Saturday, February 4, 2012

Going Long

Long-distance athletes appreciate the term ‘going long’. It describes the extended mileage of runners and triathletes who need to train at/near the duration of their intended races. Going long requires a string aerobic base so completing double-digits (on the run) and triple-digits (on the ride) in kilometres is not unusual.
Firstly, a big shout out to the Singaporean team doing the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon tomorrow. Special mention goes out to Uncle Kor (who turned 80 this week), ultra-marathoner Winston Koh, run coach Ben Swee, and running couple Rachel and Zhi Li. I still reminisce over my Boston Qualifying time I earned there last year, on a rolling course with bridges, tunnels, fly-overs and cool weather.

This morning, as per Coach’s prescription I completed six hours worth of controlled riding on the first road-bike I earned, followed with 45 minutes of race-pace running on a new route (including an open-air track). It began as a cool morning then morphed into a scorcher. Fortunately, my naked skin did not get roasted. Nicholas Khaw was kind enough to ride with me for four loops of Selarang (which routes past the old Changi prison). Tomorrow, I have another 2 hours of tempo runs to do. I hope to do this soon after I complete my volunteer work at the TriFam (Triathlon Family) Sprint. One more week of enduring workouts and I can taper systematically, and nail this triathlon that ended in disappointment twice.

Having experimented with my new nutrition aid by Hammer Nutrition, I have opted to use Perpeteum – which are long-chain carbohydrates with soya protein. Why not whey protein? Whey protein has glutamine that converts into more ammonia in the bloodstream of an already catabolic (breakdown) state, and it is more useful after a workout to use whey protein as the glutamine will scavenge the ammonia and detoxify it. I found the mixture thick (choice of making into a paste or gel or drink), but it saved me space and I needed to chase it down with water only. Based on my bodyweight, I need two measured scoops per hour of activity. By the way, Perpeteum works best with an empty stomach, and after three hours into the activity. I stored the powder into a bidon, then mixed it up with water and shook it into frenzy. My energy was sustained throughout both my ride and run. Three more weeks of calculated use should yield me my best results.
Thanks to Coach 'Fox', Conrad Yeo, and the other Ironman triathletes for sharing their experience with sports nutrition that enhances sustained energy while reducing the incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) distress.

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