Wednesday, July 7, 2010

When it's not getting easier...grab a sandwich

 It was Fabian Chancellara Appreciation Day at my house today...

"It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."
 -Greg LeMond


The thing I like about this quote is that it's quite versatile for us endurance athletes. Both "...you just go farther." and "...you just get stronger." work.  I'm sure you can all think of your own variants. 

But on the other side of the coin, "...it actually gets more complicated." works too.  And for me at the moment it's a little bit of all of them, depending on the day.

Yesterday I went out and did a fairly intense 40 miles on the bike, and completely crashed when I got home.  It was clearly a case of me screwing up my nutrition - again.  Today I went out for a 5 mile run.  I ended up running 8:10/8:10/8:00/7:45/7:26 miles.  This is the first time I've run a sub 40 minute 5 miles.

Weird, huh?

When I was focusing on sprint triathlons, training became fairly routine.  It wasn't easy, but I was fairly consistent with respect to output and result.  Now that I've got my sights set on Olympic distance races, my training is increasing from about 7 hours to 10 hours a week.  I must admit these extra 3 hours are kicking my ass.  With the longer sessions, nutrition is way more important.  And I'm doing a terrible job of getting it right.

I was talking to my swim coach about nutrition tonight.  Actually, it was just me complaining, because despite the fact that I am following (my understanding of) a pretty conventional nutrition intake strategy, I am still bonking.

He made an interesting suggestion.  He said that maybe I should lose the gels and bring a peanut butter sandwich and a banana on my next long ride.  He reckons I need more than just the sugar boost from the gel, and depending solely on sugar isn't helping my body adapt to burning the last of my extra fat anyway.  I thought it was an interesting suggestion, though the idea of a sandwich and a couple of bananas hanging out of my bike jersey pockets doesn't hold much appeal for some reason.
I'm obsessed with the Fizik bicycle saddle logo at the moment...

Then on the way home from the pool I had an idea - the "Pik-nik Endurance Sandwich" - a/k/a individually wrapped all natural "power" sandwiches about the size of a Clif bar.  The bread would be a bit like a whole wheat pita, but square and softer.  Flavors would include peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter and banana.  Then there is the "European Series" - hard meats and cheeses in one and Nutella with strawberry puree in another.  I figure they'll be about 300 calories each and provide more overall nutritional value (and kick) than the average gel.

Development challenges:  How are they made crush proof?  How do you preserve the right moistness and texture?  Do they need to be non-perishable, or should they have a "best by" date and need to be consumed within 12 hours after being taken out of a refrigerator?  Since I've only been in the food business for 3 hours, there is undoubtedly tons more I am not thinking of.

Anyway what do you think?  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Interesting idea?  Stick to my day job?  Let me know....Because I'm only half joking.




24 comments:

Barbie said...

I'm guessing you have a Bento box on the top bar of your bike. Cut up your peanut butter sandwiches into quarters and your bananas into slices and wrap them in cling wrap with a little twisty bit on top. That way when you are riding you can unravel it easily with one hand and consume bite size portions. Never tried this but it sounds like it would work ....:)

TRI-james said...

I’m not saying that they are good for you but when I was training for an IM last year I went through a lot of pop tarts. Fast digesting carbs, individually wrapped and dirt cheat (generic brand). Fortunately I can honestly say I haven’t had one of the damn things since then.

Karen said...

So maybe the pik:niks could be sold frozen much like the uncrustable sandwiches. Shelf life wouldn't really be sn issue then although the freezing might not do well fir your European meat sandwich. Seriously, good information... I have had the honking issue a few times and the gels and electrolyte drinks don't seem to help. BTW... Got the shirt, thank you so much! I love it!

Karen said...

Lol... Love my auto spell check... I don't have a honking issue that I am aware of... Try bonking :)

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Cool idea - with Barbie's bento box suggestion, you might have something, though I personally would probably just make my own. Levi Leipheimer says he rides with bean and cheese burritos in his jersey - start frozen and then thaw during the ride. Easy to unwrap, transport, and eat.

Jon said...

Look into a Smuckers Uncrustables found in the frozen food aisle. Stick it frozen into your bento box and come time to eat, it will be thawed out. They are 200 or so calories and go down easy with some liquid.

Are you eating enough before your ride?

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I dunno how you can make it without being crushed and all gooey, I have tried it with crustables, not ideal

misszippy said...

Well, when you get it all worked out, let me know. I'll have a nutella/jelly one please!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Interesting? Personally the gels seem to do the trick for me but they do get boring over long workouts. Might be onto something Patrick!

Big Clyde said...

Nice job on the mileage pace! Seems amazing to me.

Saxo did well yesterday...you picked a good team. I'll look for you in that jersey someday on tv!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Good job on your run! Woohoo! :)

You may have something with the pik:nik sandwiches, but I've never been successful taking sandwiches with me on the bike. They're just too messy and hard to eat. I've tried Gu on the bike too and I just don't feel like it's enough for me. So, what I love and has been really working for me are fig newtons and clif bars (I cut it into 6 little pieces). I put them all in my bento box and just eat pieces as needed along the ride. Seriously, fig newtons are awesome on the bike!

