Mile Eighteen

Cycling Camps, Gravel Training Camps and Bespoke Adventures

Long Bike Rides – How to Build a Peak Cycling Mileage Week

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Whenever you are training for a big ride day — whether that’s a grand fondo, something like the Phoenix Double Century Challenge, or just your own adventure – there’s a block dedicated to peak miles. It’s part of your Long Ride Preparation.

This is the week, two weeks, or perhaps even three weeks (depending on your fitness and the ambitions you have for the big day) where you really add additional training time. These are your biggest mile weeks. 

Sometimes it’s just a weekend or a few days. Or maybe you are going big and making the whole week a volume focus. Whatever it is, hitting peak miles in your training is both an opportunity and a challenge.

The Mental Side

From a mental perspective, those peak weeks are designed to test your resolve. Being successful at these longer events requires you to knowingly enter a space where things are going to be tough. Where you understand that you’re going to be challenged. And not just your life choices, but also: route choices, pacing choices, friend choices, course choices, etc. 

Is this really a good decision?

Part of the reason we do these peak weeks / peak miles is to recalibrate you mentally for the challenge of the big day. As an Ironman triathlete, I know I have to ride 112 miles on race day.

So my peak weeks would have me doing double that mileage in terms of total training volume. And I would also go out and do a 130-mile ride or 150-mile ride once a season. This is part of that mental reset. If I can do 150 miles and be on my bike for eight hours, I can easily ride 112 miles.

The Self Assessment

After eight hours, five hours sounds positively reasonable! That’s a key part of these peak weeks. As you proceed through this peak block, do a quick self-assessment to see where you’re at and then keep a blog or keep a log and know, Hey, how am I struggling?

These notes are the counterpart to your ride data. Log them where you can refer to them. If you’re preparing for another long ride, it’s really helpful to be able to go back and look at your notes from the last one. What worked? What didn’t? You can now implement those changes.

The Physiological Challenge

On the flip side of that, we have that physiological challenge. While mental challenges can have you up and down, physiological challenges can derail the whole peak week and really sets you back if you aren’t careful. 

Think about handling the peak miles from a physiological perspective in three critical ways. 

Number One: Make it Achievable

We want it to be a stretch goal, but not like a stretch goal with a gap that we have to jump over. On our bike and pray that we make the other side. And if we don’t, we may be broken. That’s a bridge too far and not one that we want to cross so early in the season. 

If your average weekly mileage has been 150 miles, that stretch goal might be 250 miles. It’s just another a hundred miles. That’s one long day. It’s two medium-long days.

If you can modify your week, then you can add riding on top of the regular rides that you have. This could be just as easy as saying I’m going to ride in the morning, my normal ride. And then in the evening, I’m going to do a bonus 20 miles on the trainer or around the neighborhood to add that extra a hundred miles between Monday through Friday.

And in other cases it may be, I’m going to go out to some specific location and do a, a century ride or something similar on terrain that’s applicable to my event or whatever it may be, whatever it is, understanding that, that. Delta between where you are now and where do you want to be?

It has to be a step change, but a step that you can reach. So it’s challenging enough, but not over challenging.

Number Two: Pace Properly

We have to maximize the pacing long ride pacing, especially early season. Pacing should be biased towards a negative split. 

When I look at the ride files of athletes and the early season rides, they almost always want to hit the ride hard.

Peak 20 minutes or peak 30 minutes for heart rate? It’s almost always is located to the front the data file because we’re full of energy. We’re full of ambition. That first hill? We hit it. This is not the recipe for success in a peak week.

Rather we want all of these miles to be steady. And then the last portion, the last 20% last 25% — if you’re feeling good — can show a little bit of flash, a little bit of effort. That’s where we start to separate out from the baseline training and all the riding. And the beginning of the first 80% was just to set you up for that last 20% where we make the fitness.

