Clif Bloks: Will This Ironman Triathlete's Fueling Strategy Work?

Ever heard of Clif Bloks?

If you’ve ever struggled with nutrition to run a race, go for a long ride, or take on a triathlon, you’ve probably done some homework trying to figure out how to fuel better.

You know...so you can escape the race-ending bonk of fatigue, cramping, and stomach distress.

When runner and triathlete Kaylie Weigel decided to take on the Ohio 70.3 Half-Ironman, she knew she needed to train hard and dial in her fueling strategy to go the distance...

🏊‍♀️ Swim = 1.2 miles
🚲 Bike = 56 miles
🏃‍♀️ Run = 13.1 miles

She hired a coach. She trained with a friend. She logged a ton of time in the pool, biked for hours, and ran a lot of miles. And she put Clif Bloks to the test.

👉 Check out this Q&A with triathlete Kaylie Weigel to find out what happened at the Ohio 70.3 Half-Ironman...
Kaylie Weigel signed up to compete in the Ohio 70.3 Half Ironman on July 25.

Q: Tell us about your most recent & upcoming race


KAYLIE: After training for 7 months this year, I competed in my first Half-Ironman, the Ohio 70.3 on July 25 in Columbus Ohio. The race was originally scheduled for July 2020, but a month prior to the race date it was cancelled. So, I stopped training until January 2021. 

I just signed up to run the Nationwide Half-Marathon in Columbus on October 17th.

Q: What were your goals for Ohio 70.3?


KAYLIE: My goal was to break 6 hours.

Q: What did you learn about yourself training for a Half Ironman event?


KAYLIE: I did my training with a friend who was also training for her first Half Ironman.  

  • We had a coach who had done several Half Ironmans and gave us a detailed training program each month.  
  • The training helped me remember what it was like to be a part of team.  
  • Training with someone else helped keep me motivated.  
  • We did great for the first 6 months and then training became so intense that it started to feel like a job. We were training 25 hours a week at that point.
Kaylie trained for six months to prepare to go the distance: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile ride, and 13.1-mile run.
Q: What's happened as your training progressed?

KAYLIE: Since we were both runners, we knew how fast we could complete a half marathon. But it was exciting to watch the progression to see how fast could do a Brick.  

A Brick is a bike/run interval that you do back to back at maximum intensity.  Initially our 6-hour goal seemed close to impossible, but as we continued to train we could see how much faster we were getting.

Q: What's your experience competing in races?


KAYLIE:
I started running in my freshman year of high school where I was competing in cross country and track.  I continued running in college at Kent State University.  I hadn’t really been running since my college running ended in 2019.  Then with the pandemic there weren’t really any races to compete in.  So, this was my first major race since college.

Q: Besides your finish-time goal, what are your race-day priorities?


KAYLIE:
After hydration, my number two priority is nutrition.
Kaylie fueled her training and run with Clif Bloks, created to help athletes with nutrition needs for calories, carbohydrates, and sodium.
Q: What's your go-to fueling source for training and racing?

KAYLIE: I use Clif Bloks because you really don’t feel like eating while you are competing. They're easy to get down and taste good. They're a good source of carbs and electrolytes.  Bloks were actually the only thing I ate during the biking section of my race, besides some Pringles towards the end!

Q: What type of Clif Bloks do you like the most?


KAYLIE: Cliff Bloks come in a variety of flavors.  Some are available with caffeine and extra sodium.  You can buy Clif Bloks at most running stores.  I purchased mine through Amazon.  

  • My favorite flavor is Orange, although I do enjoy the Tropical Punch ones, too.  
  • I also use the caffeinated Clif Bloks which come in Black Cherry (50 mgs), Tropical Punch and Orange (25mgs).  
  • The caffeinated Clif Bloks are not USDA approved organic.  
  • The Margarita flavor also is 3 times the sodium level (150mgs) and is USDA approved organic.

Q: What did your fueling strategy look like for Ohio 70.3 Half Ironman?


KAYLIE: My tri-suit made by Roka (the Elite Aero Tri-Suite) has dual-stretch pockets in the back to hold the Clif Bloks. During training I was supposed eat a whole pack, which is 6, every hour.  I was pretty good about it. My goal for the race was to eat 24 grams of carbs every 30 minutes (which is 3 Clif Bloks).
Kaylie finished the 1.2-mile swim in 41:19. She biked 56 miles in 2:51:26. Then set out to run 13.1 miles.

Q: How did your first Half Ironman go?


KAYLIE: On race day I started the morning with Avocado Toast and Eggs around 4:30 am.  Then I ate my homemade rice cake. Prior to entering the water at the start of my race I ate 3 Clif Bloks.

  • Swim. After completing my 1.2-mile swim in 41:19, I ate a mini bagel with cream cheese during my 3:36 transition.  I left the water in 11th place in my age group.  
  • Bike. During my almost 3-hour bike (56 miles in 2:51:26) I actually only had 6 Orange and 3 Black Cherry Clif Bloks.  I felt great during my bike and didn’t feel like I needed anything more. But that came back to bite me later during my run.  I had moved up to 4th in my age group during the biking.  
  • Run. During my 1:49:02 run (13.1 miles) around mile 2 I was starving. I only had 3 more Clif Bloks with me, which I ate during those 2 miles. 
  • Fueling. After that, I could only eat the race provided snacks. I ate a chocolate chip cookie and a banana.  
  • Finish. Despite my poor Clif Blok management I ended my race in 5:28:46 which was 1st place for my age group!  

Q: What would you do differently?


KAYLIE: If I had to do it again, I would have forced myself to eat double the Clif Bloks during my bike section.

Q: What's next?


KAYLIE: For my upcoming half marathon I plan to consume 3 Bloks every 30 minutes! My goal for the Nationwide Half Marathon is to run under 8-minute miles.
Kaylie finished Ohio 70.3 in 5:28:46, and won first in her age group.
Do you use Clif Bloks or something else to go the distance? Tell us about it.

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Nathan Reyes 60
Kent, OH
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Trail runner

Comments

Nathan Reyes Great job ! I’m hungry now!

Rob Myers Fantastic Nate! Go get some food and drink…

David Moore Nice work Kaylie!! Congratulations on crushing your time goal and taking down 1st place age group! Is a full Ironman in your future??

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