Wednesday, August 8, 2018

I Did A "Thing" ... I Became an R + F Independent Consultant

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Once upon a time, there was a young lady (in her mid to late 20's) with a mild acne problem.  She had never been a skin care regimen kind of girl, but she was newly married, working in retail, and frustrated with her skin.  So, she "gave in to the infomercial" for ProActiv and soon saw desirable results.  Who knew that 20 some odd years later she would again be frustrated with her now 50 year-old skin?  She reached out to a friend and fellow athlete whom she knew to be a Rodan and Fields consultant and asked her to "make me not look 50."  And thus it began.  The next nine months were slowly paving the way to a leap of faith into the independent consulting realm.

This is where "her" story has the potential to become a tragedy steeped in failure or develop into a beautiful tale of success.  She welcomes you to follow along ( and assist her in the writing of a wonderful success story by being a part of it yourself.

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Please join Lori by "turning the pages" to her personal consultant website ( and becoming a Preferred Customer (PCPerks).  For the first month (until 9.1.2018) anyone who becomes one of her Preferred Customers will be refunded their $19.95 PCPerks enrollment fee.  Hurry!  The launch of the new and innovative Active Hydration Body Replenish, the over whelming success of Lash Boost, and the exclusive combination "Beyond the Shave" (for that super sexy and special man), mean a Perks customer can be on the leading edge of skin care.

She hopes you will jump in as she did with both feet.  C'mon!  It's going to a great adventure.
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Monday, August 28, 2017

The Morning After... thoughts on ITU World Championships

It’s a gorgeous morning in Penticton the day after ITU Long Course World Championships. The sun is coming up over the vineyards in the east, and the mountains to the west are still slightly tired with moon light.  I am sad to leave this venue, and hope that I will someday be able to return here to race-cation.  The people have been exceptional, from hotel staff, to Team USA staff and mechanics, to race volunteers, to the random strangers and servers in the cafes.  It has definitely been a fantastic way to look forward to my 50’s.

I would not be human if I didn’t admit that my race could have been better.  I am pleased with my swim.  Everyone who knows me knows I am steady and strong, but not fast.  There is always room or improvement.  I am beyond happy with my ride.  I had come into the race thinking that if I could survive Chattanooga, then I could do anything.  After driving the course, I was convinced that I was going to run out of gears, and would have to really push on the flats and descents to make the cutoffs.  I am happy to report that I spent a LOT of time climbing in the “baby gear” (yes, GEAR not gearS).  I did not stop.  I did not walk a single climb. I rode like Jamie “commanded.” While my time/average do not reflect a spectacular ride, I did it and I feel as if I was completely successful in that endeavor.

The run ... it could have been better.  My standard plan of run 2:30/walk :30 served me well.  Once I got myself settled and in the groove, I felt strong - not fast, but steady.  I did have the pleasure of being able to help two other Team USA teammates that I came upon (one cramping and near to the vomiting stage), and another I’ve known for years.  The first, a young man from Miami who was struggling mightily with dehydration and cramping, I was able to get iced down and pour some F2C down his throat.  He was on his last lap of the run, while I was on my 2nd.  When he made the last turn to the finish line, I went on.  He was waiting at the finish one to thank me. It was wonderful.  The second, an athlete I have known for years and respect greatly, was not a “happy camper” and having a disagreement with his GI.  We talked through it, decided on a new strategy, and then he really yelled at me to leave him and keep going.

The finish line is fabulous.  The Team USA coach hands you Old Glory, and all of the stress and disappointment you may have felt disappears.  Steve King, announcer extraordinaire, welcomes you to the finis line with some personal tidbit he has found about you, and you are officially an ITU World Championship finisher.  It.  Is.  Amazing.  

I would not have the infinite, world-wide support if not for Chris and Erika and their vision for a team that is actually a family - thank you.  For all of my #SuperSexy teammates, you were with me all day pushing me and motivating me to keep moving, to enjoy every single aspect of the day.

