Athletics Magazine

Ironman Boulder Training Week #8

By Brisdon @shutuprun

You know what I just realized (not sure why it took me this long)? When all is said and done (providing I DO get it done and finish IM Boulder on August 3), I will have completed two Ironmans (Ironmens?) in ten months. For a girl like me who had never run further than a slow 10K as of five years ago, I’m feeling a bit sassy (even if I do sometimes wonder what the hell I am doing).


On a 90 mile bike ride on most of the Boulder IM course yesterday I was reminded what a bitch of a race this is going to be. Not to say that any IM is “easy,” but there is definitely a spectrum of difficulty for these races.

Every time we do a race of the same distance, we want to better our time and maybe PR (<well, not every time, but for me a good bit of the time). My time at IM Florida was 12:50. I will kill myself to beat that time, but I am not sure given the course and conditions that I’ll make it.


All of this simply means I will have to train better and smarter. I’ll have to prepare for heat and be extra careful about hydration and sodium intake.

This past week the dial got turned up with training.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 6 mile run with intervals
Wednesday: 2,500 yard swim, 21 mile bike ride
Thursday: 5.5 mile run with internals
Friday: 2,500 yard swim, 21 mile bike
Saturday: 11 mile run
Sunday: 90 mile bike, 30 minute swim - easy


Total time: 14 hours
Total Workouts: 9
Total Miles: 157.4 (Swim ~3.5 miles, bike 131 miles, run 22.9 miles)

Some of you have been asking about my fueling. I am really focusing on perfecting this for race day. My training group (Fast Forward) put on an amazing nutrition seminar for IM athletes. Basically, how you fuel (or don’t fuel) WILL make or break you on race day.

I think I did a good job of fueling at IMFL, but I know there is room for improvement. I really focused on getting in enough calories, but neglected to count milligrams of sodium. That was a big mistake and likely why I became so nauseous during the run (either that or the fact that I had just ridden my bike 112 miles and was trying to run a marathon – not something body really embraces). Here is me having a little party on the run before I hit the depths of near-barfing and despair.


My general rule of thumb for my size -5’ 5”, 113 pounds (Note these amounts are for IM training/racing and would vary with race distance and type).

Bike per hour – 250 calories, 32 oz fluids, 1200 mg sodium
Run per hour – 200 calories, 24 oz fluids, 1200 mg sodium

I tried to hit this on my 90 mile bike yesterday. I took in 1500 calories (two honey stinger waffles with almond butter, 1 PB&J, 1 oatmeal cookie/cream pie, 1 pack Clif Bloks, 1 gel, 4 scoops Powerbar Perform).  I did the solid foods at the beginning and less solid towards the end. I was only able to get in a total of 84 ounces of fluid and I totally failed at my sodium, taking in only 1600 mg total. I really should have taken my Salt Stick tabs. Lesson learned. By the way, symptoms that you are not getting enough sodium include sloshy belly, nausea, bloating. And don’t forget to take liquid with sodium!

Post ride I crammed an egg sandwich in my face, went out for a quick swim, then watched Lifetime. I texted my friend Leigh who rode the 90 with me and told her I was stuffing my face  - she responded:

“I just ate a whole chicken.”

This is what Ironman training does to you. Instead of eating a drumstick, you eat a whole chicken.


Favorite fuel for training/racing? While biking, I love REAL food like sandwiches, but at a certain point this can get hard to digest, and I don’t want to take in that stuff too close to running. So, I start with the solid stuff and move more towards gels. For running, I  mainly stick to gels (GU brand) because I can get them down easier and they seem to work for me.

What are you training for right now? Duh.


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