Monday, November 22, 2010

Food For Thought By Randy Paar

Proverbs 23:21

For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

I want you to think about this verse. If you gorge yourself at the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and all the holiday parties that exist, your fitness and mental state will come to poverty. Think how you feel after slamming mega calories. I equate it to a food hangover. You don't think clearly, nor is your training up to par. I know I'd much rather curl up on the couch, watch some football, and have another turkey sandwich.

Those wicked cool MsM tri uniforms that fit your body like a painted on skin, now fits like the rags described in the above biblical verse.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that our great Lord blessed all of us with these amazing bodies, so we can go and shout out to everyone, "Hey, look how the Lord blessed me!!!!" Remember, we ought to be doing this to glorify Him, and not to feed our own vanity.

The last time I checked Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Let us celebrate this amazing day with our families and friends, but show the same self control in eating, as we do during the race season. Be an example for others to follow. Now, there is nothing wrong with having a small piece of pie for dessert, but remember the big picture here.

Before going to those parties, or sitting down for a huge dinner, make sure to drink some water, have a handful of almonds, allow that to settle in before dinner. Show the same discipline at the table, as you do in all the other parts of your life.

This is a time to celebrate Christ, and everything that we have to be thankful for!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!!!


Randy Paar is the owner of RPMultisport and can be reached at Randy is also a USAT Coach Level 1, USA Cycling Coach Level 3 and FIST Certified Bike Fitter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nutrition 101 By Randy Paar

As a triathlon coach, and former bodybuilder/weightlifter, nutrition has always been a great interest of mine.

I find it amazing how our Lord has blessed us with the most amazing gadget out there: ourselves!!

We spend all kinds of money on go faster carbon fiber frames, space age aero helmets, sleek form fitting skinsuits, fancy race wheels, carbon cages, powermeters.....and the list goes on. I even see they have carbon fiber swim goggles? For real.......

We spend hours cleaning and polishing our fancy space age steeds, right? So, answer me this: WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE SKIMP ON THEIR NUTRITION??

I love the excuses: I don't have time, I don't know how to cook, my wife doesn't like it, my kids won't eat it, my dog won't eat it!!! C'mon on!!

What wife doesn't love it when their man cooks for them? And kids, shoot, they don't know what they like until they are brainwashed by McDonalds, Red Bull, Burger King, and all of the other processed foods (I use that term loosely) that are constantly shoved at them. It's our job to ensure that we teach them what is really good.

A nearly perfect and easy day of eating:

Breakfast: 1 cup of organic rolled oats with sliced berries, 2 scrambled eggs

Snack-handful of raw almonds, piece of fruit

Lunch-2 cups of brown rice or Quinoa, 4 oz. of protein source, side of fresh sliced fruit and/or veggies

Snack/Preworkout-1 english muffin w/banana & nutbutter

Postworkout/Dinner-5 oz. protein source, 1 sweet potato, large spinach salad w/veggies

There you have it, delicious and nutritious!!

A rule to live by: If it grows in the ground, or you can pick it off a tree-eat it. If you buy it from the center isle of the grocery store, you're probably better off consuming the packaging that it came in.

Feed your body and mind with quality foods and nutrients, so we can be strong role models for all. We've all been blessed to do this sport, to spread the word of our God. We should present a positive and healthy image.

See, and I bet you thought this was going to be another "cookie cutter" nutrition program with specific formulas. I can bore you to tears with one if you like, but I hope this one reaches out to you.

Have a blessed and safe day!

Randy Paar is the owner of RPMultisport and can be reached at Randy is also a USAT Coach Level 1, USA Cycling Coach Level 3 and FIST Certified Bike Fitter.

The Best of NING, Highlights by Dan Matheson

John Adams announced the launch of the MsM Chaplaincy program. Find out more about the chaplain for your region.

