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Ironman Training Part 2

July 9, 2012

I can’t stop thinking about Ironman Cozumel.  It’s officially on the brain.  I’m both happy and relieved to say that I’m excited to train for my second Ironman this year…I thought I might not be.  About one month before Ironman Coeur d’Alene, I was just ready for training to be over and for my race to be here.  I took a two week training hiatus after Coeur d’Alene so I wouldn’t feel burned out, and now I am literally craving a structured workout plan again.  No more of this sleeping in until 6:30am and not knowing what to do with my free time after work business.  Just give me some workouts, please!

I’m going to be doing things a bit differently this time around, and I’m excited to see how this fresh approach to training goes.

Here are two major changes in how I will train for Ironman Cozumel:

1.       Pay for a triathlon coach to tell me exactly what to do instead of following a DIY approach to training
2.       Eat more vegan and gluten-free instead of following a vegetarian and pescatarian diet

The training
I don’t yet know all the ways that Coach Trevor’s training plan will differ from my previous training plan, but I have a feeling that it will be pretty different.  We both agree that my key workouts each week need to be on the bike, and I need to do my long rides with people who are closer to my pace.  My second priority is the swim, specifically my long one.  These are my weakest links in triathlon because I am still so new to both of them (about 1 year experience to date).  I know I’m going to miss running because I used to do two long runs per week, but that is the last priority right now, and I can focus on qualifying for Boston after I earn the title of Ironman.  I’m 28 years old (…ok almost 29).  I still have time!

The eating
I’ve been a vegetarian/pescatarian for almost 15 years.  So where does eating vegan and gluten-free come in?  The past 1-2 years I’ve drastically reduced my dairy and seafood intake, and I would eat completely vegan at least 1 day per week.  Dairy usually makes my tummy hurt, and I’ve read more and more about the benefits of dropping dairy from my diet.  I recently officially dropped seafood from my diet too, even though I was eating pescatarian for a while.  I just stopped liking it.  I’ve toyed with the idea of going vegan for a couple of years, but never wanted to fully commit because I didn’t know how it’d affect my training (P90X, Insanity, marathons, triathlons), and I loved eggs and cheese.  My training buddies Nicole and Mike recently watched the movie “Forks Over Knives” and read Scott Jurek’s book “Eat & Run” and have made the decision to follow a more plant-based lifestyle, so I figured now was as good of a time as ever to give it a try to see how my body responds to it.  Professional triathlete Beth Walsh eats gluten and dairy free two weeks before a race.  I’m finding more and more endurance athletes that are giving this lifestyle a try, so they might be on to something!

My vegan 4th of July! So yummy.

I don’t know if I have intolerance to gluten, but it was actually my boyfriend Jeremy who suggested that I try eating less of it because I always complain about my stomach hurting or being nauseous after a meal, no matter how healthy it is.  This is going to be harder for me to sort out than going vegan will be, so I am going to phase it in to see if it makes sense for my body.  I had brown rice pasta for the first time the other week…It’s very sticky!  I’m lucky because there are a host of vegan and gluten-free restaurants and shopping options in the greater San Diego area.

What about dessert?  I think butter and eggs in my desserts are still ok for now!  I love Sprinkles Cupcakes too much to say goodbye.

Do you ever eat vegan or gluten-free while training?  Please share your recipes and tips!

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4 Comments
  1. You should try Vega protein powder–it’s vegan and gluten free and will help you get your calories. Also, I like EFS Ultragen and their other products—-I actually take the Ultragen as a recovery drink, but also as a pre-race meal since I usually don’t want to eat. Since my husband is a celiac veggie/pescaterian (he had to add the fish after too many restrictions made him too carbie), so I eat gluten free by default and actually enjoy it and think it does fit an active lifestyle. I also try to eliminate dairy the few days before a race to keep the lungs clear. Be careful wtih packaged gluten free products because they are often NOT vegan because they will look to eggs for binding purposes. Hillary Biscay is a vegan/gluten free Ironman–you should check out her blog too! I felt for your in your race report and think Cozumel sounds like an awesome idea—we smaller athletes do better in the heat–you’ll be passing tons of people on the run!

    • Thank you SO much for the suggestions. I’m going to give those products a try and will definitely checkout Hillary’s blog. Gracias!

  2. I’m so excited that you are excited to train again! I hope despite your new coach and training plan we can still work out together sometimes… I will just follow your plan!

    I’m also excited that we are trying the plant based diet together! Now we can tag team BBQs and dinner parties with meatless, dairy-free, yet delicious food.

  3. I’ve been enjoying this blog: http://www.watchwilltri.com/ and he is a vegan so you might get some good nutrition tips from him! I’m enjoying your blog as well. I’ve been a lifelong swimmer, longtime vegetarian (not vegan) and have only biked and run for about a year so you are giving me hope (well, to at least do a half ironman someday!) Happy training!

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