Last week brought some changes to my usual training schedule, and, like the rare rain that fell here in San Diego, with it came a freshness I didn’t know I was craving.
Some of the changes were negligible, like swapping my usual treadmill workout for one of my favorite out-and-back runs from the office. But later in the week, Infinit’s “nutrition summit” injected some unexpectedly hard workouts into my week, followed by weekend storms that threw a new breed of surprises and suffering into the mix.
The nutrition summit brought a handful of triathlon editors together for two days of product testing, training, and socializing, all under the umbrella of education. Though I was already familiar with Infinit, the camp reminded me of their uniquely thorough and scientific approach to fueling. Infinit really cares about athletes, taking each one as a unique individual with unique needs. There’s a personal, boutique element to their business that was equal parts warmth and expertise. I was so taken that I’m committing to giving the product another shot for Ironman South Africa. (Please don’t lambaste me for leaving it this long … I know, I probably now deserve what I get!)
In between the sweat rate tests and discussions of osmolality and isotonic formulas, a few key points hit home for me: It’s a hassle to race with a mix of products (food and hydration), and Infinit is all about simple and repeatable results. As someone who’s sat down with a calculator two weeks before a race (and still hasn’t solved her race-day issues), founder Michael Folan’s “drink and ride your bike,” philosophy sounded like music to my ears.
Infinit’s pride and joy is their customization program, where athletes can either fill out an online survey and adjust their own formulas, or go through a nutritional consultation with one of the company’s in-house experts. Another option is the “over the counter” route, offering a wide range of products from women’s-specific to recovery. On Thursday, we filled our bottles with our custom drink mixes, and set out for a three-hour loop, with about 20 minutes of intensity. I was surprised at how satiated and energized I felt at the end. (Most of their bike-specific formulas contain some protein to help with satiation.)
Thanks to the competitive push from fit friends in the industry, I crested Highland Valley behind Modcraft’s Kevin Burnette and Slowtwitch‘s Greg Kopecky to grab the runner-up female spot on Strava. I still have some tweaking to do, but am looking forward to giving Infinit another go. I do remember it working for me in the past, but I’m easily distracted.
With the weekend came more training plan tweaking. I usually ride long on Saturdays, but the rain prompted me to switch things up. After a luxurious sleep-in on Saturday morning, I loaded up some podcasts and hit the coast for my long run. One of the contenders was The Seven Things You’re Not Supposed to Talk About from This American Life, a highly entertaining podcast about taboo topics. I actually found myself smiling as I trotted through a downpour. I highly recommend podcast running!
The run itself was unfortunately a downer, probably because of zealously over-hydrating given my new sweat rate info. I discovered later (with the help of Infinit’s own Kim Mueller) that on a stand alone run, you don’t need to start fueling until 10K in. Oops. But I got it done. My longest run of IMSA training yet.
On Sunday, hoping for clearer skies, I met up with a crew for some Q-time with my new Cannondale Slice. Those skies never made an appearance, and I am indebted to Donna, Charisa, Jessica, and my Nytro teammate Amy for dragging my soaked, dirt-sprayed ass all over East County. Five cold and wet hours later I was back at the Encinitas Y doing my 20 minute transition run, and feeling pretty accomplished. It felt so good to overcome a little weather, which goes a long way in the hard-core bank.
Routine is reliable, but change brings color and variety. And now it’s just one more week of tough training until another rest period graces the schedule.