In two days, the beginning of my tri season begins. I’m entirely untrained and unready, and am prepared for quite the humbling results. Hopefully, back to back triathlons will be the kickstart to full training for IM Arizona!
If you were to ask TBF coach Dan Foster about fueling, there’d be a quick answer, almost a mantra: early and often. After this week, I can totally agree with that, not even just on the performance of the day, but on its affect on subsequent days.
Sunday, I raced the 7th annual Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon (see below), and did fine, but raced that as a training run, not as a real race. Two days later, I ran 7.5 miles with Harry, and really struggled. Our pacing was ~9:20, and I was the driver of that. At mile 1, I was already gu’ing (or in my case, Hammer Gel). By mile 3.5, I felt like I’d run 8 already. By mile 6, I was exhausted, and it was taking everything I had to keep going. If I can’t do 28 miles in a week, how am I supposed to do 26.2 in one day?!
In retrospect, I believe it to be 100% a fueling issue. Monday night, I did a weights workout, then went to bed. Tuesday morning, I did 30 minutes of cardio on a bike, a weights workout, and then a workout with my PT. Throughout the day, I ate about 1500 calories of food, then went on the 7.5 mile run. I was already in a deficit before I even started the run…
And the big lesson of the week was this: for the two days following it, I was tired, exhausted, and felt ill — all from exercising on a heavy deficit. So when I think “early and often,” I need to think beyond just that day, but realize that failing to do so can knock me out for a couple days. Not only does that undo the work I did by working out unfueled, but it sets me back. So early and often needs to apply to my every day life — plan out my workouts, eat for success, and stick to the plan.