I potentially executed my best ever 90km ride as my power was pretty even throughout the race, with the end result being an average power a couple watts less than 90% of my FTP and normalized power a couple watts higher.
The run course is fairly challenging with the first 5km and last 6km being “rolling” hills (they seem pretty big when you’re running them). However, the crowds are amazing so with all the cheering it made things seem a lot easier. I had no idea what place I was in so I just concentrated on running the best 21km I could. I passed the woman who had taken off on the bike for the last 30km about 3km into the run and heading into the rail trail for the middle 10km I started to feel really good. I do 99% of my running on the rail trail in Hamilton, so it was familiar terrain and felt like I was just doing what I do every Sunday morning. A few more kilometers in I passed another athlete who said I was in 6th- I was shocked, I had thought maybe I was getting in to top 8 at that point. Because it is an out and back course I could see where the other athletes were, and 5th place was a long way ahead (at that point probably 1.5km ahead), but there were some quick moving athletes behind me too. I just focused on keeping the turnover high and the last 7km or so really hurt, but I did not want to get caught. The crowds were incredible as were the other racers out there cheering me on as I headed back in to town, and I finished strong, only 90 seconds back from 5th place.
I can’t give enough thanks to the town of Mont Tremblant and the incredible race they put on, to the volunteers, and to my incredible homestay who not only put up with me all weekend but came to the race and took pictures and cheered me on. And thanks to all those supporting me: C3 Canadian Cross Training Club, Skechers, Rudy Project, Alto Cycling, Kristen Pawlick at Wishbone Athletics, Riplaces, and Neworld Cycle.
C3'S ANDREW YORKE SELECTED FOR THE RIO OLYMPIC TRIATHLON TEAM
By Barrie Shepley
It all stared 16 years ago, when a young teenage Andrew Yorke watched the Sydney Olympics with his family in Caledon East. On the second day of the Olympics, an un-known, Simon Whitfield won the Olympic Gold Medal and stunned the world with the first ever Olympic medal for the sport. Several months later, C3's head coach Barrie Shepley did a free motivational behind the scenes talk at the Bolton arena about the Olympic experience. As luck would have it, Andrew Yorke and his sister and father (Ward) Yorke would come to that talk. Andrew had been a bike rider, soccer player and was looking for a new way to express his talents. He soon joined the C3 Canadian Cross Training Club and became one of the hardest working juniors in the program. As a late developing swimmer, Andrew had to really work to develop his swim skills. He swam as often as he could at the Mayfield Pool and balanced triathlon, Humberview High School Track & Cross Country, academics and part-time jobs.
As he graduated from High School, rather than directly into McMaster University, he worked a semester at Royal Containers in Brampton while he continued to improve. Andrew represented Canada at the World Junior Championships and then continued his running and swimming at McMaster University with Paula Schnurr and Andrew Cole. Big brother-mentor Sean Bechtel played a very important role in Andrew's development. He had a big-strong, older mentor to push him in all workouts and Andrew became one of Canada's top under 23 year old athletes, racing at World Champs a number of times. Andrew was a big part of McMaster's resurgence in cross country running, along with C3 triathletes Connor Darlington, Taylor Reid, John Rasmussen and Lionel Sanders.
Andrew moved out of university and into full time triathlon racing with summers in Germany, Spain and other parts of Europe. He had a chance to race on the biggest stages and world championships and in 2012 was selected as the first alternate for the London Olympic Games. As Simon Whitfield's daily sparring partner leading up to London, Andrew got to see what SImon did every single day for 3 months. Andrew was in London and saw the entire race, the size of the media and got to understand everything he would need to know for Rio. In the last 4 years, Andrew was top Canadian at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Andrew was the top Canadian at last year's Pan American Games in Toronto. Andrew was the 2015 National Champion and the 4th place in New Zealand. Andrew finished the two year Olympic qualifying block as the top Canadian and on June 29th, was officially selected with four others to represent Canada at the Rio Olympic Games. See link to the team announcement: http://www.triathloncanada.com/en/news/latest/?id=3884 and Barrie Shepley's note on the team: https://www.facebook.com/barrie.shepley/posts/1246646062025837?pnref=story
Andrew's journey to the Olympics could not have happened without the massive support of the C3 board, coaches, sponsors, team-mates, Triathlon Ontario, Triathlon Canada, RTC Guelph, McMaster University and of course Andrew's personal sacrifices to do the work. Andrew and Tyler Mislawchuck will be racing Aug 18th and the three women will be racing on Aug 20th). Barrie Shepley and Brenda Irving from CBC will be in Rio doing the live TV commentary. Before Rio however, Andrew will be racing this weekend in Stockholm Sweden and in two weeks July 16-17th in Hamburg Germany, before focusing exclusively on Rio Olympic Games.