When an Ironman isn’t hard enough, dotFIT has you covered

Running and endurance training/racing has been the fastest growing exercise-related activity globally for many years now.  As fitness professionals, we tend to focus primarily on the top member goals of fat loss and getting “toned.”  But my questions for you are: Do you include any endurance training or traditional “cardio” in your client programming?  Do members or clients ever come to you wanting advice on doing their first 5k, half-marathon or triathlon?  Do you support them in these goals by creating programming for them? What about nutrition?  Do you tell them to avoid running and traditional cardio if they want to build and maintain muscle?

Assuming the readers here are dotFIT Certified fitness professionals, I’d like to suggest that as we help our clients achieve their goals and assist with nutrition and supplementation, we also keep in mind that dotFIT products can be an outstanding addition to endurance nutrition protocols.  I was one of those trainers who spent many years telling my clients that they had to make a choice: Either they could have muscles, or they could get better at running, but they couldn’t have both. In 2011, I had an epiphany – you absolutely can have muscles and participate in endurance-related events.  The keys were proper strength and endurance periodization and nutrition.  

I am a self-diagnosed gym rat and love to train for hypertrophy, and for the last seven years, I’ve been doing running races, triathlons, Ironmans and ultra-triathlons up to the triple-Ironman distance.  Rather than dive too deep into the science, I’d like to take you through my most recent endurance event, the equivalent of a double-ironman triathlon, and share with you how I integrated my dotFIT products throughout the entire race. Over the next three months, as I train for the longest triathlon of my career, a quintuple-ironman triathlon, I will share some training sessions with you to include how I use my dotFIT supplements. 

The Ironman triathlon is considered by many to be the holy grail of endurance races.  It begins with a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and ends with a 26.2-mile run (marathon).  Participants are allotted 17 hours to complete the event.  I did my first Ironman in 2013, but immediately felt like I needed a bigger challenge. So by 2015, I was racing the ultra-distance.  

This last July, I raced the Oregon Double Anvil. This triathlon is part of the USA Ultra-triathlon circuit, and the reason it’s called an “anvil” is because “Ironman” is a trademarked brand.  We like to say that the anvil is “where iron is forged.”  I learned of this race in 2013 and watched it in 2014 after doing a single anvil on the course.  I swore I’d never try to do the double distance because of the difficulty of the venue. It is hands-down the most challenging ultra-triathlon course in north America.  So much for keeping promises to myself…

There were 16 athletes from around the world lined up at the starting line for the double, and two days later, only seven of us would have finished. Why was it so difficult?  Here is the race breakdown:

  • 4.8-mile lake swim (took me 3:15)
  • 224-mile bike ride around the lake with over 12,000 feet of climbing (took me 18:40, finishing with a crash at the end, shutting down my left glute during the run)
  • 52.4-mile trail/road run with over 2,000 feet of climbing (took me 16:18)
  • The radiant temperature was 104 degrees on day one and even hotter and more humid day two
  • Over 31,000 calories burned!
  • My total time was 38 hours and 53 minutes.  The cutoff was 39 hours!

I follow three rules to race these events:

  1. No matter what, keep moving
  2. If it won’t kill you, keep moving
  3. Don’t stop eating and drinking (while moving), fuel is crucial.

Let’s jump right into the nutrition, shall we?

Pre-race, or early breakfast, was:

  • English muffin with peanut butter, salt and honey
  • One banana
  • Coffee with Chocolate Pre/post, All-Natural Whey Smooth and Muscle Defender  
  • Packet with Active MV, Ultra Probiotic, Joint Flex Plus, Vitamin D-3, Advanced Brain Health, Super Calcium, Superior Antioxidant.

A few hours later came the swim.  We get our nutrition from a raft that is floating near the shore, so as we complete a lap (8 laps total), if needed, we can grab our food/drink. My plan was to fuel at laps 2, 4 and 6. Nutrition for the swim was:

  • One bottle water with Chocolate Pre/post, All-Natural Whey Smooth and Muscle Defender
  • One bottle water with an electrolyte tablet and a scoop of Amino Boost XXL
  • Two bananas

The longest part of a triathlon is always the bike.  The key here was to have a well-organized plan my crew chief (wife) could follow to be able to hand me my nutrition every 40-45 minutes without me being stopped more than 15-30 seconds as I rode all day and night.  Below is a snip from the nutrition plan for the bike and the evening supplement packet.  I’ve bulleted the dotFIT products as well.

  • Sandwich along with coffee with Chocolate Pre/post, All-Natural Whey Smooth and Muscle Defender  
  • dotFIT bars (I ate a huge variety) along with Ucan and Amino Boost XXL for fluids
  • PM Packet with Active MV, Ultra Probiotic, Joint Flex Plus, Advanced Brain Health, Super Calcium.

The hardest part of these races is always the run.  The body is hammered, and you start losing your appetite.  Sleep deprivation has kicked in and hallucinating is common. You absolutely MUST eat, or hallucinations get worse, moods can fluctuate dramatically, and you’ll stop moving due to lack of fuel.  To keep moving, my wife would run along-side me and hand me my nutrition. Again, having a plan to stick to as well as possible is key for proper fueling and time management.  Below is a snip from my run nutrition plan and the evening supplement packet. I’ve bulleted the dotFIT products as well.

  • Sandwich or banana/avocado along with coffee with Chocolate Pre/post, All-Natural Whey Smooth and Muscle Defender  
  • Sandwich with electrolytes and Amino Boost XXL
  • dotFIT bars (I ate a huge variety) along with Ucan and Amino Boost XXL for fluids
  • AM Packet with Active MV, Ultra Probiotic, Joint Flex Plus, Vitamin D-3, Superior Antioxidant.

I’ve described the bulk of the race, so I’ll drop in a couple funny dotFIT stories:

  • I mentioned that appetite loss is very common as you approach the end of the race.  My wife got me to eat when I was being stubborn by putting a Chocolate Chip High Protein dotCOOKIE in a pancake sandwich with peanut butter.  They were amazing!  
  • With about 8 miles of run left, my wife handed me my PM supplement packet.  We put the dotFIT supplements in small Ziplocs so I could take them after eating while out on the course.  As I was opening the packet, I dropped it on the ground.  My body was so stiff, and in so much pain, I couldn’t pick it up!  I just stood there staring at my pills and wondering what I was going to do (I wanted to cry)!  Fortunately, another athlete that wasn’t quite as stiff came along and after a couple tries, he was able to pick them up for me. Teamwork!

The last part of my supplement regimen that bears mention was during the last 12 hours of the race, when sleep deprivation was hitting me, and I applied this protocol:

  • For the last 12 hours, I took one ThermAccel every three hours
  • For the last 4 hours, I took four Workout Extreme every two hours

And there you have it! The toughest double iron distance in North America, and most likely the world, finished by a gym rat built more like a linebacker than a marathoner, and I did with the best supplements in the industry- dotFIT!  

As mentioned previously, I am now in training for a quintuple distance (13-mile swim, 560-mile bike, 131-mile run with 144-hour time limit) this November.  I’ll post some updates on how I train for an event like this using dotFIT products.  Remember, endurance training can be for almost everyone and once again, dotFIT has your nutrition supplementation covered!

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