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Race Results

4th place, age group M30-34, Kona qualification

3rd place, age group M30-34

3rd place, Finnish Championship

Winner, age group M30-34

2013 IRONMAN Kalmar
2nd place, age group M30-34, Kona qualification

Finisher in 9 hours 30 minutes

5th place, Finnish Championship

Winner, age group M30-34

More results here.

Sunday, 16 March 2014



I'm going to have to disappoint those of you waiting for delicious easy-to-cook receipts on this one. I'm not going to reveal to be on some super trendy come-and-go diet either. What I will do is cover some of the very basic things that I think are important in an endurance athlete's diet. In addition, I'm giving a brief look at planning my race nutrition.

Everyday Eating

Now, I like my food and I guess it's fair to say, often quite a lot of it. I'm not the guy you want to share your check with in a restaurant. Nine times out of ten you'd just end up paying for my seemingly endless appetite. It's probably needless to say I'm not exactly counting my calories but prefer to go by the feeling instead. This is not to say I wouldn't pay attention at all of what I eat however. As an endurance athlete I do need a lot of calories but it's not indifferent where the calories come from. Last year I read a quote from two time Ironman World Champion Chris "Macca" McCormack that said something on the lines that if you cut carbs out of your diet, your training might suffer. Take away proteins and you'll have malnutrition within months. Remove fat - you'll face incapacitation within a few weeks. It's easy to see that a balanced diet with all three macronutrients is essential for endurance performance. I will leave the debate about the exact percentages of each macronutrient one should eat to the better educated.

As I said already, I like to go by the feeling and adjust my calorie intake by varying mainly the amount of carbs according to the phase of the season. During offseason I don't need that much energy and cut back from carbs. During high workload training phase I can eat pretty much as much as I want and still my weight tends to drop a little. When it's time to taper for a race and there is a reduction in training, I'll cut back a bit from total calories but maintain the intake of carbs to fill the body's glycogen stores for the race. I don't do any special carbo-loading procedures anymore as I found them only upsetting my stomach and making me feel bloated without any performance advantage.

In pursuit of a healthy and balanced diet, at home we cook all our foods by ourselves and try to use mostly unprocessed ingredients and lots of fresh vegetables. My hallmark breakfast consists of muesli and a handful of different nuts and seeds on top of plain Greek yoghurt with a bit of honey and cocoa nibs. And of course coffee! Without being obsessed about it I've been limiting the use of wheat for about a year and feel it's for the better. When we do use wheat, for pasta for example, we try to at least use whole grain. I do not eat sweets but I am sucker for the occasional chocolate and icecream.

Training and Racing Fuel

I'm a long time user of PowerBar products when it comes for specific sports energy. Since last August I've also been lucky enough to be sponsored by their Finnish importer, Pyka. This suits me more than well because most of the races opt for PowerBar as the fuel provided at the aid stations. 

When calculating the required amount of calories for races, I have been using PhD Paul Larsen's Never-Bonk application. Basically I'm trying to get in about 100 g of carbs every hour during long course racing because that's about as much the body can digest according to some studies. This consists of a shot of PowerGel every 20 minutes and about 0,75 liters of IsoActive sports drink in an hour. The need for liquids varies obviously with the conditions and the effort I'm working at and if necessary I'll have some water as well. After training sessions I'll have a PowerBar recovery drink or protein bar at least when I've planned for another session later during the day or if the next meal is further than 30 minutes away. I believe it's very important for the recovery to get some protein and carbs immediately after the training.

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