Damone Brown let us all know about a must see short film:

A topic that we all deal with daily and need to rely upon our brothers for support is temptation

If you don’t have something that hits your inbox each day to think about first thing try this recommendation from Brandon Cox:

One thing that is different for everyone and there appear to be a thousand answers for is what to do with your race day nutrition. We all know what works for us or have questions so ask/answer here:

Triathlon is an expensive sport and we all need to save a buck getting there on airfares, shipping or otherwise, so if you have any hints on how to save $$$ please let the rest of us know here:

It is very easy to get distracted each day and forget to ask why are we here? What do I need to do? Our sport is very similar as we ask – why am I racing? What do I need to do to improve? Trevor Sultz stumbled across the following quote which got him thinking "The Ironman has a way of finding a weakness. It has a way of weeding out the pretenders from the contenders...". What do you think?

We all struggle with inspiration every day and strive to inspire the next generation. But sometimes they can show us the way as John Tidball let us know:

Stepping out and leading others is tough so please pray for Kenneth Ramsay and his wife as they do what can be so hard:

Lap, after lap, after lap, after lap, we could go on….but how do you keep count:

Finally, one our board members, Scott Bishop reminds us of what is important – fellowship and standing together for two are stronger than one. We can all be there to lift each other up and remind ourselves of the colours we wear:

Tip From MsM Pro Ryan Borger

The Off Season...

Since it's nearing the off-season, or better said non-racing months, it's a good time to take a break from the strict training schedules some of us tend to become slaves to, and take a short mental and physical break. If you're someone who has trained consistently and worked hard this season, you're probably ready for a break. Following you're last race of the season, I recommend taking a week or two off of training, or at least planned workouts, and follow this time with one or two weeks of training just by how you feel, doing what you want to (unless that means doing nothing at all, or lifting weights in the form of modified arm curls- AKA lifting cookies, donuts, or cups of egg-nog into the mouth). It's also a good time to mix in some other types of workouts and cross-training, such as nordic skiing, snowshoeing, rowing, hiking, etc, because a few months down the road you'll likely need a mental break, and physical rest, if you didn't take one at the end of the season.
It's important to adjust our training throughout the year, mixing up workout types, volumes, and intensities, in order to benefit the most. Build in training phases throughout the year, with the off-season months at lower training intensities, and focus on getting stronger as opposed to simply lighter and fitter. When getting back into the routine, the winter months are a great time build strength without burning yourself out with high intensity workouts. If you're a weaker cyclist, it's a great time to focus on improving cycling strength. Even though the heart rate does not need to be as high as our intense workouts in the middle of the racing months, we can still become a better cyclist. How? By building muscular strength. At least once a week during the winter, mix in a low cadence workout, pushing your biggest gear. Keeping cycling cadence around 55-60 RPM for 45 minutes to an hour, while pushing a bigger gear than you're used to, is an example of an affective way to build cycling specific leg strength.

Ryan Borger is a professional triathlete who lives and trains in Denver CO. Email Ryan with questions at

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Race Report: REV 3 -By John Adams

What an incredible day! First off Lake Erie was 3-5ft waves at the Saturday training swim! The wind shifted overnight and calmed the water down. Had prayer with Rev3's owner the night before for good weather and a good race. Had the opportunity to pray for numerous folks before race day as well. Rev3 also did an interview with me and played it on the jumbotron numerous times during the race. I haven't seen it yet but those who did say it came out very well. I'll post it when I get it. MsM got great press! We had a table set up and a number of folks came by.

