This time around I want to announce my recent partnership with eLoad Sports Nutrition. I discovered eLoad for the first time this past spring. I went into the Runner’s Den in Hamilton in search of a new pair of shoes. I told the owner, Dan, that I had been getting very groggy and disoriented towards the end of my harder workouts. He asked me what I was fueling with during practice. I told him that I do not fuel during workouts, that I prefer to suffer through the workout without any input other than water (sometimes). He thought this was insane, and gave me a good explanation as to why I need to be taking in fuel during ANY workout over an hour. The gist of the explanation was: If you do not fuel in workouts lasting longer than an hour, your performance begins to deteriorate and you do not get as much training benefit as you could if you were to fuel. I reasoned with him that all of the gels and sports drinks I have ever tried tasted like crap. He asked if I had tried eLoad, and I said I had not. He gave me a small pack of eLoad drink mix and a few eLoad gels to use in my next couple of workouts.
Wow, was I ever wrong! I cracked one of the gels open on my next run workout, which I believe was 10 x 1 kilometer to 5k tempo. First of all, it tasted great! When I am training hard I have severe sugar cravings. For instance, I used to buy boxes of cookies by the case and keep several boxes in between the wall and my bed. I would wake up in the middle of the night and without having to open my eyes I would open one of the boxes and have four or five cookies to satiate the craving. The eLoad gels had a good sugary taste, so it was very pleasing in the late stages of the workout. It also had a nice texture- not too liquid, not too solid. I took it about 45-50 minutes into the workout and ran for another hour or so. It was the first time that I arrived home after my five kilometer cool down and did not feel like I was going to pass out!!! I was immediately hooked.
From then on I have used nothing but eLoad to fuel myself in practice. During my build up to Muskoka 70.3 I used the gels and drink mix in every workout lasting over an hour. I even began experimenting with different numbers of gels to use and different concentrations of the drink mix. After doing three 90 kilometer time-trials at race pace, I finally determined an optimal number of gels and concentration for the drink mix to get off the bike feeling relatively fresh.
The real test was at Muskoka Ironman 70.3. My plan was to take an eLoad Apple Gel gel at about 35 minutes into the bike, another apple gel at about 1:10 on the bike, and my final apple gel around 1:45 on the bike. During this time I was constantly taking little sips of three scoops of eLoad Berry Endurance Formula mixed into one litre of water. When I got off the bike I had a small hand bottle ready in transition filled with three quarters of a scoop of eLoad Berry Endurance Formula mixed into 300 milliliters of water. I took a sip every kilometer or so.
I came off the bike feeling very fresh. There were actually times on the bike where I was singing out loud and laughing out loud. On the run I felt very good up until about 12 kilometers, where the distance started to catch up with me. I made it to 15 kilometers still feeling quite good. From then on I was in a lot of pain, but fortunately my friend was right around this point on the course and yelled at me several times: “no regrets!!” This allowed me to finish strong. All in all, I attribute a great deal of my ability to run well off the bike to proper nutrition. Eload is the best nutritional product I have encountered, so it brings me great pleasure to represent them in 2014.