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Caroline Wostmann – how an Ultra champion fuels
This week on 32Gi Sports Nutrition, we are joined by Caroline Wostmann. She comes full circle on Easter weekend, as she heads back to the scene of her first Ultra victory, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. So how does an Ultra champion fuel?
You listening to 32Gi Sport Nutrition I’m David Katz, Mr. Active. No Mark Wolff today and it’s because we’ve got a absolutely fantastic guest. Someone who has really shot to prominence over the last year in running scenes.
A fantastic runner before that, but a victory at Old Mutual Two Oceans followed by a victory at Comrades put Caroline Wostmann on the map. Caroline it was a big year for you in 2015 and probably a bigger year in 2016 because now you’ve got a hype to live up to.
CW: Yeah I think that 2015 was just an absolutely incredible year for me, all my dreams came through that year and I’ve got a lot to live up to. 2016 a lot more pressure with everybody looking at what I’m doing but you know as long as I’m still enjoying it I’m going to keep doing it.
2016 training following a similar course
DK: Now last weekend you did Om Die Dam you went and won that, you then went and did 21km the next day at Sarens at about 4 minutes a km. So quite a bit of running in one weekend a few, or two weeks out from Oceans.
CW: Yes so we actually did the exact same thing last year with Om Die Dam followed by the 21km run the next day. It definitely is a very mentally tough weekend doing 50 kilometres and then running faster than 4 minutes a km pace for a half marathon on tired legs. But I think that’s the mental toughness that you need to prepare you for Comrades because it is a tough race.
DK: Talking about mental toughness we saw this past weekend as well in Japan Jenna Challenor running, a 2:37 marathon her PB. She’s a Mom of three you’re a Mom as well. Is there something in it?
CW: Yeah I think Jenn had an absolutely fantastic run, a great breakthrough for her in the marathon. I’m so happy for her and I also know that it is pretty tough to juggle things with the training and children and all of that.
I do think that being a Mother forces you to be a little bit more consistent in your routine. You need to make sure that you get your training and because if you miss your session in the morning there is no chance to make it up later on. So I think it definitely enforces a little bit more discipline which might actually help.
Caroline’s fuelling strategy
DK: Well discipline I’m quite impressed because I battle just being a Dad and staying at home and trying to work around it. Caroline from a nutritional point of view of course you joined the KPMG running club this year, Jenn is also part of them both of you with 32Gi. Not looking at the race first, looking at everyday nutrition how do you maintain and watch what you eat?
CW: So in general I’m not too fussy about what I eat I sort of let my body guide me as to what I’m craving, what kind of food I want. If I feel like steak I’ll have steak, if I feel like vegetables I’ll eat vegetables. Try to be healthy though, stay away from the junk food and all of that.
I definitely think there are certain key things that I focus a lot on and one of them is the recovery in terms of my recovery drinks. So when I’m not training that hard I make sure I have a recovery shake a 32Gi recover shake; chocolate flavour for me is my favourite, after my long runs.
Then my quality sessions when I’m training this hard I actually have a recovery drink after every single run. Because I just think that you need that extra boost and it really does help me.
Then in addition to that I also try and make sure that for my quality sessions I do use my 32Gi Endure. A lot of people also like 32Gi Race, but the Endure works better for me. Just to make sure that I stay strong on my quality sessions.
So for example if I’m doing a track session or track repeat after every second or third repetition on the track I’ll make sure just to take a couple of sips of my 32Gi Endure. Just to keep my energy levels constant and make sure I get the most out of the session.
DK: And looking at race day how do you feel on race day. I mean breakfast obviously important, I know a lot of athletes can’t run on breakfast. But as a professional, as a top end elite; how do you start fuelling in the morning and also during the race?
Race day fuelling plan
So I think that this is really a personal preference thing and for me I’ll usually actually have a small breakfast. I find if I eat too much I just get to the start line feeling a little bit bloated. I try and make sure that I get my nutrition in during the race as opposed to before the race.
So before the race I’ll just have a banana or something small like that which I know won’t upset my stomach. Then during the race I’ll make sure that I drink my energy drinks throughout.
My 32Gi Endure if I can get it, otherwise any other energy drinks that I can get on route. In addition to that for the endurance race I find that having a banana, having a potato along the route really just helps to keep my energy levels high and constant.
DK: Well I wanted to ask you about that as well. Of course lots of products out there from a nutritional point of view. But when you are out there for that long you sometimes crave real food, something solid, that’s important.
CW: Yeah definitely for me the potatoes and the bananas I like. I think you also need to experiment what works for you; because once I decided to try a sandwich on route and that really did not work for me. Having a marmite sandwich was just not the right thing for me that day. But for some people it does work. So you have to experiment a little bit.
What I also have found especially if it’s a long race. So for me not so much Two Oceans but definitely Comrades I’ll actually take a recovery drink during the race.
So at about 60 kilometres I’ll have my recovery shake. I find that just also helps to settle the stomach and keeps me feeling good. As opposed to just drinking the sweet energy drinks the whole way through.
DK: Well great point you made there is never to try anything new on race day. I think a lot of people have made that mistake they’ll never make it again. But if you haven’t do not try anything new on race day. Caroline looking at the Two Oceans coming up a big weekend lots of excitement a fantastic race. Cape Town’s going to be as packed as ever.
CW: Yeah you know what I think that Two Oceans is just getting more and more prominent. It used to be seen almost as a training run leading up to Comrades and now we can definitely see that it stands on its own two feet. So many people go just to run the Two Oceans Ultra and it really is an incredible race, an incredible vibe.
The KPMG running family
DK: Caroline lastly I know KPMG quite a few of you joining this year; Christine Kalmer another one, who’s like Jenn looking to getting to Rio 2016. Great club they’re supportive and they kind of let you carry on training the way you are with your personal coach and don’t try and force anything on you.
CW: I think that is definitely one of the highlights of KPMG is that they really value each athlete as an individual and as a person. They try to promote and help that athlete as much as possible and also allowing the athlete to develop themselves in terms of what works for them.
So we have so many athletes that are trying out for things like the Olympic, and then a lot of the juniors are still focusing on cross country, hoping to get to the world cross country champs.
Obviously we have Christine and Jenna trying to make it to the Rio Olympics. Then the Ultra runners like me where Olympics aren’t really on my cards but something like Comrades and Two Oceans are my races. So just nice to have such a wide variety of athletes as well.
DK: It was a big past weekend we saw Wayne van Niekerk become the first runner to run a sub 10, a sub 20/200 and then a sub 44/400 fantastic achievement by him.
But you had your own trio so congratulations on that, first person to hold Two Oceans, Comrades and Om Die Dam. Caroline thank you very much for your time it’s always great chatting to you and best of luck for the rest, for Comrades and for Two Oceans.
CW: Thank you so much it was great chatting to you as well.
DK: Well thanks for joining us again on 32Gi Sports Nutrition we’ll be back with another action packed podcast next Thursday. I’m David Katz, Mr. Active, chat to you soon.