They had me open the event with prayer and I did so in my MsM jacket. I have video of that as well. I didn't have a good swim as my calves were trying to cramp! Still finished in 1:51. Bike was uneventful but very windy! I passed numerous folks who had flats and such but everyone seemed to be OK. I felt the Lord impress me that ministry would take place during the run. I forgot about that until later. Our church had about 50 volunteers who were all over the course and gave tons of encouragement. On the run, which I wasn't sure if I could do it, I hooked up with a guy I met the day before. He was going to do a moderate pace so I decided to hang with him which I did the entire first 12.1 loop. On the way out on the 2nd loop, he started feeling badly and threw up fairly badly, very badly, in fact. I stuck around as people kept passing us. We had intended to to finish in 4:30 and I was watching my respectable finish diminish before my eyes. He sat down and I sat beside him. I really wanted to leave and get on with my run and finish 12 hrs or so. I asked him if I could pray for him. He agreed so I simply laid my hand on his shoulder and prayed a simple prayer. As I continued to see people pass, I finally realized that I needed to help this guy finish so I decided to stick with him to the finish. In about another 15-20 min he started to feel better. The aid station wanted to call the Med tent people but he said no to that. In about another 10 min or so we were on our way walking. We walked most the 2nd loop and had great conversation about God spiritual things, family, racing etc. We ran a little and wanted to finish inside 15hrs. I finished in 14:49. So I easily passed up my third 4th place finish and probably a podium finish at 3rd. However, people are more important than medals and plaques. My longest pre-race run was 14 mi. My longest pre-race ride was 71 mi and I had been swimming 1.5-2.0mi per workout. I know that's crazy, but it was pretty much what I could do. A man in my church posted a 25' banner with Phil. 4:13 along the run course which EVERYONE ran by! I stuck with David until we crossed the finish line. He made me go first and his wife had tears in her eyes as she came up to me and hugged me! My entire family and MANY church members were there to welcome me at the finish. It was awesome! Heather Gollnick had me share my story at the awards breakfast and also had me pray there as well.

However, probably the best story was one of MsM's Michigan members, who I don't remember his name, was out on the race course asking God to show him why he was here. He came upon a a guy who broke some spokes on his wheel who was really discouraged that his year of training was over and he couldn't finish the race. The MsM member told him that he had finished 11 IM races and could stand to not finish this one. He then took his wheel off his bike and put it on the guys bike who then went on to finish. That story was told over the PA system in transition and also at the award breakfast. Shawn, the announcer almost couldn't finish telling it because he was so broken up and touched that someone would do that. He mentioned that the guy was from MsM!

This is the short version, but we have excellent genuine relationships in the Rev3 organization as its owners are committed to the Lord and to family. They are a great organization to get behind and promote. They have our values.

Also...Ohio's MsM team Captain, Dean Ensey, took 3rd in the 55-59 age group (I took 5th in this group) and Ohio's MsM team Chaplain, Randy Lehrer took 1st in the Aqua-Bike. Great Day for Multisport MINISTRIES, more importantly..Christ.


Monday, August 23, 2010

"By Endurance We Conquer" -Enduring the Long Race one step at a time. -By Jason Prince

In 1914, a British explorer named Ernest Shackleton led an unsuccessful attempt to cross Antarctica, where his 27-man crew became stranded for 20 months.

This incredible story is one of relentless drive and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, and of one man’s extraordinary leadership skills and unmatched discipline.

After tasting success from previous leading the “British Antarctic Expedition,” Shackleton began to plan another expedition. He organized what would be the first team to cross the Antarctic continent—a 1,800-mile journey across the unknown. During the trip, team members also planned to make magnetic observations and study ice formations and mountains.

Under the British flag, the expedition was called the “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition,” and would be led by Shackleton. He named the ship the Endurance, inspired by his family’s motto, “By endurance we conquer.”

Just as Shackleton and the crew were about to set sail, World War I broke out between Britain and Germany. Showing tremendous loyalty to his country, Shackleton questioned whether the expedition was still worthwhile.

Shackleton sent a telegram to the Admiralty and explained to his crew, “First let me say that if war is declared, any man who wishes to leave the expedition to serve his country is free to do so. It is clear to me where our first duty lies, and this morning I telegraphed the First Lord of the Admiralty and put our ship, and every one of us, at his disposal. We now await his decision. I hope you will forgive me, but I particularly asked that if he saw fit to employ us in the service of our country, that might he allow us to stay together, perhaps aboard a destroyer. I did this because I can honestly think of no finer group of men with whom to serve.”

Shackleton received a one-word reply: “Proceed.”

Have you ever been in the middle of race praying to God for strength and received a clear message from him to "Proceed"? It may be subtle such as leg cramps going away, a renewed strength in the last 800 meters, or a fellow competitor coming up behind you and saying "Hey, whats Multisport Ministries all about?"

The story goes on...