I saw your comment on my blog about my 5yr. old's nap. As much as I would love another t-shirt, I don't think I can help you much! My son usually doesn't take a nap and just has "quiet" time in his room for awhile. But, every 4-5 days, I can tell he needs one and he goes down without a fuss. I guess 1 day a week w/ both of my boys napping is good enough for me! :)

Exgf said...

As an amateur (and only sprints under my belt) I have no idea about proper nutrition- what I need to fuel for the longer rides and runs. But I certainly enjoy scouring the internet for advice. I'm hoping since I just joined a tri-club I can get some better info and tailor to my needs - BUT - I.heart.PBJ... put that into a sandwich that doesn't get soggy when it's not frozen and I'll buy it in Costco proportions :)

Exgf said...

Also - I got my shirt :) Thank you!! I LOVE IT!

DRog said...

SIGN ME UP! Those sound GREAT! haha - I am trying to figure out the nutrition on the bike, and have benfited from blogosphere quite a bit! currently on the gels and honey stinger chewy things
-D

EZEthan said...

Dude, I think we all know that endurance athletes will eat (actually refuel would probably be a better word than eat) just about anything... as long it tastes acceptable enough that you can wash it down with water before gagging I think you'll be ok.

Seriously though... that's not a bad idea. I'm thinkin' peanut butter and banana on the sandwich.

Matty O said...

Everyone is different. Personally I can only hold down all natural gels on the run.

The bike, well I can eat anything on the bike and need a min of 30 min prior to running for digestion.

We have done mcdonalds $1 burgers, egg mcmuffins, (high calories).

Lately we have been all over the power bar chewable things, taste like gushers. AND LARA bars... amazing. These things are small and fill me up fast. Worth a try.

As for pre-packaged sandwiches... gonna be hard to market them I think. Everyone has their own go-to things.

Big said...

I'm going through the same thing on longer rides. For a 30 mile ride, gels are great. After that....I had to stop at a Dunkin Donuts Monday for a Boston Creme. A great indulgence I haven't had in months, but I was about to seriously bonk without calories. It's hard to mix endurance training with vanity. I wanna look lean and eat accordingly, but need to take in more calories sometimes. I have a highly regimented eating schedule, and it's rare to have hunger. For that to happen while riding throws me way off. Finding the proper mix of protein/sugar/carb in a neat to go package is tough!

Jennifer said...

My lunch on the bike usually comes in the form of Power bars and Gu's, when I go out longer it comes in the form of small green and white paper$ that magically transforms into snack food whenever I visit the convenience store.

No seriously... I make my own special cookies that I got from a recipe in a favorite book, "Food for Fitness" by Chris Carmichael. Once you get past the blatant advertising for his training program there is a wealth of excellent information about how to fuel for best performance. It worked for Lance...

Rad Runner said...

Totally struggled with this, this weekend. I'm lame and forgot to write about it. I brought along some Luna bites, I ate 2 at mile 8ish, and my stomach was like- oh no you didnt" I tossed them and kept running. I am not much of an eater b4 or during, but know I need to for the full.

Being from the area, I know our "kind" love convenience esp. your Seal Beachy's, dude Whole Foods is right freakin' there.

Hire me, Im TOTALLY in!
scooterbuddy1@hotmail.com
for reals.
not for fakes

Christine Jensen said...

HOw about a roll up style sandwich? (and I like the pre-frozen idea for shelf life) Think the spread on one slice of bread then rolled ho-ho style (without the frosting). Then you could easily hold for eating. (a square is an awkward shape, but round fits your hand better). I LOVE the idea of nutella and strawberry, not sure how healthy, but darn good!

P said...

LOVE this idea! Even training for a sprint distance has me baffled nutritionally. I can't stomach gels and (after this week's race, but before next month's) I'm going to give Heed and Perpetuem a try. I like the idea of eating actual food on the bike or run, but convenience is definitely an issue.

valen said...

from my little experience, pita poaches are teh best anti crush option. and the old ham and cheese or peanut butter and jam are the easiest ones to go about.
This is only for training (most of our time),
Racing is another story and you wouln't take a sandwich for a standard distace tri. just too much logistics, I think,

lindsay said...

i think it's a great idea - but i have no idea how to make it work :)

for PBJ sandwiches... i would put PB on both slices of bread and a little jelly in the middle. that way the bread won't get all soggy even if it is smushed up a little. also cutting it into 4 (or more) squares makes it bite size, and i'd just throw it in a ziplock and into the shirt pocket.

definitely worth looking into. i mean clif bars and power bars work for some people, why wouldn't some sort of sandwich?

Glenn Jones said...

I could sure go for a salami and cheese right now! What was the kind of biscuit that they used to use on ships when the old explorers were travelling the globe? Those biscuits never spoiled - and didn't require refrigeration. Of course - most of those guys ied of lead poisoning at a young age caused by can seams - so who knows....

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails