On endurance training and nutrition

IMG_2872The picture to the right shows my typical weekend post workout brunch meal, ever since I’ve started training for Ironman. In this particular case, brunch consisted of a cajun-style omelette, potatoes, a poached egg with hollandaise over a crab cake, 2 slices of bread, a hearty whole wheat granola pancake, a side of fruit, and of course, a mimosa!

I started paying special attention to my nutrition a couple of weeks ago after noticing that I lost a couple of pounds in the first 4-6 weeks of my training program. I am definitely not trying to loose weight during Ironman training, and I also need to make sure I am fueling myself properly for my workouts.

I have been tracking my nutrition and my daily caloric intake is averaging around 3,500 calories during weekdays and about 4,000 on weekends.  Gabi has been very helpful with the data logging side of things, in giving me nutritional advice, and with groceries and cooking as well (her appetite has gone up too). I use an app called MyFitnessPal to input all the food I eat and get a nutritional breakdown of my food intake.

photo(45)I recently came across this tidbit of information shown on the right from a 2012 Louisville Ironman publication. Wow! I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around these numbers, but I don’t doubt that with time I will experience them myself and they will become very real.

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How does a triathlete celebrate his birthday?

Ready to race for team DC Tri!

Ready to race for team DC Tri!

Gabi and I recently returned from a short trip to Miami, FL where we spent some amazing days in the sun, sand, and crystalline water. The primary reason for the trip was to celebrate my birthday — 35 and getting fitter, yeah! Thanks Gabi for this memorable trip. What else does a triatlete get as brithday gifts? A tri suit and a massage, of course (thanks mom, dad, cilia)! As a bonus, during the trip we got to spend some quality fun times with Yale friends Jon (special thanks!), Rocio and Rafael — great to see you!

The other reason for our trip was to get a little R&R before starting a new phase in our Ironman training program and practically giving up our ability to vacation for the next 6 months. We’ve officially started the DC Tri Club’s 24 week Ironman training program, and training volumes are getting higher and higher. Last week, at the training program’s kickoff meeting, we had the pleasure of meeting our program’s fellow Ironman triathletes and our coach Alyssa and her support team. I am looking forward to learning from those more experienced and to companionship on long training days.

IMG_2892Despite being a vacation, we couldn’t help ourselves not to exercise on the beach. The call of the sand and the ocean was just too strong! With 85 degree temperature, sunny skies, and 70 degree clear water, I couldn’t resist. On saturday we went for a 1hr run on a sandy path along North Miami Beach, and on Sunday we joined a small group for an open water swim (OWS). The OWS was particularly challenging and great training. There was quite a bit of chop and rolling waves, which made it difficult to stay oriented and also forced me to practice breathing on my weak side, opposite to the incoming chop. I still caught several face-fulls of water and swallowed my fair share of saltwater for the day. The OWS ended with an unexpected and delightful treat: we found ourselves swimming on top a school of tarpon, about 20 feet below. Being the fish/ocean creature that I am, I dove down to swim near them. I was ecstatic.

With these types of training settings and experiences, I say everyday should be a training day. This is why Ironman training is about the journey, not just race day.