5 weeks to Kona

With only 5 weeks to go to the Hawaii Ironman I am in full training mode.

Last week I was in Singapore running a Sales Training course for an Asia
Pacific team so had the chance to stay a few extra days and did over 650 kms
on the bike and 52 kms run training in preparation for the heat and humidity
of the Kona lava fields.

It is crucial to prepared my kidneys for the increase in fluids I will need
to prevent dehydration, and prepare my body and mind for the assault of the
42 degree heat I will be racing in at Kona.

Distance Runners talk about “hitting the wall”

This happens typically around 25 kms into a marathon or 2 – 2.5 hours when
the body’s resources become depleted and the energy you have stored up over
the last few days has been burnt off

In a one day 227 kms race, apart from the obvious challenges of fitness,
strength and endurance there is a constant mental battle when the body and
mind are
fighting each other with the body trying to get me to stop and the mind
making me go on for just a bit longer.

Because of this food and drink is so important in a race that will take me
between 11 and 13 hours (or more if I have a bad day!).

This is when it is so important to keep grazing through the race as an
Ironman typically takes 3 or 4 times longer than any marathon.

An additional challenge is that when I feel good on the bike I forgot to eat
which means not too far into the future my energy will start to drop because I
haven’t consumed enough carbs.

By the time I realize this I then have to force food down which makes me
feel sick. A real catch 22 and another mental challenge to overcome.

Ironman racing is a never ending balance of taking food in without
overloading at that time.

Over the last 13 years I have tried all sorts of foods including roast
potatoes, ham sandwich rolls, Vegemite, bananas, crisps and in 3 IM races
had a tin of beans in-between the bike leg and marathon. (Not a smart move)
I even had a MacDonald’s the night before the old Forster Ironman and
surprisingly I had a good race on the back of a Big Mac and chocolate milk shake (and an awful
race on the back of a KFC!)

In addition I will eat bananas, muesli bars and high carb powerbars and gels
which are easy to carry and unwrap as I hurtle along at 30 kms an hour. One
of my sponsors is a wonderful company called 4 Life who have provided me
with some outstanding health supplements and I will drink their meal
replacement Nutrastart to keep refuelling. Nutrastart has also helped me
lose 6 kgs which will be a tremendous advantage during the bike and run legs.

Last year I learnt the importance of keeping my fluids up when I
collapsed with de-hydration in the Sahara having just completed the
6th leg of the MDS (Marathon Des Sables).

On the other side too much water or drinks like Gatorade etc will make
you feel sick or ‘flooded’ or give you cramps.

I thought standing up in front of a ‘traditional’ group of Sales People
running a Sales Training programs was tough but as I re-read this I can
really understand now why people often ask “so why do you do it?”!!

Stay tuned and thank you to everyone for your motivating messages, emails
and calls in anticipation for the biggest race of my life on October 13th.

The KONA Group
Because Hope Is Not A Strategy

1300 611 288