The first few hundred miles were rough, but the ship made it successfully through the ice. After continuing on, the Antarctic summer soon ended and the winter months set in. The ship began to run into heavier ice.Shackleton soon realized they were stranded. Cracks in the ice appeared, but, in the end, attempts to free the ship were unsuccessful. The crew prepared for the long, cold winter, and turned the ship into a winter station. The men determined to wait out the winter in hopes that the coming spring would melt the ice around the ship and free it.

Shackleton remained optimistic and, despite the circumstances, the explorers stayed cheerful and busy. They cut out large blocks of ice and built igloos around the ship for themselves and the dogs. They survived on rations and seals that came within reach of their temporary camp. Temperatures were frigid, sometimes dipping down to less than –20 degrees Fahrenheit. But with dogsled races, and frequent games of hockey and football, they kept their spirits high.

You've heard the saying, "When you get lemons, make lemonade." Well that's exactly what Shackleton did. Endurance through hard times requires adaptation to the new environments God has led you. Feel like your stuck on a block of ice? Make an igloo and play hockey. Surround yourself with men who know how to endure through hard times, and have the mental will power to help you through.

Changing Course

In the beginning of 1915, the team was still 250 miles from Paulet Island and too far east of it. Shackleton wrote, “After a year’s incessant battle with the ice, we had returned…to almost identically the same latitude that we had left with such high hopes and aspirations twelve months previously; but under what different conditions now! Our ship crushed and lost, and we ourselves drifting on a piece of ice at the mercy of the winds.”

Gods "course" is not always clear, and we may find ourselves "Drifting on a piece of ice at the mercy of the winds." We may also find ourselves in the exact same location we have been for months. I know i have been there, should we give up? It must be that God wants to teach us something in that spot!

Shackleton knew the only hope for survival was if a few men journeyed to find a rescue ship. Shackleton wrote, “A boat journey in search of relief was necessary and must not be delayed.” He discussed with a few of his top men the prospect of making it to South Georgia before another winter approached; the decision was soon made. The plan was to cross the more than 800 miles of sub-Antarctic Ocean to the possibility of help at South Georgia.

After preparing the boat, Shackleton, along with five others, set sail from Elehpant Island. The voyage was one of constant discomfort and narrow quarters. Shackleton recalled, “We fought the seas and the winds and at the same time had a daily struggle to keep ourselves alive. At times we were in dire peril.” Days went by and the iceberg of Elephant Island gradually shrank into the distance.

The men pushed on through the driving winds and ferocious waters of the Arctic Sea. The explorers finally landed on the southern coast of South Georgia. But the whaling station was on the opposite side of the island. “We were still 150 miles away from Stromness whaling-station by sea. The alternative was to attempt the crossing of the island…Over on Elephant Island twenty-two men were waiting for the relief that we alone could secure for them. Their plight was worse than ours. We must push on somehow.”


They soon made plans to cross over the mountain range to the other side of the island. The men removed screws from the boat to use in their boots for traction to climb the treacherous ice slopes. They crossed the island to the whaling station after more than a day’s journey.

After descending the mountains, they heard the distinct sound of a steam-whistle. Shackleton wrote, “Never had any one of us heard sweeter music. It was the first sound created by outside human agency that had come to our ears since we left…That whistle told us that men were living near, that ships were ready, and that within a few hours we should be on our way back to Elephant Island to the rescue of the men waiting there…It was a moment hard to describe. Pain and ache, boat journeys, marches, hunger and fatigue seemed to belong to the limbo of forgotten things, and there remained only the perfect contentment that comes of work accomplished.”

The whalers sent a ship to the other side of the island to pick up the remaining men there, then continued on to rescue the 22 others on Elephant Island.

In the end, the expedition lasted two years. All 27 of the men survived! When one of the survivors was asked how they had made it, he answered with one word: “Shackleton.”

I want to insert the name "JESUS" right there. Its seems to fit better. If you re-read the story and instead of saying "Shackleton" you say "Jesus", the story becomes one that is very familiar to many of us.

“Endure unto the End”

What lessons can we learn from this incredible story of survival? Shackleton’s example of extraordinary leadership and perseverance has many applications for those striving to live God’s Way.

Those growing up in God’s Church face an extremely difficult age, bombarded every day at school, work or home by the pulls of this world. You may feel intense pressure to give in to the ways of this world. But if you are striving to please God, you must not give in.