That’s where the fitness happens. It happens at the end. So bias yourself through pacing towards a strong finish in these peak week miles, whether it’s individual rides or just all the rides across the block of the week. Super important. And then finally, The third part of this handling peak weeks is around recovery.

Number Three: Recovery Mode

When you’re in long ride peak week mode, recovery becomes critical. Not just recovery on a macro perspective, but on a post-ride perspective. We have to get it right, because during peak weeks, there’s not a lot of time between these critical sessions. 

If you’re doing four hours today and four hours tomorrow, and you started at 8:00 AM and you’re done at noon, you can start at 8:00 AM tomorrow. You’ve only got 20 hours left. And you’re going to sleep like seven or eight of those hours.

So you’ve only got 12 hours left to do stuff to get you ready for that next day. So the recovery piece is part nutritional. It’s part hydration, making sure you’re refueled afterwards. It’s self-care in terms of stretching or recovery boots or compression tights or whatever you use. It’s also part scheduling, making sure that the rest of your day is not full of work that’s going to exhaust you doing a long ride. So skip that four-hour yard work project!

Remember, don’t go too big with the peak weeks. Be smart. If you do it just right, you will peak at the right part of your training and be ready for the big day. 

Good luck and ride on.

Drinking on the Bike

Fix Your Bike Nutrition Plan in Three Simple Steps [Video]

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Today’s topic is nutrition for long rides for athletes across the spectrum. Riders from experienced to total beginners constantly make nutrition-related mistakes early in the season. And that’s usually because we don’t have the recent experience of doing the volume. 

The long bike rides you are doing, and the experience of those long rides, help us refine our nutrition strategy. 

Skipping Mistakes

So how do we jump ahead? How do we skip that process of having a couple of really bad, long rides to make sure that we’re alright? We start with a sweat test. You can do this in your own house on your trainer. Or you can ride outside as well.

Let’s assume you are doing a two-hour ride. So warm up for about half an hour. And then we’re going to ride an hour steady at your target pace. Your long ride pace. So say your target pace is 200 Watts. You’re going to warm up, and before you start the Sweat Test, you will hop off (strip on down), and get on a scale to weigh in.

Solving Hydration with a Sweat Test

We start with the fluid first, don’t start with the food. It’s easy to shop for food. It’s sexy; it’s colorful, it’s got all sorts of branding, things on it and, low sugar, high fat — whatever it is you want. But what we really want is to start with the fluid.

Weigh yourself. Totally bare you. Great. There you go. You are looking good. Hopefully private! Bonus if you have a scale like a Tanita that can estimate the % of fluid in your body.

In my case, I am 180 pounds. Then I go get on my bike, and I ride my hour a steady-state. I capture everything that goes into my body.

So whether it’s food or fuel on the hydration side, I capture all that I get at the end of the hour. I go back, and I weigh myself again to see the delta. How much did I lose in an hour at race pace? Note it.

Then I review the fluids — how much did I consume? If the scale indicates that I lost a pound of fluid in that hour of exercise, but I also consumed 16 ounces of fluid (which is a pound), then I have actually lost two pounds of fluid (32 oz) in that hour. 

Knowing this will help me to fix my intake schedule to ensure that I’ve got the right fluids and enough of them as well. And now I have a target. I got to take two bottles an hour to pretty much offset the cost of my goal effort.

Second Step: Knowing the Calories

So nail the fluid losses that you have in an hour at your target effort – power, heart rate or RPE. Then determine the fluids you are taking. Are you drinking just water, or are you using a sports drink / drink mix? 

If yes to sports drink, then we can do some calories math. When you drink two bottles of sports drink, per hour, according to your sweat test results, you can figure out exactly how many calories you are taking in. 

For example, a bottle of Gatorade endurance — my long-ride fuel of choice — has approximately 180 calories per 24 ounces. Across two bottles, I’m taking in 360 calories per hour from my sports drink of choice. 

