Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Evolution of Nutrition

Ugh.  I still haven't learned how to use this blogger.  I thought it was going to post this automatically-so to my readers, I'm sorry for the delay.

I'm putting off a promised blog post about taking breaks during running to post about my nutrition.

When I started running, I was clueless.  Sometimes I still am.  I was so proud of how I looked with something like fourteen packets of Gu stuffed in a running belt during the Austin marathon...

I used Gu to keep the calories in.  On my frame, however, I took in too many calories.  Now, several years and many evolutions of my nutritional plan later, I'm still running water stop to water stop, but my nutrition is different.  None of this occurred in one huge leap, but more as a series a stumbles and hops as I (eventually) took advice of those smarter and more experienced than I.

The first major evolution of my nutrition came when I moved to triathlon.  I started using a packet of Gu before my swim, then water and Gu just out of T1 and every 30 minutes for the rest of the race.  I added a half serving of Perpetuem per hour on the bike and took in water when I took in Gu.  Essentially, every fifteen minutes I was taking in Gu or Perpetuem.

Guess what?  Still. Too.  Much.  Nutrition.  At my last triathlon, I wound up abandoning my "tried and true" nutrition plan and taking in coke on the run just to try and settle my stomach.  It was a less than pleasant experience (well of course it was, it was a half ironman, silly) and I vowed not to repeat the nutrition portion.  But since I'm gearing up for Ironman Texas and a marathon and........   Anyway, I had to figure out what I was going to replace my defunct nutrition plan with.

Enter Infinit.  (Can you hear the angels singing?)  I'd been considering switching anyway.  I was tired of all the gels, all the mixing, keeping it straight on race day, and trying to figure out where to put all my gels (There's a joke there..) So I logged onto the Infinit website, ordered an initial consultation, and waited patiently.  The slider thing on the front page didn't do much for my Type A personality because (are you listening Infinit?) there are no numbers on the sliders to tell me what exactly is in my drink at each step of the way.  Okay, I'll wait for a real person.  And of course, I'm a typical athlete.  I know what I need, I know what's best for me, just set it up so I can do it the way I've been training and let me order it!!!!!!  Yeah, about that.....   I got a email from Laurie asking me some basic information about what distance races I usually tackle, how heavy do I sweat, do I have any GI issues, my, ahem, weight......  In a pretty short period of time she had two formulas set up for me.  One for running and one for cycling.  I looked at the nutritional values and (drumroll please)......

Are you kidding me?   How am I supposed to run on that?  My pet dog couldn't run for an hour on that, let alone me.  But her email was so convincing, so I decided to give it a try. I ordered my first bag, a cycling mix, and I didn't just settle for any test.  I put it to a real test.  I set out for a 52 mile bike ride.  Hills.  Sustained climbs.  Wind.  Heat.  With no backup nutrition.  Just me, my bicycle, Infinit, and of course my cell phone, just in case my stomach decided to revolt and I had to turn my bike ride into a sudden duathlon involving a run for the treeline away from the road. 

What happened next was pure magic.  No stomach upset.  No bonking.  I felt strong, I felt good and my bicycle had wings that day.  Okay...  I'm convinced...  Slightly.  Let's see what happens when I run.  Surely this is a fluke and can't happen twice. So I ordered a bag of the running mix.  Once again, a real test.  Fourteen miles in Texas heat.  Once again, magic.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not just taking my word for it.  I'm putting it to the test.  Again.  And again and again.  And we'll see what happens.  But through this whole process, Laurie has been amazing.  She's been patient with a Type A athlete who is demanding and not understanding.  I just run this, I don't do the whole microbiology thing where you need to understand exactly how muscles/cells/organs work and work under the stress of endurance exercise and then how to feed them.  I mean really, who has time to do all that?  But I'm glad someone does!

So I'm still taking in nutrition every fifteen minutes, but not at the higher levels of calories I was taking in before.  Laurie dialed it down for EXACTLY what I needed.  She seems to be an expert or something!!!  She asked the right questions and got the answers she needed so that my hypersensitive-going-to-need-counseling-before-this-season-is-over stomach could handle the stresses I'm putting my body through.

And that's the foundation behind Infinit.  The formula is designed with each athlete in mind.  How many calories, how strong you like your flavor, how much you'll be sweating, how much caffeine do you want (if any), do you have any gi issues, etc.?  Infinit knows you aren't just another athlete with a number.  You're an individual with different needs than the ones that you're racing, and I really got that feeling throughout this whole process.

So, Thanks, Infinit.  And Laurie...  Standing ovation!

Infinit has goodies like energy drink mix and recovery drink mixes, water bottles and hats.  Don't forget that when you order from Infinit, you can help to fund the scholarship by using the discount code "firegirl" at checkout.

To my readers-I hope your holiday season is going well.  Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment