My take on metabolic efficiency when it comes to training and racing.
As someone who struggled big time with nutrition and stomach issues, I tried every trick in the book to try to figure it out. When I did, it was a HUGE change in my results.
Here are my thoughts and beliefs.
Metabolic efficiency is the way to go as the foundation of how you eat and train. Without getting into the how to here, I found during training:
- Eat that way as your baseline nutritional practice. Without a doubt.
- Train that way on easier and, work up to solid endurance days. I would try to get to 2 hours just water (or now using the hydrate/BCAA blend) then I would try to shoot for about 200-300 calories an hour on the bike, ideally a nut/fruit mix for the first 1-2 hours of eating to keep blood sugar in check. After that, I would eat pretty much what I wanted to get those calories.
When I worked with a pioneer in metabolic efficiency as my personal coach, I would listen to him tell me that I could break 10 hours in an Ironman with as little as 80-100 calories an hour. I agree it probably could be done, but disagree it's the best wat to race.
I DO AGREE it's the best way to be ABLE to race if needed.
What do I mean by that?
The practice for racing is thought to take the gut out of the equation so that you effectively eliminate one of the largest problems Ironman athletes have. Gut shut down.
Ok, that’s true, but I also still prescribe to the nothing that the research shows the more you are able to get in and assimilate, the better you will do.
So, I think the metabolic efficiency coach was leaving results on the table from calories in, and I think Asker was not used to, or hadn’t dealt with the gut shut down people get only after 7 hours.
The body will use blood in 3 ways and in this order: 1- cool to body. 2- bring oxygen to the muscles 3- IF AND ONLY IF it can do the first two will it start to digest food. So, you need to be very good at the first two and can burn the right fuels so when you go hard, which makes the first two things tougher, or its hot, or a combo, you can still have energy and not get a bad stomach.