Although Proverbs 13:15 states that “the way of transgressors is hard,” living according to God’s laws and principles is not easy either. Overcoming this world is hard work, and takes longsuffering, patience and endurance. Yet it is possible, and yields incredible blessings if one stays the course and refuses to give in—no matter the cost.

Those living God’s Way must endure trials. They must overcome many obstacles in their lives. Notice Matthew 24: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (vs. 13). Here, endurance is directly tied to receiving salvation. (Also see Mark 4:17 and James 5:11.) The Greek word for endure means to “remain…bear (trials)…have fortitude…persevere, abide, take patiently, suffer.”

Endurance is a godly characteristic of which we should all strive to have more. In fact, God never quits. And once we have decided to live His Way, neither can we. We must stay the course! When you feel like caving in, or giving up, consider Shackleton’s story and how he overcame against all odds. If we persevere, God promises our reward will be great (Rev. 21:7)! 

MSM Uniform Order Form and Process

If you want to order new MsM gear, copy and paste the form below to a Word document, then email to me.
Multisport MINISTRIES Uniform Order Form

Complete your uniform order using this form and then and email it to me at Orders & full payment must be received by Friday, August 27th. Canari is our current clothing vendor, and we use “pro fit” styles which tend to run a size small (especially the tri tops) so order appropriately.

NAME: ____________________________________________

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________

CITY: ______________________ ST: _____ ZIP: ________

PHONE #: ______________________

Item Price S M L XL XXL Total Pieces Total Price
Tri Shirt $40
Tri Shorts $40
Tri Suit $80
Jacket $75
Cycle Bibs $65
Cycle Jersey$55
Tech Tee $45
Arm Warmers $20
Leg Warmers $20


You can either send a check payable to Multisport Ministries to the following address:
c/o Jason Prince
310 Coastline Dr
Seal Beach, CA 90740

OR ...

If you would rather pay online then follow the link below to use our online donation process through Paypal to make your payment. Please make a note in the payment section letting us know what the payment is for, and email once you have paid online.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The MsM Chaplaincy program- By Chaplain John Adams

The MsM Chaplaincy program:

What is it? Would you like to be a part of it? What makes triathletes tick? Why do they train so much? How do they balance work, family, spiritual life & training? Let’s face it, no one knows triathletes like triathletes. That is why MsM has established its Chaplaincy program.

John Adams, MsM’s National Chaplaincy Director, is a full-time pastor, Sheriff’s chaplain, Dad, husband AND an age group triathlete. Pastor John was recruited by MsM’s founder, Erik Pace Birkholz at Rev3’s Olympic distance triathlon in Knoxville, KY. Pastor John has a desire to build a team of triathlete chaplains who seek to serve and support MsM’s regional chapters with encouragement, spiritual support and prayer whenever needed. A triathlete chaplain knows how to pray for another triathlete.
Might this be a place for you to serve? Could God be tapping you on the shoulder to be a part of this “elite” corps of MsM? If you or someone you know on the MsM team has an interest is this very important part of MsM, please contact Pastor John at You will be emailed a brief description of the Chaplaincy program and its requirements. Remember, it’s all about serving!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Best of NING, Highlights by Dan Matheson

As you may know MSM has a site on NING ( If you haven’t joined yet you should as it is a great way to stay in touch with fellow members in your area, ask them for advice and share prayer requests. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out lately some of the recent items follow – check out the site for the details and more information than just the following summaries!

Troy Wong asked – “Does anyone know where I can rent or borrow a wetsuit?”
The answer seems to be recommended by both Jason Hatton and Brian George.

Ted Hamilton asked – “Any recommendations on a company to use for race wheel rental?”
Both and Echappe Equipment were suggested and Jet suggested also trying to demo wheels from a local shop.

Please pray for Nick Beamer who posted the following: “Hey everyone! If you have a moment, please say a little prayer for me these next few weeks. I will be attempting my first HIM (Liberty Triathlon in Independence, MN) this Saturday and my first full marathon (Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN) next Saturday. Then I'll be deploying with the Air Force at the end of the month. Needless to say, I'll be learning a lot about myself and what I'm really made of! Thanks Gentlemen!”