There are so many people who made this day a reality:  Mike - for loving me always and putting up with the super crazy/stupid training schedules; Marci - for carefully crafting said crazy/stupid training schedules; Jamie - for kicking my fanny bottom on a regular basis in all disciplines; Chuck - for being an ever willing sounding board and Yoda; Celeste - your regular pool presence is icing on my “chlorine cake;” Stephanie and Charlie - you guys welcomed me on some of the hardest rides I did, thank you; Neil - your practical and no nonsense approach to the entire year was refreshing and kept my head in the game Colin, Aidan, my momma and Daddy (Gary and Mary Kay), my “Bonus Parents” and “brother another mother” Marc - you were all there, all the time, making sure I knew I could finish this and finish on my feet. Kim - I tried to keep smiling.  I know I didn’t on a couple of the harder climbs, but at the end I was ecstatic - your love of racing was there.

You all made the day for me, and I am eternally grateful.  Thank you.  Truly, thank you.  Love and hugs!!!  (Race report breakdown to follow soon.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Race Report: IMChattanooga Post of Gratitude #2

This is the race report that is also inclusive of "thanking the sponsors.”  The one blog post that my Momma will claim makes me sound like a television commercial.  I appreciate all these groups do for me and the Big Sexy Racing team.  They deserve to be acknowledged and shown the proverbial love due them.

I plan to progress through the race, keeping everyone in order so that none are excluded.

Pre-race:  Having carefully packed everything into my OGIO 9.0 bag, I have all my gear organized and ready to schlep to transition for set up.  I am up about 4:15 ish having not slept super well, but not super horribly either.  Breakfast is coffee (don’t work out or race without it), a banana, and a Flapjacked Mighty Muffin with a tad of peanut butter.  Sitting in the swim queue line, I have half a Salted Caramel BonkBreaker and I am constantly sipping on a bottle of PhDNutrition Battery.

The Swim (1:09:47)
Finis Swim – Thank you for making all of my swims not like “swimming in water hell,” but actually almost fun and enjoyable.  The Axis Buoy, Agility Paddles, Align Kickboard, and snorkel are super cool to have on the pool deck.  Bright yellow is one of my all time favorite colors – just look at the car I drive.  ;-).  I can honestly say that my girl Christine Cross never led me astray when I asked her for advice on which “pool toys” to buy, and my swim thanks her.

That's me in the Pink Cap on the right.
I wait in line with The Best Training Partner Ever (she was 8th out of the water in her age group – injured…watch out when she is 100%) for our turn to jump in the very warm (83 degrees) Tennessee River.  I felt strong the entire time.  Because I start a bit further back in line, I feel like I had pretty open water lines the whole way downstream.  

This was my first non-wetsuit 2.4 mile swim.  I can say with full confidence that it was not the horrifying event that I had envisioned.  My Blue Seventy PZ4TX fit like a second skin (duh….), and looked even better on than in the mesh bag.  Something I cannot say about my wet suit.  I felt sleek, and fast, and ready to swim.  And … it came off like a dream.
T1:  I gently pull on my CEP Compression short socks and ankle support; get into my shoes; grab my helmet and glasses, then  dig out the Ruby’s Lube.  All of my training rides have included my friend Ruby.  I did not once get on my #PinkPanther without Ruby’s Lube, and this “epic” ride through the rollers of North Georgia was no exception.  Choking down a Kid’s ZBar (by Clif) on my way to the mount line was the perfect kick start to the day’s ride nutrition.

The Ride (7:38:05)
I know ahead of time that the ride is going to a long day in the saddle.  No matter.  I jump on my QuintanaRoo #Dulce (I call her the #PinkPanther) and off we went to see the beautiful countryside.  I am ever grateful for John Cobb founder of CobbCycling for my VFlow saddle.  That combined with my super CEPCompression shorts and #BigSexyGear Tri top make for nearly a pain free ride.  The Reynolds Cycling RZRs from Chris McDonald’s garage feel smooth and fast as I wind my way through the first loop of the course.  There is very little wind, plenty of shade and I seem to be holding a good pace based on the plan.  I don't need my Rudy Project glasses that are perfectly “matchy matchy” with my helmet.  I do keep them on for protection from grit and spraying hydration.   

My bike nutrition is spot on with (over the course of the ride) PhD Nutrition GlycoDurance and Battery in my bottles, supplemented with an Uncrustable, a Bonk Breaker, and some Honey Stinger chews on the first loop.  The second loop is where things got rough.  The shade melts away; my right foot (same leg as the sprained ankle I was still nursing) developed a really, really painful hot spot along the fifth metatarsal; and then it just plain got hot.  I don’t remember being hot, but I know it was and I continued to hydrate and fuel accordingly.  Again, the PhD Nutrition GlycoDurance and Battery combination was perfect, with water, ice, and cold GatorAde more for core temperature management than caloric need.  I kept up the calories with my go to Honey Stinger Waffles and Pomegranate Chews and another ZBar.  Tasty, organic, and easy on the stomach in all conditions.  

I had put on a new chain whose company motto is “Free Speed.”  Whether or not it is true, my drive train was smooth, and shifting dead on.  Ice Friction now has a special place in my equipment arsenal with its waxed PINK chain.  Thanks to the new Power Tap C1 I am able to monitor my watts and cadence and am pleasantly surprised to find that I am maintaining the averages my coach and I had set out as part of the race day plan.

Somewhere on the 116 mile ride course.  B E A U Tiful!
Along about Mile 75-80 I begin to notice an ache in my right foot.  I think at first it might be swelling in my cycling shoes caused by the heat and water/sweat.  I stop on the side of the road to remove the ankle compression support thinking that will fix everything.  Well … It does for about 15 minutes.  Then the ache is back, and more intense, and localized to the fifth metatarsal.  At this point I start to get concerned about how it could affect my run.  So, every 15 minutes or so I stop to rub it gently.  About mile 95ish I take some Advil and just start praying it will take the edge off and allow me to get started on the run.

Try as I may, my training rides and workouts always seem to be spot on both in watts and cadence (courtesy of a fabulous CycleOps Power Beam Pro trainer), but the race day ride of joy eludes me still.  I had originally hoped to be off the bike in seven hours.  I am truly disappointed in the 7:38, but still feel strong overall and looking forward to getting on the run.

T2:  I roll into transition thinking of my cushy running shoes and a lightweight sun visor.  I hand off my bike who I actually did NOT curse nor I say that anyone who wanted her could take her home.  I take that as a positive sign.  Surprise!  It is really painful to walk.  I discover that walking is not going to be as easy as I thought, and my foot is quite "vocal" in its reminder that it is indeed attached to my leg.  I hobble to the tent; put my ankle support back on; slip into my running shoes (felt a tiny bit of relief); grab my race belt, hand held hydration, a flask of Honey Stinger gel, visor; and limp out towards the run course.  I see Shannon (Mark McNees), Big Sexy Steve Watson, IMFL Camper Richard Cables, and a few other Tallahassee peeps near the end of the exit chute and my spirits are lifted a fair bit.

The Run (5:34:12)
This is where I am typically the strongest.  I am totally capable of a 4:15 off the bike if not better.  This is not to be the case this day.  With a 97 degree starting temperature, and a foot that I would have gnawed off at that point, my goal is to run 2:30 minutes and walk 30 seconds for as much of the run as I could, knowing that I would walk through the aid stations and walk some of the hills.

My parents, sister, General Super Sherpa (Neil Snyder), Carla, and The Best Training Partner Ever are less than 1/2 mile from the exit chute, under a bridge in the shade.  I stop (again) for some spirit-lifting hugs.  Jamie has iced arm coolers and a neck cooler waiting for me.  I nearly cry they feel so good.  My Momma tells me she doesn't care, she is going to slow me down and hug me.  My Daddy, who is usually far from demonstrative and emotional, hugs me tight and tells me he is “so proud of me, I'm doing great.”  Then I am off running up the hill to truly begin the marathon.

This is about mile(s) 7 and 19 ish.  On the RiverWalk.
With the exception of the 3-4ish mile section along the Amnicola Highway, this is truly a nice, scenic run.  I would definitely run it as a stand alone marathon, and it is highly likely I'll run it off the bike in the future.  ;-)  Several miles are run on the RiverWalk on the eastern levee/bluff of the Tennessee River.  I can't think of anything better than watching the sun as it went down across the river.  It was beautiful and distracted me for a short time from the pain in my foot.  Just before mile 8, as the route crosses to the west side of the river, Neil, Carla, and Jamie are waiting for me.  Jamie hands me three more Advil knowing that I'm about to head into the "hills" and they are not to be scoffed at.  Trust me.  I knew they were coming, and I/we had intentionally trained on some hills that otherwise would have been avoided.  The crowd support here, even late on a Sunday evening, is wonderful.  Sprinklers, industrial size fans, "free ice", and music are plentiful and welcomed by this girl.  There is a section of out-and-back where you can see friends, teammates, and other competitors as they finish the loop and head back over the river.  I see a few of the Big Sexies here (Jason Tucker, Christy Martin, Jessica Boudreaux) and other friends from Tallahassee finishing their first loop.

