If you followed my previous blogs about my Ironman journey, you will know that 2017–18 was, for me, 12 months of establishing a base of endurance fitness and learning how to swim. I have found learning to swim incredibly difficult – it’s not easy learning it as a practical skill when you have a fear of water – and although I still have a long way to go, I’m improving week by week. I completed my first full Iron distance challenge in 11 hours 48 mins back in June 2018. The distances involved are somewhat eye watering: a 2.4-mile open water swim followed by 112 miles on the bike, topped off by a 26.2-mile marathon run!
This year I decided to take it a little easier by taking on the Half Ironman challenge in Staffordshire, but despite being a stronger, fitter athlete compared to last year, I actually found it tougher. Since it’s a shorter course, you find yourself going that bit faster and I managed to conquer it in 5 hours 39 minutes!
The key to my success in both events was of course consistency in training, but what, in my opinion, allowed me to maintain this consistency was a combination of good sleep (8 hours minimum) and excellent nutrition. Nutrition is so important, not only on the day of the race, but also during the weeks and months before.
A triathlete is a well-rounded athlete that has to be competent as a swimmer, cyclist and a runner. As these are all endurance-based activities, your metabolism goes into overdrive and you need to eat way more than average amounts to maintain a healthy body weight. The training plan, based on my goals, meant three swims each week, as well as three bike rides, three runs, two strength and conditioning workouts and a Pilates session (you can’t neglect the core)!
Twelve sessions per week meant training twice a day on most days, so when it comes to nutrition, there are a number of key factors, over and above calorie intake, that are really important to me:
Nutrition should help maintain a healthy immune system. Coughs and colds mean lost training sessions and can be a sign of over training. There was no wriggle room to catch up with missed sessions in my programme – there are only seven days in a week!
Nutritional choices should support healthy digestion. You are what you eat, or to be more precise, you are what you absorb, so a healthy functioning digestive system is key to both performance and recovery.
Nutritional choices have to provide energy. If your programme is not properly structured and if you are not perceptive to the signs of fatigue, tiredness can make your training a chore and could even be detrimental to health.
I use a lot of Forever’s products, but if I had to pull out just two products that I couldn’t do without, I’d definitely choose Forever Aloe Vera Gel and Argi+.
Our aloe vera is pure, powerful and great for digestion. It also helps support the immune system as does the vitamin C content in Argi+. Vitamin C also contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and increases iron absorption – we all know how important iron is to oxygen transport and how it can come in handy when doing any kind of endurance activity!
The ingredients in these products are important to athletes in so many ways, far beyond the scope of this blog, but it’s probably super relevant to finally flag up the B6 content in Argi+. Not only does B6 contribute to normal energy yielding metabolism, but also normal protein and glycogen metabolism. I genuinely don’t think I could do what I do without these two products!
Why don’t you see how Argi+ and aloe can impact your workout? Try our limited edition Argi+ and Aloe Mini Tripack today and let us know how you got on in the comments.