Marc Schaffer gave the following advice: “You know, if God held everything we did wrong against us we would never see the sight of Heaven We would all be going to that other place. The thing that really blew my mind, when I came to accept Christ in my life, was that he said "drop that heavy load and walk away from it. I will take care of it for you. You just get on with carrying on the best you can-I have your back." Guys, we will make mistakes-none of us is perfect . Try as we might, we will not have a perfect day every day. All we can do is ask Jesus to help us along the road.”

Brandon Cox recommended reading “The Surrendered Christian Athlete”.

Mark Mulch posted a creed for us all to bear in mind as we race:

I am a Christian first and last.
I am created in the likeness of God Almighty to bring Him glory.
I am a member of Team Jesus Christ.
I wear the colors of the cross.

I am a Competitor now and forever.
I am made to strive, to strain, to stretch
and to succeed in the arena of competition.
I am a Christian Competitor
I face my challenger and as such,
with the face of Christ.

I do not trust in myself.
I do not boast in my abilities or believe in my own strength.
I rely solely on the power of God.
I compete for the pleasure of my Heavenly Father,
the honor of Christ and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.

My attitude on and off the field is above reproach -
my conduct beyond criticism.

Whether I am preparing,
practicing or playing;

I submit to God’s authority
and those He has put over me.

I respect my coaches, officials,
teammates and competitors

out of respect for the Lord.

My body is the temple of Jesus Christ
I protect it from within and without.
Nothing enters my body that does not honor the Living God.
My sweat is an offering to my Master.
My soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior.

I give my all – all of the time.
I do not give up. I do not give in.

I do not give out. I am the Lord’s warrior –
a competitor by conviction
and a disciple of determination.
I am confident beyond reason
because my confidence lies in Christ.
The results of my efforts
must result in His glory.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MsM members compete in the Ultra 200 Mile Cycling Race.

Multisport Ministries is a Men’s Christian Triathlon team with a purpose and while we do predominantly race triathlons we are also reaching new members through other endurance sports. In May, four Multisport MINISTRIES members (Scott Archibald, Jason Prince, Justin Jarvis and Matt Hollis) competed in the Red Rock 200 Ultra Cycling Race from Saint George to Cedar City back to Saint George, Utah. The relay team of 4 won their division with a new course record for their category (ok, we were the only 4 man team this year). However, we did have a great time and cycling 200 miles with 2 dedicated MsM SAG vehicles does provide for some decent outreach opportunities. We are looking forward to returning next year as the event will be in its 3rd year and expected to grow and soon be comparable to the Hoodoo 500 (which is run by the same organizers).

MsM member Brian Oringderff heading to Kona 2010!

One lucky MsM member struck gold in the Kona lottery for 2010. Brian Oringderff’s Kona lottery entry was selected and Brian has accepted and is now planning to race in Kona wearing the Multisport MINISTRIES uniform. Brian is very excited to be representing MsM and was recently contacted by the Ironman Media/PR dept. about a couple of Media opportunities, one of which was a live on air interview with the Catholic Channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. Brian’s path to Kona has been a tough one and it is an understatement to say that he “has been through a lot in the past year”. After shoulder surgery in August 2009 he had an unusual reaction and developed 6 post surgery blood clots. With two blood clots in his calf and four blood clots in his lungs Brian spent 4 days in a Pulmonary ICU. He then spent the next 6 months on blood thinners.

As Brian was recovering from his rare reactions to his surgery his wife was pregnant with their first child who was born prematurely on January 19, 2010. Their newborn son was going good for 6 days in the Neonatal ICU, but somehow developed a septic blood infection and passed on day 7, January 26, 2010. “Our faith, family and support from our church has been a tremendous lift. It has been a tough time to say the least. I just got clearance to start training again in April. When I learned of the Kona Lottery, I realized how blessed I am and need to use this opportunity to celebrate how great God is. With him, anything is possible.” Amen to that. Follow Brian on his journey at

Brian we are all praying and cheering for you to have a great race in Kona this year as you represent His glory during a very special event.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Dialing In Your Race Day Nutrition and Timing" by Stafford Brown

Dialing in your race day nutrition and timing - the science of experimenting, tracking minutes, and results without expensive supplements.