Crossing back over the river to begin the 2nd Loop
After running through the "hills" and golf course neighborhood, the route runs you BACK over the river on a fantastic "no motor vehicles allowed" bridge.  There are tons of people here cheering, and a sizeable gathering of Tallahassee friends cheering as I head into the Special Needs area.  I spy Sandy Johnson and ask how Charlie finished.  He got the Kona slot!!!  I fist bump her and keep moving.  I head into Special Needs to grab my refill bottle and see my dear friend and fellow Big Sexy Ed.  That made for three Rusk Family sightings so far (Britta was in the the women's area both times when I got to T1 and T2.  Thank the Stars!).  He hugs me, finds my bag, takes my bag, and "pushes" me back onto the course for the second loop.  Jamie, Carla, and Neil are waiting just a short distance outside Special Needs and I get three more desperately needed hugs.   

The second loop of the run is a "wash, rinse, repeat" type situation.  The only thing better about the second time around is that the sun has set, and the weather has turned "cool."  And by "cool" I mean below 90 degrees.  I am staying true to my hydration and fueling plan, and am really not any more fatigued than an Ironman day would predict.  Just before crossing the river for my second "look" at the hills and golf course, I get my last on-the-course hugs from Carla and Jamie.  I apologize (again) for how long they have been outside waiting.  I felt badly all day for my "posse" and the heat that they had endured to be my support.  Neil sneaks the opportunity to run beside me for a short while.  He takes one look at me and says, "I can tell by the look on your face you have this in the bag.  You look strong.  Get after it."  That is all I need.  One more vote of confidence, and I am off for the final 5.5 miles.

One mile from the finish, my long time running partner Shannon is waiting for me along with a group of Gulf Wind Triathletes (TJ Devliger, Tanya Devliger, Mike Burns to name a few).  She steps up beside me and run/walks (mostly walks) with me until the route directs me down to the finish area.  I knew she would be there as promised.  And, I welcome her company as I am just about empty at that point.  As I am crossing back to the Finish Line side of the river, I can see and HEAR the finish area.  I had ignored it on the first loop so as to NOT get psyched out or down about how hot and slow I felt.  I make the last turn down hill to the finish chute knowing that I will run the remaining distance and hope to pick up momentum as I do.  I high-five people along the barricades, and truly think I am smiling when I get there.  "Hands Up!  Smile on my face!  There will be cameras..."  It's what I tell all my athletes about every finish line.  I see Big Sexy Jason Ball on the fence cheering for me, and I run straight into the arms of Ed who has been waiting to be my personal Catcher.  A friendly face was the best part of the finish.  No kidding.

Ed Rusk - Catcher Extraordinaire
The Finish (14:39:05):  
Ed puts my medal (another great piece by Ashworth Awards) around my neck, holds me upright while another volunteer removes my chip and brings me my finisher shirt and cap.  Another volunteer hands me a bottle of water - open - and yet another gives me a recovery drinkEd fills me in on how all of the other Big Sexies have done or are doing, and we chat about the day for what seems like 15-20 minutes.  I know now that it was really only 5 or so.  I begin looking for Jamie and see Carla just outside the fenced off athlete only area.  I know Jamie must be near by.  I walk out, hardly noticing my foot, but limping obviously enough that Carla orders me and Jamie to immediately head back to the hotel while she and Neil retrieve all my gear.  I call the #SuperSherpaSpouse from Jamie's phone and hear all of the wonderful things he has to say about the day and the unusual conditions I have battled.

