KC Craichy’s SuperHealth Podcasts: Super Human Feat – Fueling Endurance

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Posted on 16th February 2012 by admin in Super Health |SuperHealth Podcasts

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Thirty minutes of moderate exercise, five days per week is a good goal for basic fitness.

Compare this 2½ hours of exercise over the course of a week to 70 hours of exercise over just five days—swimming a total of 12 miles, biking 560 miles, and running 131 miles. This is the extraordinary EPIC5 Challenge, held annually on five beautiful Hawaiian Islands.

Today on LivingFuelTV, we continue our popular series Super Human Feat with ultra-endurance athlete Christian Isakson. Join us as we look closely at the nutrition plan Christian used to fuel himself through this grueling event. While you may not complete an Ironman triathlon soon, what fueled Christian through the EPIC5 just might help fuel you through your day.

Christian Isakson



Audio Transcript

KC: Welcome to Living Fuel TV. I’m KC Craichy with Christian Isakson, Mr. Ironman. God bless you, brother. It’s great to have you back.

Christian: Thank you. It’s good to be here.

KC: The next time that you go to accomplish something magnificent in your life, it seems like an insurmountable hurdle. Maybe, you’re dealing with something now, just got to tune in here. Christian had just completed five Ironman races, last week in five days, on five different islands of Hawaii. When you talk about Ironman, you talk about the distances, again.

Christian: An Iron distance race is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 mile marathon run.

KC: It is absolutely fantastic from an endurance perspective.

Christian: Over 700-plus miles in five days fueled by your body.

KC: That is fantastic.

Christian: Probably longer than most people drove in their car in a month.

KC: That’s incredible. Today, this segment, we’d like to get into some of the nitty grittys. There are a lot of people out there who actually do races of various lengths.

Christian: They’re probably better than I am.

KC: I wonder about that, let me tell you. The interesting thing is most marathon runners, they do it very often. If they run several marathons a year, they are very unhealthy and, no disrespect to you marathon runners, but people think they’re healthy when they marathon, but their upper body shrinks. Their lean muscle mass is burned away because it seems like marathoners don’t have as much of a focus on nutrition and protein and all the antioxidants, and so on, as triathletes.

Christian: I think it’s a different beast. Marathoners, Ryan Hall is America’s greatest marathon runner. Number one, he’s a full on, solid Christian guy and I was able to ride with Chris Lieto on the Queen K on my last day on Kona. We were talking about Ryan Hall. Structurally, the body frame is just different. I don’t have a triathlete’s body, by any means. You’re probably more built for a triathlete’s body than I am, long and powerful. I am characteristically, I have the body of a gardener, just short and stocky. I can get over and pick the weeds. Marathoners and triathletes, there are some similar characteristical traits, but I do know marathoners that are just so determined and so focused on their sport that their muscle mass goes. There’s a reason why in Boston every year there’s not a big divot in the road from all the gigantic muscles because these marathoners are fast, and they’re physical specimens. I don’t want to take anything away from them, but I do understand what you’re saying.

KC: The point is that marathoning ages people prematurely.

Christian: Right. Any endurance event, if you don’t care of yourself correctly.

KC: That’s the truth. That’s my point. My point is that when you’re doing these super human feats, you need super human nutrition to back up what you’re doing because nutrition is every bit as important as the training piece.

Christian: It’s more important than the training piece, I think.

KC: Because the power of recovery, we know now, through the right antioxidants, you can speed up recovery by as much as 50%. How valuable is that when you’re doing a ridiculous 10, 12, 14 hour event for five days in a row? It’s huge. That goes the same with the baseball players who play everyday and the hockey players and the golfers and the guys that are doing repetitive everyday kind of sports. Let’s talk about your nutrition regimen during the Ironman EPIC Five. You got there early in the morning. Go ahead.