Step Three: Mapping Fluid Calories to Caloric Needs

In terms of my burn rate, I can look at my data…how many calories do I burn per hour while riding at my race effort? Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that I need to take in 390 calories per hour at my rate for my body and everything.

Since I am already taking in 360 calories from my fluid choice, I only need to solve for 30 more calories. That could be half a gel or part of chew. Easy! 

Step Four: Practice

There is nutrition that exists as a formula in a spreadsheet. Then there is nutrition as your body experiences it.

Executing a nutrition plan over the course of several long rides will help you synchronize those two realities. No plan is perfect until you have practiced it. This practice will give you a perspective on how, if necessary, you can adjust it when race day arrives. 

Why Fluid First?

We start with the fluid first. Even if we don’t have enough calories on the day, we’ll be much better off than if we were under-hydrated. If you are low on fluids but overfed, your body just won’t be able to function well.

If you fill your stomach with bars and blocks and gels and chews and not fluids you will be in trouble. Without enough fluid to operate, your body is basically sending a DANGER signal to your brain when you’re riding. And it says, “Hey, this is not good! Even though I have bars, I don’t want to eat them because I’m really thirsty and I need to drink.”

The Recap

So as you think ahead for your nutrition for these long rides, remember to start with your fluid first solve with a sweat test for your fluid losses. 

The fluids that you choose should include electrolytes. Use that fluid choice to determine, based on your hourly consumption rate, just how many calories you’re getting in.

And then you fill the gap on those remaining calories with foods of your choice to be successful. Don’t forget to always bring salt tabs with you just in case you need to help settle the stomach with a little too much fluid. And don’t be afraid when you stop at a convenience store and you’re in a dark place.

An Emergency Solution Example

Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone and get some food from a store on your next ride. My go-to is a can of Coke and a Snickers bar. 

It has saved me on more than one long ride because I needed calories. 

I needed sugar. I needed caffeine. Problem(s) solved in a single pit stop.

Don’t be afraid to go outside the box if you have worked yourself into a corner. Convenience store snacks can save a long ride.

Long Ride Preparation for Your Next Cycling Challenge

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Get Ready for a Century Ride

It’s almost time for that first long bike ride of the season. Before you roll out on a massive bike ride or gran fondo, here are a couple of key things that you should be thinking about so you have the ride you want instead of the ride you want to forget.

Know the Route

We use the route as the box within which we’re going to operate simply because it determines a couple of key things. How long it’s going to take you, what the conditions are going to be like when you get there and how hard it’s going to be in terms of elevation and logistics. Those three elements combine to create the experience of what that long ride is.

Bonus Resource: How to Plan a Route Online Using Strava, Ride with GPS, and Google Maps

Solve for the Ride Not for Your Fitness

If we know that the long ride that you’ve planned to do is going to take you four hours or five hours or eight hours — you have a duration of time that you need to solve for. Here are the key elements to consider. 

Nutrition. What are you going to eat and drink across this bike ride to make sure you can be successful? And more importantly, will there be opportunities on that ride for you to refuel and stay on point second?

Pacing. How are you going to pace this century ride? Is this a gran fondo that’s going to be competitive with friends or is it a long ride you’re out for just picture-taking and loving nature? Or is it a long ride with a time goal? Are you going for a fastest known time or something similar?

Those elements determine the effort at which you’re working.  For this to work correctly,  the nutrition and the effort must intersect. 

Safety. The route that you’re taking — is it a lot of main roads? Is it completely off the beaten path? How can you ensure that you will be safe as you compete or complete this event? 

This is a huge part of the equation. We think about long rides. It’s one of those background, subconscious kind of stress level things. And we’re not so worried about. If you’re in a sort of well-developed or well-populated area, but as you head off the beaten path you have to be prepared. 

Get Equipment Ready 

In addition to those key elements above, you also need to make sure that your equipment is ready to go. Give your bike a once-over, making sure all your devices are charged – from your bike computer to your electronic shifting! 

