Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ironman Japan 70.3: The Official "Ask Me Anything You Want" Article.

A few days ago, on the BenGreenfieldFitness Facebook page, I posted this:
***This is the official "Ask Me Anything About Ironman Japan 70.3" thread.*** You ask, and I'll answer in the race report I'm writing on this Sunday. Pacing, fueling, pre-race, post-race...whatever you'd like to know, comment below, and feel free to share!

And you had some great questions. 

So let's jump right into this non-run-of-the-mill race report (and for a more comprehensive discussion of the Japan 70.3 logistics and nutrition, listen to last week's  06/08/2013 "Naked Truth" phone app episode with Jessa, which we recorded after downing a post-race bottle of cold sake)...


Dom Leste With the changes you made, how did your HRV & other biomarkers during the week & post race compare to wildflower?

As I reported here, leading up to and after Wildflower my cortisol hormone was out of control, and my heart rate variability, an important measurement of my nervous system health and overall training "readiness" was dropping.

So in the 5 weeks, separating Wildflower and Japan, I incorporating deep breathing and meditation, and also added a complete recovery day with "yoga only" (during which I also popped Master Amino Pattern like it was going out of style).

In addition, I started eating more. Like just "not being hungry ever". I don't weigh myself so I have no clue if I gained weight, but I wanted to send a message to my body that it didn't need to be catabolic and stressed. Thanks to Dave Asprey, a big part of that "eating more" was just more MCT oil and butter mixed into smoothies and stuff like that.

Anyways, my weekly Talking20 blood measurements still aren't in, so I have no clue what happened there. But my morning heart rate variability measurements went up significantly. So there's that. 


Arik Riehl What are the major changes you have to make in order to compete at a event where there is significant time differences?

Since Wildflower?

I ran less (two runs per week, one 90 minute hard run and one 30 minute sprint/skills run).

Played tennis less.

Sat more (i.e. took more breaks from my standing workstation).

Ate more (see above).

So my body was way more recovered going into this race.

I also changed to rhythmic breathing and nasal breathing, based on two books:

I used this new form of breathing all during the race and it helped a bunch. I think it's why I PR'd in the half marathon.

Then of course remember Japan 70.3 is a different course - flat and fast.

Finally, I held a new kind of running flask and I think it made me run faster. No joke. Scroll down to bottom of this post and check out the MyList. It is called a "Vapor".


Andrew Gowans Damm that is a fast run. Congrats! Q's - how did carb reduction effect your training in the first few weeks? Did you notice increased Hr and RPE during that time? If so, how long before you started to feel good / normal in training? What is your training 60/90 min long tempo run pace?

I was already on a "low carb diet".

So I switched to a ketogenic diet, which means I wasn't "cycling carbs" back in on the weekend. I talk about that here.

But it really is a moot point because I used my Metron ketone breath testing tubes during this trip and I wasn't in ketosis at all in the 2 days leading up to Japan. Too much travel and rice, and due to a shipping delay, I wasn't able to bring along my planned supply of MCT oil, coconut oil and butter. So ketosis kind of went to crap.

Like, race morning breakfast was a bowl of white rice.

But I still used only 200-250 calories per hour DURING race (of UCAN + MAPX2Performance). So I was still tapping into primarily fatty acids during the event.

Also, I have no clue what my normal running pace is. I run based on feel and breathing and here's why.  (But I still recommend the athletes I coach to use HR monitors/GPS for the important runs so I can see what's going on with them as their coach).


Steven Hall Why do you often understate your training volume?

I don't understate my volume, Steven.  People think you have to train a bunch to be fast.

Read this.

I use that "Ancestral Athlete" approach I describe in that link I just gave you. I go "balls out" when I train, then I recover really well. That's it. There's nothing magical about it.

If I wanted to go pro, and get really fast, I'd amp up training volume and switch to an 80/20 approach. But I don't have the time or desire to do that. I get ADD if I ride my bike longer than 2 hours or run for longer than 90 minutes so I avoid that as much as I can.


N=1 Lifestyle You going to stay ketogenic with your fueling for this race or keep your regular fueling strategy and get back to the ketogenic diet after the fact?

Well, see above. Plan was to stay ketogenic, but it didn't happen. It's damn hard to do when you're traveling, that's for sure. I'm back into ketosis now, mostly with Bulletproof Coffee, keto kale shakes and very little carb.

Like today I'll have this for breakfast.

Then go to church. Then have a sardine salad for lunch. Take a nap. 10 mile trail run at a fast pace. Can of coconut milk. Frisbee golf with kids. Liver, sauerkraut and roasted eggplant for dinner, along with lots of butter.


Bradley Odom Would love to see you power numbers during the race, as well as mile splits on run. Thanks!

LOL. So would I. But I don't track any of that stuff. Bad me. I'm more qualitative than most people think. But part of what makes me happy about this sport is unplugging and just not having computers and phones and stuff around while I'm racing.

I did wear my fancy Timex Run Trainer. But I just had the chronograph function going and that was it.


Dan Ordoins N=1 Lifestyle. Same question. Ben Love to here more of YOUR thoughts on Keto for performance and PPP pathway.

I think it will be another year before I can realize full benefits of ketosis. Listen to this Jack Kruse podcast to hear more about why. Body takes awhile to be able to fully tap into PPP.

Also, based on what I described earlier, I have yet to do a full race in "ketosis". Ironman Canada will ultimately be the first "true test", but that's just the way the chips fall. I have a big training weekend planned in Canada July 5-7, so I'll keep folks posted on how that goes over on the Facebook page.


Finally, I've decided to make a "MyList" for you of all the gear and nutrition that I use for a race like this. Check it out below - I hope you find it helpful! If you have more questions, comments and feedback, leave them below!

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