Jamie and I walk back towards the hotel, chatting non-stop.  She has all the scoop on how the group from Tallahassee is doing and how her swim went.  Once back in the hotel, we both quickly shower and then I jump into the NormaTec boots that have made the trip and that we have both been using every day.  Lots of water, a "splash" of WoopWoop Cabernet, and nearly a bag of sweet potato chips later I feel pretty normal.  Tired, but normal.

So many people and groups were a part of this day.  It was not the day I had planned, but it was closer to the day I could manage with the conditions and challenges thrown at me.  It is a PR in the sense that it was a 144.6 distance versus the 140.6 distance.  Yes.  I will do another (and probably several others) 140.6 event.  Without the HUGE involvement of the Big Sexy Racing Team and their sponsors (including Chili's Bar and Grill and EPOCH Universal) days like this would not be possible for me.  The incredible support of these organizations is paramount to the success of the Team.  We (and I) could not do it without them.  Thank you.  Over, and Over and Over again.

Post 144.6 (IMChattanooga) post of Gratitude #1

Originally published on FaceBook (28 September 2016)

It's long and somewhat sappy. Keep scrolling if you like. I won't be offended.
My Family: both near, far, blood, extended and by association: Without a doubt I would not have made it to any of the four 140.6 starting lines without the ENDLESS, unconditional, support of my family - ALL of them.

My husband (Mike): who "hardly never says, 'N0' " to anything I want to do and yet somehow manages to still let me get in all my workouts while completing his own training and sanity maintenance.

My Boys (Colin): who understand just how important it is to me to continue in this " stupid crazy business" of the full iron distance triathlon and refill my bottles, drive next to me in the car or on their bikes, or even sometimes run with me.

My Parents (Gary and Mary Kay) and Bonus Parents: who, again, hardly "never say, 'No' " to the crazy things I undertake; who fly/travel all over the world (essentially) to be there when I start and finish; and who love me even when I frustrate them to no end and the circumstances are less than ideal.

The BEST TRAINING PARTNER EVER (Jamie and her wife): who is never nauseous by the number of "matchy matchy" things we own; who trains beside me both virtually and literally no matter what the workout or conditions and then goes all the way to the race to support, cheer, and sherpa despite her own injury and rehab.

The Awesomest Friend/Substitute Dad (Neil): Neil, your dad has been a wonderful source of inspiration, encouragement, and reality checks like no other. Thank you for sharing him and trusting him to my family. We love him, value him, and have pretty much completely adopted him. ;-)

My coach and mentor (Marci and Chuck): who put up with what has go to be the highest maintenance athlete on the planet; answering texts and e-mails at all hours, trouble-shooting everything from nutrition to moving and restructuring workouts to fit an ever evolving life to talking me off more than one really high ledge.

My athletes (Neil (Neil), Shelley, Jason, Katie, Cheryl, Jackie, Christy, Shelby, Jennifer, Eric, David, and Marcia): who put up with a coach who occasionally checks out mentally and who support me completely in my endeavors as well as each others' endeavors.
The SEXIEST team on the planet (Big Sexy Racing, Chris, Erika): who all understand my sometimes over enthusiastic love for the team in its totality, the ebbs and flows of my team interactions, and yet accept me for them no questions asked; who travel to train with me, race with me, chat with me, and "catch" me at the finish line.

This "crazy stupid" path we have chosen is not an easy one to follow. Without each other I believe we would be much less successful than we are together. And for your presence and involvement in my life I am beyond grateful.

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's On Like Donkey Kong ... Less than 100 days

When reviewing the calendar, I was astonished to discover that Ironman Chattanooga is less than 100 days away.  I've added a countdown clock to the blog so "we can all freak out" for the same reason.

I'm not sure there is anything else to add.  "It's on like Donkey Kong!"

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Selfish Reason to Race?

I have often said that "Forty is where things started to get really good."  I got a bit more comfortable being me.  My running took off.  I have run Boston - twice; achieved "Streaker" status at the Breast Cancer Marathon - #RunDonna.  And ... I found Triathlon.  As I near fifty, I can only imagine how much better things can be.
I haven't "raced" triathlon at a level worth calling competitive since I kind of fell into the sport as "support and sherpa" for my older son, the one I refer to as #KonaKid.  He started in youth tris and then jumped headlong at the age of 12 into "adult sprints."  I followed along because I was a "momma hen" and didn't want my baby chick on the road with all those scary grown up athletes.  It wasn't long before he had proven that he could hold his own and make those "scary" grown ups chase him down in order to beat him at the finish line.  Yes, I have some great finish line stories.

In the early years:  2008 - 2010, I would wait on the beach (forfeiting a finish time) for my Boy to get out of the water, and then off we would run to T1 for the rest of the race.  At that time, I could beat him on the bike and get a decent lead on the run.  He always caught me on the run.  #LittleSnot  He always placed high enough in his age group to qualify for USAT Age Group National Championships, but was not able to participate due to age rules at the time.  

Not too long after, once I knew he was good on the course, I actually began participating in the entire event.  Eventually, I swam a little; finagled a somewhat decent bike; and worked a bit on running off the bike.  I did one sprint.  Then I jumped to 70.3.

2013, a year after my first 70.3 ("half ironman"), the bar was raised significantly by my #KonaKid when he raced his first and second 70.3 within 2.5 months of each other and both under five hours.  The announcer at the finish line of his second 70.3 (Ironman Honu 70.3) called him a "Brat" and the grandparents immediately dubbed him #HonuBrat.  A few hours later at "slot rolldown" he was on his way to Kona for the Ironman World Championship.  Four months later, October 2013, he was the youngest competitor on the Ironman World Championship stage.  In 2014 he raced in the USAT Age Group National Championship securing a place on Team USA for the 2015 ITU World Championships.  It was a busy three years for him.

A couple of months ago my #ChooCrew training partner and I decided to add a challenge to our season with a late season 70.3 at the USAT Long Course National Championships. My thought process was I have a slim chance of maybe, just maybe, qualifying for Team USA and the ITU Long Course World Championships than I do at qualifying for the ITU International/Olympic Distance World Championships.  

The notification that I qualified for USAT Age Group National Championships was a welcome pat on the back, despite knowing beforehand that I would not go to Omaha, Nebraska.  And, it brought out the "honest realization" that my desire to race the LCNats was more than somewhat selfish.  I wanted to be able to say that my Boy was not the only Abbey to qualify to race on the world stage.  Is it wrong?  Probably so.  Does it lessen my desire to go and possibly garner a spot on Team USA?  No.  Will I lay off the intensity of my training?  Nope.  My coach would NEVER allow that.  Am I looking forward to a new type of race atmosphere?  Definitely.  Racing in a different country?  You bet.  But, that is later.  For now, one thing at a time.  Ironman Chattanooga.  Then, USAT LC Nats.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Simple 70.3 Nutrition Strategies (by Lance Watson)

While this is written (and published) by LifeSport coach Lance Watson, it is pretty dog gone spot on to what I reinforce with all my athletes.  And, quite frankly, sometimes an outside, neutral third party validates what "your" coach has been saying all along.  Some things that are always to be considered and/or personalized are fluid ounces intake, sodium and potassium intake, protein to carbohydrate ratios.

Thank you to LifeSport Coaching for publishing this, and allowing me to share it with those who might not otherwise see it.

The aim for a bike leg of any (Ironman) 70.3 is to propel you strongly to the start of the run. The aim of the run is have enough fuel left in your body to show off your fitness. If you have practiced sound nutrition over the 56 miles of riding, you will be able to begin the run in great condition and complete the 13.1 miles with minimal slowing down.

The sport nutrition products supplied on the course do not necessarily guide your choice of calories. You can train with those products in the months before the race to test them. Most athletes work with the product that suits their stomach and do not cause GI distress.

Note that calorie absorption and heart rate are inversely related. As you start to exercise blood is diverted from your stomach to your working muscles and skin to sweat and help cool you. As your heart rate rises, you are less able to digest the calories you ingest. Therefore your race day nutrition plan is intimately bound to your racing heart rate. Make sure you show up to the race knowing your race intensity zones and having practiced eating at those heart rates! The most common mistake is to consume too much at a high heart rate. If your heart rate is up, adjust your calorie intake downward. Also, do what you've been doing in training - don't try anything new on race day!

