How Kona Ate My Husband

After 22 years of marriage, a dozen Ironman races and countless shorter distance triathlons, running and cycling events, you'd think I knew all there was to "go the distance" to help my husband Jay get ready for the big show in Kona.

It's laughable, really. How naive of me to think that this was just like getting ready for any old Ironman race. 

I've witnessed some crazy stuff over the past few weeks—and will likely see more in the next few, too. During this Kona-lead-up time, I've been able to add a couple of weapons to my arsenal to manage life with him right now. Use these tricks with your partners just like you might put speed drills into your own training routine—early and often. Just like the drills, getting ahead of the curve today will pay huge dividends, relationship-wise, later on.

More: Does Your Partner Support Your Training?

The Gaze

I've honestly considered changing my name to "Queen K" just so I can get some attention during dinner conversation. With each bite Jay drifts off into la la land, exhausted from the day's training. 

My strategy: I dish out small portions of food onto his plate. Since he's eating like a horse, the sound of metal utensils scratching an empty dish usually brings him around to awareness and a request for more food. It's a real conversation starter.

The Graze

Speaking of food, besides growing teenagers does ANYONE eat more than an athlete training for a big race?

My Strategy: I've become quite the connoisseur of porta-food these days because constantly eating out can wreak havoc on digestion...and budgets, too. When the hunger meter hits the red zone, ready-available food is critical. My favorites include pre-made grocery store staples like roast chicken, vegetable salads, smoked salmon, rice and legume dishes. Packaged and canned salmon is always available around our house (love those Omegas for taming inflammation), along with pre-washed lettuce, slaw and other greens.

A few other staples include:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Packages of guacamole
  • Whole grain and gluten-free wraps
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Frozen berries
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Ingredients for a high-quality protein shake

More: How to Create Your Ironman Nutrition Plan

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About the Author

Miriam Zacharias

Miriam Zacharias, PhD., is a triathlon lifestyle expert, sports nutritionist and peak performance coach for anyone looking to up the level of their game. She has been leading wellness programs for health care professionals for over 13 years and is Chief Nutrition Officer at TriathlonExperts.com. Miriam's secret to racing faster can be found in her highly acclaimed guidebook, Fast and Faster: How to Support an Endurance Triathlete, available at www.triathlonexperts.com.

Miriam Zacharias, PhD., is a triathlon lifestyle expert, sports nutritionist and peak performance coach for anyone looking to up the level of their game. She has been leading wellness programs for health care professionals for over 13 years and is Chief Nutrition Officer at TriathlonExperts.com. Miriam's secret to racing faster can be found in her highly acclaimed guidebook, Fast and Faster: How to Support an Endurance Triathlete, available at www.triathlonexperts.com.

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