Now you can move on to the supplies. The first long ride of the year just takes a lot of mental power. You want to make sure that the tubes you have for your tires are the right stem length. You want make sure that you’ve got that extra sealant if you’re tubeless. ‘ 

You should make sure that you’ve got the lights and all the flashy things on top of your bike. Don’t forget the new tires in case your trainer wore them down. 

Schedule a Fake First Long Ride

One of my key tips to you is just to schedule a fake long ride the week before your real one. This way you can go through the process of what it would be like to pack everything together, to go out for that ride. 

I literally walk around my garage with my helmet upside down like a shopping basket, filling it with all the items I need. CO2 cartridges, food, salt pills, a copy of my driver’s license in a Ziploc bag, my backup a battery, my sunglasses. All of this goes into my helmet. 

I now have seven days to fix any missing or broken things, as opposed to trying to fix it in the morning of your long ride!

What Is Your Early Season Long Ride Preparation?

If you have ideas or thoughts for us, please leave comments here or on the YouTube channel

Happy Holidays from the Mile 18 Team [Sale, Plus Kona Videos]

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RaceSaver™ Bag

Perfect for race day…and for the holiday!

Hard to believe that our first calendar year as a company is over…but we don’t mind participating in the holidays (pictures don’t lie). It’s been a ton of fun interacting with athletes from across the globe. No matter where you live and compete, you have to deal with the heat. Your final finishing time is a direct reflection of how well  you manage that challenge…and the RaceSaver™ Bag is here to help. Use the code HOLIDAY20 to save 20% on your next order.

These bags are the perfect stocking stuffer for your athlete. Lightweight and versatile, these bags will help your athlete carry and use ice to stay cool despite the conditions.

Here’s a great video of one of our athletes, Dirk Johnson, making the most of his RaceSaver™ Bag at the Mile Two aid station in Ironman® Hawaii 2016.

 

While most athletes are dumping ice on their heads or putting it in their shirts, Dirk uses his RaceSaver™ Bag to take ice with him for the next critical mile.

For context, see how the majority of folks TRY (and fail) to use ice on race day.

There’s the Ice In The Hat Guy:

There’s the Ice in the Shirt Guy:

There’s double the Ice in the Shirt Guy:

There’s Lick The Ice Guy:

 

And my personal favorite, Ice In the Hotel Towel Wrap Guy.

It doesn’t have to be this complicated. When you are hot, you need ice.

You need ice on your hands and on your head, if possible.

But you want ice you can access, eat, and even save the cold water to pour on your head. Enter the RaceSaver™ Bag.

Stop racing in the Stone Age and get a RaceSaver™ Bag today!

[button link=”https://www.mile18inc.com/product/racesaver-1-0-bag/” bg_color=”orange”]Yes, I Want A RaceSaver™ Bag[/button]

That Ice Melts Quickly Out Here

RaceSaver™ Bag Takes on the Ironman® World Championships

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The RaceSaver™ Bag Team travelled to the Big Island in Hawaii for the Ironman® World Championships. Our goals was to test the RaceSaver™ Bag in the most unfriendly weather conditions possible.

The heat and humidity on the Big Island, combined with the reflective power of the lava, combine to create a crucible of conditions that can bring even the fittest and most prepared athletes to their knees.

We are pleased to report that the bag was a success…our athletes used the bags in training and on race day, as you’ll see below.

Even better, we got some great feedback from everyone including industry partners, on how we can improve it. Enjoy our photos below and remember you can get your own RaceSaver™ Bag anytime in our online store.

RaceSaver™ Bag On the Ground in Hawaii

RaceSaver™ Bag On the Ground in Hawaii…literally.

 

Feeling the Heat from the Lava

Patrick Feeling the Heat from the Lava

 

Dirk Making Sure He Gets Every Piece of Ice Possible

Dirk Making Sure He Gets Every Piece of Ice Possible

Carol Headed Out of T2 For a Little Marathon!

Carol Headed Out of T2 For a Little Marathon!