Christian: Specifically, I went in with a pyramid idea where I wanted to set my base up at the first part of the day and then as you go, and your intensity increases and the day drags on, not only your nutrition choices, but the availability through your body to absorb the nutrition, it definitely diminishes throughout the day until you get to the run, which is the top of the pyramid where, if you’ve done the proper work on the bottom, you’ll be able to minimize the intake and have a maximum output during the run. During the run, my nutrition was a lot different than the bike and during the bike, my nutrition’s a lot different than the swim. Obviously, there’s no nutrition on a swim.

KC: Before and after.

Christian: Right. Before, I would make sure I have a Living Fuel bar, and I would make my Living Fuel shake up, and then I would have half a bagel, or something small just to help settle my stomach. After the swim, before the bike, I would slam a recovery drink, my Malto, just something to prime myself. Then, throughout the course of the bike, I would maximize my intake of what solid foods I could get my hands on. Good solid foods, avocado sandwiches with Vegenaise. Bananas. I had pretzels here and there, but those are my main sources. Then I have my Malto Dextra mix that I take. I have a 20 minute slot where every 20 minutes I take in X-amount of Malto mixed with an X-amount of Powerade, because those sugars coincide really well. Then halfway in the bike, about three and a half hours, I would have a recovery drink, something to prime my pump again.

KC: What kind of recovery drink?

Christian: I would have either a Living Fuel Protein with Malto, or I would have turkey sandwiches every once in awhile. Two or three days I had a good turkey sandwich and a recovery drink. Just something with Living Fuel. It sat well in my stomach. After the bike, sometimes I’d have to go to the bathroom, sometimes I wouldn’t. That was the surprising thing for me. A lot of times when I run, I have to go to the bathroom a lot, if I don’t have my diet plan set up for the week before. This time around, I was good. Then during the run it really narrowed, that tip of the pyramid. I would focus on . . .

KC: Did you eat anything between the bike and the run?

Christian: It depends on how I felt. I would have a Living Fuel shake. I would have a bar. I would have a CocoChia bar. Half a sandwich. A banana would always sit well. I got the opportunity to run with Ian Adamson, he’s now with Newton but he’s considered to be the greatest endurance athlete, eco-challenged racer ever. Holds three world records in kayaking. Seven time world championship with eco-races. The greatest land navigator ever. He told me on the run, he’s noticed my nutrition seemed to be working well. When I get to the run, if you’ve done your nutrition right, just listen to your body. If all you want is water, take in the water. When the water starts to feel different, take in a salad. I was taking gummy bears for that quick sugar, low fat midway through the run. Then I wanted to set myself up with my effort, so when that run finished, I could get a Living Fuel meal in and then wait, maybe ten minutes. Because there was a perfect bridge. Usually when you’re done with an Ironman, it’s hard to eat anything. Water. Anything. Living Fuel worked for me. I could drink it. I had ten minutes to kill. I could change, and then I could go right to my solid meal.

KC: The Super Berry and the Protein.

Christian: Super Berry and the protein was my favorite drink.

KC: The Living Protein.

Christian: I do do the Super Greens, but during the Epic Five, the Super Berry and the Protein, the Living Protein, the Omega-3s. I was following your advice. I did that. The amino acids throughout the day helped out as well.

KC: Super Essentials Aminos. That’s new. You were the first guy to have those.

Christian: I was proud to be there. I was talking to a lot of the athletes there. They were asking me, “What’s Living Fuel? What’s Living Fuel? What’s Living Fuel?” I was like, “Dude, it’s Living Fuel.”

KC: It is what it says it is.

Christian: It’s Living Fuel.

KC: Then at the end of the race, you were at the airport and you had to fly to the next race.

Christian: At the end of the race, you sent me a couple of shakers and I did exactly what you said. I had always had a couple of shakers full. Whenever I wasn’t racing, I had a Living Fuel shaker in my hand and I was always sipping on it. Constantly. You can ask any of the athletes that were there. I always had it with me.

KC: That’s awesome.

Christian: Always.

KC: Awesome. We’ll get into more detail.

Christian: Right on.

KC: It’s so exciting. Awesome, brother. Hope you enjoyed it. God bless you and have a great day.


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