That dream race performance that we all want is the result of careful experimenting and planning out your race day regiment. The regiment is a different prescription for each distance and event but one thing is consistent – it’s a science of minutes. Have you ever paid attention to how many hours you wake up before an event to have a good race? Do you know how many calories, fluids, and grams of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and simple sugars you can take in for a high calorie quality REAL FOOD pre race meal that absorbs quickly and well enough before the race? Have you ever dialed in your fluid oz per hour, calories per hour, and sodium mg per hour and how many minutes to space out your fueling? If you use caffeine for longer races do you know how to time the intake and slow the absorption so it’s consistent throughout the event and you don’t burn out in the early stages?
The truth is most competitors dont. It’s a sporadic method of taking their pre gym exercise regiment and sprinkling in some extra food and fluids as insurance for a race. This is no guarantee whatsoever that you will have a good result. Many competitors I interview make huge mistakes. Their race nutrition is learned from hear-say, endless exotic marketing of expensive drinks, bars, and gels. Even fitness magazines, weight room fitness professionals, and practices from stop-go sports have rooted poor fitting advice in triathletes and endurance athletes.
Race day is a completely different science. The difference between a mid pack athlete and a top finisher with respect to this topic is the top finisher has many times experimented and practiced this regiment to something that’s second nature and guarantees a good result. The regiment works properly at race level efforts – that’s the key thing to learn.
You need to learn your own body, chemistry, food choices and performance characteristics. When you wake up on race day everything should be like clockwork leading up to the start. We test our max heart rates, speeds, thresholds, and efforts. But have you ever tested THIS? What is the maximum amount of your preferred race nutrition regiment you can have before an early AM time trial, feeling fast, and not experience stomach discomfort. You must figure out (and it won’t be a lot) what you can eat and drink before a 400meter time trial swim, a 10k bike time trial, and a 1.5 or 1.55 if your obsessive mile run test – not on the same day of course. What you will learn is a race nutrition base. Translated to plain English you need to answer this bizarre question. What is the most of my preferred pre race meal and drink I can have, how fast can I eat and drink it, is there anything I can do to make it absorb faster, how much time lapses between that first drink/bite before I can red line myself in a time trial and not feel like I’m going to throw up. You’ll be surprised when you learn how your body responds a little differently in each of the sports.
If you tune yourself to wake, eat, drink, and time trial successfully you now have a base that you can build on and develop a regiment for each event and distance. For an example of this in practice after 5 years timing and experimenting I developed my own pre race regiments that I can trust. For races lasting 90 minutes or more I wake 3 hrs before the start and I have 10oz coffee, 12 minutes later I have a blended pre race meal shake consisting of 1 banana, 1 pear, 4oz orange juice, and 20grams whey protein mix. 20 minutes later I have another 10oz coffee, 12 minutes later I have ½ cup of oatmeal and follow it with another 10oz coffee. It’s that specific – any variation from this for me impedes performance. As you can see, that’s a lot of food and fluid to take in for a 5’9” 170lb person that quickly but for me it does absorb fast and I have no stomach discomfort issues during the event.
My own personal discovery and changes.
The biggest thing I learned and had to change was not drinking additional water after the race meal since I am a heavy coffee drinker. Emotionally it was a gamble as my head was telling me I was sealing a dehydrated death but the reality is I’m already taking in 30+oz water just from the coffee itself. Additional water just caused me discomfort and I had to pee way too often before the start. I can have 8oz water 10 minutes before the race and drink during the event instead. The second biggest thing was to cut off eating at 2hrs (90 minutes or less was pushing it) to avoid discomfort from the meal still being in my stomach. The third biggest thing was I COULD have protein. Much like the “chase coffee with lots of water” myth I could finally throw the “no protein before a race” rule in the trash. Just 20-25grams quickly absorbing isolated whey protein mix was all it took to get an extra 80-100 calories and make my pre race meal more nutritionally complete.