 

Jeremy Staying Cool at Mile One

Jeremy Staying Cool at Mile One

 

Steve Flying Down Ali'i Drive with his RSB

Steve Flying Down Ali’i Drive with his RSB

 

That Ice Melts Quickly Out Here

That Ice Melts Quickly Out Here

 


The RaceSaver™ Bag Heads to Ironman® Hawaii

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img_9677Wrapped and Ready to Go!

The RaceSaver™ Team is headed to the 2016 Ironman® World Championships…and we hope to see you there. We will be working behind the scenes with several partners, but look for us daily down at the practice swim area / Dig Me Beach for free giveaways.

We couldn’t be more proud of how our team nailed the deadlines for production and display.

The front gives you an instance sense of what the RaceSaver™ Bag is for (image above).

The reverse side you’ll find a complete set of visual instructions…plus the URL for videos and more support (image below).

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There will be more than 100 competitors racing with a RaceSaver™ Bag in Hawaii this year. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you!

Even if your next race won’t be on the surface of the sun, dealing with any heat on race day can set you back if you aren’t prepared.

Stay tuned for more updates here and on our Instagram page.

 

RaceSaver™ Bag Conquers Ironman® Wisconsin…

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Brian Harding at Ironman Wisconsin 2016

Brian Harding at Ironman Wisconsin 2016

Huge shout out to Brian Harding, who went 12:10 at Ironman Wisconsin 2016.

You can see his RaceSaver™ Bag clutched tightly in his right hand!

Also overheard after the big race…

Get a race saver bag. That thing is gold. I only used mine for the first 5 miles but having ice to put down my shirt or just hold onto was like a little treasure at each aid station.

~ Lindsay Blumenshein Ironman Wisconsin 2016

Learn more about the RaceSaver™ Bag and how to get your own here: https://www.mile18inc.com

RaceSaver 1.0 Bag

RaceSaver™ Bag Review: How It Will Improve Your Next Race

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When is the last time you did a triathlon and you weren’t struggling with the heat? The debate rages about global warming, but on race day there is no doubt: races are getting hotter and harder by the year.

By the time you get to the run, it’s no longer about how fit you are. It’s simply a function of not slowing down! The best way to make sure you don’t slow down is to avoid  accumulating too much heat.  At some point, your body has to choose between you running and you functioning as a human.

There are plenty of hydration products on the market, but everyone has different nutritional needs. Everyone, however, needs to stay cool. Wrapping yourself in a towel is a second-rate solution —  why do that when you can just have ice with you?

With more than 20 Ironman® and 40 marathons to my resume, I have struggled with the heat everywhere from Ironman Hawaii to races in my own backyard. After much research and trial trial and error, I created the RaceSaver™ bag to make the most of each aid station.

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What is the RaceSaver Bag?

The RaceSaver™ is the perfect companion for your next hot race or long run. It’s a bulletproof solution:

  • Constructed from durable rip-stop nylon;
  • Built-in leash for easy transportation;
  • Cinch top to lock in your ice (but let out the melting water as you need it);

The RaceSaver™ Bag is perfect for race day because it allows you to be hands-free in the aid stations. Drop the ice in and the leash does all the work as you grab critical fluids and fuel.

The elastic leash means you can put the RaceSaver™ Bag where ever you want. In your top, in your shorts, under your hat…they all work. When you want more ice, just pull the leash to retrieve the bag and get some ice.

 

How Well Does the RaceSaver™ Bag Work?

You don’t need to do scientific research to understand the physiological benefits of having ice with you on a hot day. It rocks.

Even better than having the ice is being able to move it around, and then take some to eat as you heat up.

Even better than that is being able to pour the cold water on your head.

What could be better than that? The look on other people’s faces as you run by with a bag of ice in your hand!

Race Saver in Lake Placid

What Do Athletes Think of the RaceSaver™ Bag?