When preparing your race day plan you should take the following guidelines into account:
Pre Race
  1. Breakfast on race day should be similar to training days. Stick primarily with carbohydrates, a little protein, and minimal fats. Toast and jam, a banana, oatmeal, PowerBar (insert energy bar of choice), and Carbohydrate electrolyte drinks are popular choices. Some will have egg or peanut butter for protein. Some athletes prefer a shake. If you have a coffee on training days, have a coffee on race day.
  2. Finish breakfast 2-3hrs before race start to give yourself time to digest.
  3. In the 2hrs before the race, sip water and/or a Carbohydrate electrolyte drink.
  4. Some athletes will take a PowerGel (insert energy gel of choice) prior to race start.
  1. Starting the bike - For the first 5-10 minutes of the bike, drink water and take in minimal calories, mainly in the form of a sports drink. Let your body adjust to cycling, and let your heart rate drop down. Then start eating when you have settled into a good cycling rhythm. Follow the plan you've trained with all season, do nothing new on race day.
  2. From 10 minutes after the bike start to 10 minutes prior to the bike finish eat 200-350 carbohydrate calories per hour, regardless of source. Larger or muscular athletes tend to need more calories. For instance, PowerGel = 110 cal; PowerBar = 200 cal; Carbohydrate electrolyte drink = 100 cal. Bigger athletes need more calories. Some athletes can digest more than others. Test it in training.
  3. Drink 1 to 1.5 litres (33-50oz) of fluid per hour (water and Carbohydrate electrolyte drink combined). This is approximately 2 small bottles to 2 large bottles per hour, depending on climate and your personal perspiration rate. A training tip is to weigh yourself pre- and post ride.  Every 1 pound lost is 1 small water bottle of fluid deficit, and will negatively impact your half marathon performance.
  4. Set your watch alarm(s) to remind you to eat and drink regularly.
  5. A simple plan would be to eat a gel every 30 min (~200 cal per hour) and a bottle of sports drink per hour (100 cal per hour). Sip water throughout with the gel. You will need to take up to 10oz of water per gel.
  6. The products you use should also provide the following minerals/electrolytes, which will help you absorb your drink into your blood stream, and avoid cramping. Recommended sodium intake is 500-750mg/litre (33oz) - for example, one PowerGel has 200mg Sodium, 20mg Potassium, and 90mg Chloride. 1 litre (33oz) of Carbohydrate electrolyte drink has approximately 200-400mg of sodium.
  7. If the products you choose or those provided on the course do not supply the recommended amount of electrolyte you should consider using additional supplementation. As with all other products, you should practice their use in training prior to the race.
  8. 10 minutes prior to bike finish you should reduce your calorie intake and only take in sports drink or water. This allows your stomach to empty while still allowing your gut to absorb the food and fluid ingested earlier on the bike. You will be able to start the run in a relatively comfortable state. Once you start the run you can start consuming calories again according you your run nutrition plan.
  1. Wait 5-10 minutes into the run until your heart rate levels off before starting your nutrition/hydration regime.
  2. Often athletes’ heart rates are higher on the run than the bike. If this if the case, calorie consumption should be 15-30% lower per hour than on the bike.
  3. Many athletes find liquid calories easier to digest on the run, in the form of Carbohydrate electrolyte drink or cola. It is also common to eat PowerGels on the run.
  4. Follow a similar hydration protocol to the bike. Make sure that you get as much from the cup to your mouth as possible. Fold the paper cups to help control spilling.
  5. If you are running 7:30/mile, you will hit approximately 4 aid stations per hour, if they are spaced at 1 per mile. A goal is to drink 2 paper cups of liquid per aid station.
  6. If you are still running well, calories and drink taken with 1 mile to go will not impact your race, so you may skip the last aid station, with the exception of pouring some water on your head, or rinsing your mouth.
Nutrition for 70.3 deserves as much thought and planning as the rest of your ‘physical’ training.  You should develop a plan and practice it repeatedly in training to ensure that you finish the bike leg with energy left and set yourself up for a great run. Your nutrition plan is unique to you. It assumes that you have determined your own calorie requirements, and you know your digestive capabilities.

LifeSport head coach Lance Watson has coached a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group Champions over the past 28 years. He enjoys coaching athletes of all levels.

Coaches for a Cause

Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation

Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation
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