Klean Athlete Ironman Part 2
Featuring Balazs Csoke, Klean Team USA Ambassador – Sponsored Athlete
PART 2: Balazs Csoke, Klean Athlete Sponsored Athlete and friend, gives us a few pointers on how he’s preparing for the upcoming Ironman Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Leave your questions in the comments and Balazs will respond in another blog post soon!
Q: Looking ahead, what are you next steps to prepare for the championships?
A: I am going to try and focus on what is going to determine if I will have a good race or a bad race. Meaning, the first 15 min of the swim, the first hour on the bike and mile 15-23 on the run. The big part of my training sessions are going to focus on building up strength for these parts of the race. I believe I have a good general fitness and endurance but to be successful at Kona you need to be in outstanding shape and know how to handle critical race situations very well. And that’s not even mentioning being mentally tough and staying very focused every single second throughout the race.
Q: Any nutrition philosophies you would share with us? What works for you, what hasn’t?
A: I have a very strict race day nutrition plan and it outlines what I must eat from 3:30AM until I cross the finish line. During the race I eat mostly gels, water, and believe it or not coke. I also pay special attention to my electrolyte intake. Usually my calorie intake during the race is around 6,000 and these calories mostly comes from the abo carbohydrate sources.
Q: Any total number of calories that you try and eat per day?
A: My nutrition focuses on the quality rather than the quantity. But during training I always try to stay between 300-400 calories per hour but that number goes up to 600-700 calories per hour during the race. To the average person I know these numbers seem pretty high but during an Ironman I burn about 900 calories per hour so my main goal is to replace these calories as much as possible while I’m on the bike to ensure I still have something left in my tank when I start the marathon.
Q: We know it’s common for athletes to ramp up their protein intake before a big race. How many grams of protein would you say you intake during training and race season? Does that change at all right before a race?
A: My daily intake is somewhere around 100-115 grams of protein and I always try and take a quarter of this amount right before I go to bed at night. I try not eat too much the day before the race but other than that everything else pretty much stays consistent until the day before the race.
Q: Any tricks to getting in that extra serving of protein?
A: I use Klean Isolate as my protein brand and I always drink this with my lunch and dinner to make sure I have the highest quality and quantity volume my body needs.
In the morning I drink it as a smoothie – mix it with water,milk,honey,fruits. This is my breakfast usually after my first workout.
Then, I drink it with pure water before I go to bed, as a main part of my recovery.
Q: How many hours before a race will you eat?
A: I have my breakfast about 2.5 hours before the race and I eat 4 gels about 20 min. before the race starts.
Q: Hydration is obviously important. How much water do you drink during a race?
A: In hot conditions, I usually drink about 1 liter per hour during the race so at the end of the race I could end up consuming as much as 7 liters.
Q: Do you supplement with anything during a competition to help retain hydration or electrolytes?
A: I eat Klean electrolytes throughout the entire race.
Q: Any pre/post routines or traditions you would share with us?
A: I like to kiss my bike before I go to the swim start. Good bike karma is a must!