To be honest, most purchased it because they knew the creator, Patrick McCrann. As word has spread, more and more athletes are taking advantage of the RaceSaver™ Bag for training and racing.

Greg Lewis of Northridge, CA says:

“I got my RaceSaver Bag this week and used it for my brick run yesterday on a hot afternoon. I put ice in it and it worked fantastically well. Ate a couple pieces of ice as I ran then put the pouch under my hat and I was surprised what pace I was running for an hour on such a hot day. I highly recommend it!!”

Josiah Garrison of Granite Bay, CA writes:

“I was fortunate to have a RaceSaver™ Bag during my last big training week and it was a game changer. With temps in the high 90’s, the only way I survived the brick runs was having this bad boy on me. Moved it from hand to hand, to top of the head, shoulders and chest, and what a difference! Brilliant piece of EN engineering!”

Patty Harris of Palo Alto, CA says:

“By the way, I haven’t had a chance to tell you how great the ice bag worked out for me!  The envy of other Vine-man athletes too!  I nearly forgot to grab it on the run and am so glad I did.  It holds about of cup of ice.  The water that forms melts out to keep you cool wherever you stick it.  When the fabric is wet, it’s suitable for sticking down your whatever – ladies, it’s perfect for sticking down your bra.”

What Else Do You Need to Know?

The RaceSaver™ Bag isn’t just for race day. You can take it on your long runs – or any run in the heat. Start from home with some ice…or make a pit stop at your local convenience store and hit the fountain machine for some free ice.

Try it in various positions — handheld, under your hat, in your shorts, on your chest…find the place that works the best so you are ready for race day.

Virtually indestructible thanks to the rip-stop nylon construction, you can reuse this bag all year long.

Where You Can Find a RaceSaver™ Bag?

Head over to the Mile Eighteen website here: https://www.mile18inc.com/?product=racesaver-1-0-bag to get your own.

There’s pleny of hot races still on the calendar…including Kona!…so don’t miss out.

Buy A RaceSaver™ Bag Today

RaceSaver at Ironman® Lake Placid 2016

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Here is RaceSaver™ athlete Scott Dinhofer at the 2016 Ironman® Lake Placid…crossing the line in a personal best 10th place. In his own words…

Used the race saver bag for Ironman Lake Placid on Sunday. Post race I’ve read a lot of forum chatter on how hot it was. I simply filled the bag up at every other aid station on the run & placed it under my hat. This kept me cool and aided in reaching a PR & top 10 AG finish for the first time for me on a day where many others imploded from the Heat.

 

Here you can see Scott using the RaceSaver™ in a more traditional fashion. 

RaceSaver in the Hand

 

With the black leash around his hand, Scott can keep his hands — and his system — cooler than his competitors.

A quick pitstop at any aid station will allow him to fill it right back up with more ice.

When on the run, he can put the ice where he wants…or even open the RaceSaver™ to put some in his mouth or pool the cool water on his head.
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Speaking of which, in the photo ^above^ you can see how on Lap Two, Scott has moved the race saver up under his hat.

Once it’s full of ice, you can put the RaceSaver™ wherever you need cooling most.

Some might want to look fast…Scott prefers just to BE FASTER. 

But under the hat isn’t the only place that your RaceSaver™ can help. 


Placid_2016_RobSabo_Chest

 

Here RaceSaver™ athlete Rob Sabo has chosen inside the front of his trisuit as the most important spot — right over his heart. You can see the tell-tale leash hanging out the front of his kit.

What you might not know is that Rob was on his way to 5th place in his Age Group!

The leash system allows you to place the RaceSaver™ where you need it most, and easily retrieve it at the next stop.

Having Ice When the Competition Doesn’t is a Secret Weapon

Don’t be left behind at your next race, juggling too many cups at the aid station and wasting valuable ice by throwing it down your shorts or missing your hat.

[button link=”https://www.mile18inc.com/product/racesaver-1-0-bag/” bg_color=”#ee1d22″ border=”#ee1d22″ window=”yes”]Yes, I Want My RaceSaver™ Bag![/button]

RaceSaver Bag

Origins of the RaceSaver Bag

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We get a lot of questions about where the RaceSaver Bag came from. It’s an interesting story of both teamwork and experience. It shows just how what you can accomplish when you are open about your challenges and have people who support you solving.

Let’s go back five years to 2011. This is one of the first times that I was going to be missing the world championships due to an injury. This gave me an opportunity to reflect on my skillset — comparing myself as an athlete in general vs when I was on the Big Island for competition. It’s clear to me that there was something holding me back. Something was not allowing me to be as fast on the island as I was elsewhere. I was really struggling to figure it out.

My first realization came when I had a conversation with Jesse from Core Diet (www.thecorediet.com) Jesse is a phenomenal endurance coach and brings an engineer’s mindset to solving endurance athlete issues. He was frank with me: my biggest limiter on the Big Island, and in fact for future performance, was my body composition. I am 6 feet 2 inches tall and 190 pounds on an average day. I would race Ironman at about 185. And while that would get me top-five of my age group and and a ticket to the Big Island, it was not going to allow me to be my best.

So the first step in the process was addressing my nutrition and getting myself into a position where I could race well. Using Jesse’s guidance and the support of my team (Endurance Nation) I was able to lose some solid weight. My next race was Ironman Texas 2012 as part of a comeback. I showed up under 180 pounds and actually fit. I walked away from that race with First Place in the M 35 to 39 Age Group in a new personal best of 9:27. A 20+ minute personal best!

But I knew that wasn’t going to be enough. Showing up on the Big Island light and fit was an excellent starting point. But it wouldn’t make me competitive in the conditions that I had experienced.

Heading back to the drawing board I began to do some serious research on how other oversized competitors were able to be successful on the Big Island. There were many different stories and plans. Some had succeeded, many had failed. But it was worth checking out into my own research.

It became clear across all of these sources of information that being able to keep my skin covered in cold would be the most important thing I could do is a big guy. I became obsessed with arm coolers and special running hats and making the most out of every aid station.

The result was a solid performance, my fastest yet, but still not fast enough for me. I was still spending far too much time at every station. In fact, the hotter it got as the run unfolded, the longer I spent at each aid station. I didn’t technically slow down on the run from an exercise physiology standpoint… I just took longer and longer at each aid station.

Back to the drawing board!

Talking with my teammates at Endurance Nation about solving this issue there were some fantastic ideas around how to make hot runs better. We came up with the pace calculator for managing hot heat conditions. We different ideas for fabric for uniforms. But the most important idea came in the form of a Ziploc bag.

The bag is designed to facilitate a faster T2 by allowing you to carry everything you don’t need to put on in transition with you to put on as you’re moving down the road. Also known as the “Go Bag” as explained by Endurance Nation member Al Truscott, he recommended that you continue to use this bag over the course of the race for your ice.

Always a student of the sport, I brought this idea with me to my racing in 2014 and was blown away by the power of carrying my own ice from each aid station.

Since then I have raced with a Ziploc bag of different sizes in every Ironman® I’ve done. Whether it’s been here on the mainland or on the Big Island, I have found that carrying my own ice is a powerful psychological and performance advantage.

The idea for the RaceSaver Bag came after Kona 2015 when I had a fantastic race but had managed to annihilate my bag. I began to realize the limitations of a plastic bag on the course.

The plastic is slippery. The edges were pointy and cut my skin. It was easy to break the seal as well as the sides of the bag.

Every challenge that I overcame a race day became part of what I wanted to solve when I made the RaceSaver Bag. Fast-forward to November 2015, when I got my hands on a Hello Kitty™ sewing machine and began making the first prototypes.

Now less than six months later we have the first version of the bag life and while being tested by athletes the feedback has been incredible I hope you get your hands on one to test it let us know how we can make it better.

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