The Longest Workout Ever

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I think yesterday’s workout was literally my longest workout ever, save for a 100-mile bike ride and one of my marathons. Crazy, right?

photo 1

Coach Marni wanted me to complete a 3000 yard swim (that’s about 1.7 miles), a 40-mile bike ride, and a 3-mile run by the end of the month.  I circled Sunday on my calendar and anxiously awaited the date…


She wanted me to swim further than the race distance (the race is 1.2 miles) because swimming in a pool is way easier than swimming in a choppy, dark, deep bay packed with hundreds of other athletes.  I’ve done a handful of 3000+ yard training swims, so I wasn’t nervous about the distance.  But I was concerned about biking and running after!


But the REAL purpose of this workout was to figure out race-day nutrition. Obviously, fueling is a huge part of the Half Ironman. This is what Marni has recommended for all of my 2+hour workouts (and the race):


  • Around 60-90 minutes before around workout: 250-300 calories
  • During Bike – 1 bottle per hour of 2 scoops HEED (200 calories), sips every 10 minutes; gels are also fine.
  • During Run – Around 100-150 calories per hour, every mile have liquids + calories.
  • Post Workout – Around 20-25g of protein of your choice like milk, yogurt, egg or your choice quality protein powder, then real meal whenever your tummy is ready.


Per Marni’s advice, I’ve been training with HEED sports drink, as well as Shot Bloks (which are my favorite thing ever – I ate them during Henry’s delivery).


I was at the gym when it opened at 7 AM. The swim went well.  It took me an hour and 15 minutes to finish.  I got out of the pool and ate 200 calories of Shot Bloks while I changed.  This ‘transition’ took me longer than I would’ve liked because I had to drive to my bike spot…

photo 2

But once I was there, I got on my bike real fast!

photo 3

Instead of biking for 40 miles, I decided to bike for 3 hours. I’m a slow biker so this was probably 45 miles or so. I have to say, I have entirely shunned all timing / GPS devices during my Half Ironman training and LOVE IT.  I think getting too caught up in my pace would just stress me out. I’m not planning to win the race or anything. 🙂

photo 4

My new bike is truly glorious.


I only ate 400 calories on the bike because I only have two water bottle cages.  I need to figure that out – I’ll be on the bike at the race for at least 3.5 hours. I felt myself getting a little hungry towards the end, but all in all, the bike was a piece of cake.


Transition 2 was fast!

photo 5

I was really excited about the run – just because I knew my workout was going to be DONE soon.


I have to confess… I’ve been freaking out a bit about my race. Marni’s plan is designed to not just get me across the finish line – but finish strong and fast. The plan is intense and includes lots of two-a-days.  Due to sickness and work, it’s been hard to stick to it 100% – I’ve been more like 75%. Not following my plan makes me anxious and nervous!  But yesterday’s workout made me feel SO MUCH BETTER.  Sure, it took forever and it was challenging, but I’ve worked harder and felt less fit for other events. I think I’m well-prepared for this event! Considering there are only three weeks left, this is a great feeling. 🙂


Did you do a long workout this weekend?  What did it consist of?  Did you nap afterwards?  I wasn’t planning to take a nap, but I came home and ate lunch while sitting on the couch – I could barely sit up straight as I munched. All I wanted to do was SLEEP. So I did!



  • Alis September 30, 2013, 8:51 am

    Have you tried a water bottle with long straw between your aero bars? It helps sooo much and such an easy way to take in extra fluids!

    • Caitlin September 30, 2013, 8:53 am

      no but i should!

      • Victoria September 30, 2013, 9:56 am

        It looks like you don’t have aerobars on your Felt (?). So that won’t really work, since you need them for mounting those types of hydration systems.

        • Alis September 30, 2013, 11:02 am

          No aero bars?! they are a must for half (in my opinion)!!

  • Laura September 30, 2013, 9:02 am

    I completed a poker ride with my bike group on Saturday. It was a ride where you got a card at each of 5 stops and then the person with the best hand at the end won (not me). It took about 2:45 to complete, but it was definitely at a slow pace compared to most group rides I do. My garmin Forerunner died though right before the ride though and it was awful not knowing my pace, distance or how long we’d been riding! I’m someone who constantly looks at their Garmin for guidance so it was so stressful not having one to look at! The watch is completely dead and Garmin will give me a refurbed one for $110 but it will take 2 weeks to come in.

    Ramblin Rose Chapel Hill is this weekend and as of right now I don’t have a Garmin to use and I’m so stressed about not knowing my pace/distance so I”ll know to push or not-ugh! Going to try to find one to borrow before Sunday!!

    • Courtney September 30, 2013, 11:00 am

      When my Garmin died, I found a seller on ebay who will diagnosis the issue. Just search for garmin repair. You have to trust sending your garmin away, but since mine was totally dead I figured why not? It cost about $50 total and he replaced the battery (and checked it for corrosion) and it has been working like brand new ever since!

      • Laura September 30, 2013, 2:28 pm

        Thanks! Will look into now!

  • Joy September 30, 2013, 9:12 am

    No long workout for me this weekend because I’m still coming back from an injury, but I just wanted to congratulate you on such a great workout. Your hard work is really going to pay off on race day!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 30, 2013, 9:15 am

    Whew, what a workout! Congrats!

    I would have needed a nap after that too 🙂

  • SuperCutePetContest September 30, 2013, 9:20 am

    How could you NOT nap after that workout? I bet it was a pretty great nap too!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun September 30, 2013, 9:21 am

    No rest days for me due to being sidelined for an injury, but love looking at other people’s awesome workouts – like YOURS! That is a killer workout. You should have built up some confidence now that you were able to complete that. Great work!!

  • Katie September 30, 2013, 9:30 am

    Last weekend I did my first duathlon, so this weekend I taught my 2 yoga classes on Saturday and did a 2 mile (30 minute) run, when I got home my mom and I went for a 3 mile run. I taught my yoga sculpt class this morning, so my body needs some good foam rolling tonight! For my duathlon I bought the Nathan Intensity vest (backpack) it fits 2 liters of water and the pockets on it are amazing! I highly recommend it.

  • Farah @ Fabulously Farah September 30, 2013, 9:40 am

    WOW! This is incredible. You definitely deserved that nap. I went on a nice, long run/walk on Saturday morning and really enjoyed the cool, crisp fall temperatures. Mine only lasted 1 hour though!

  • Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change September 30, 2013, 9:41 am

    I did two CrossFit workouts on Saturday; one was for our normal 8am class and the other was during an open house we held! I told my boyfriend I would do the WOD with him if he came. To say I was sore this weekend is an understatement! But it did feel GREAT to do my first workout and be able to do my second with someone I really love. He did a great job during the WOD (I was proud!)

  • Brittany September 30, 2013, 9:50 am

    Congrats Caitlin! I had some pretty tough workouts this weekend courtesy of Coach Marni’s plan too, but I loved every minute! I just purchased some Xlab rear carriers & cages for my tri bike for the same reason of needing more hydration on the bike; they were expensive, but now I can fit 3-4 bottles on the bike. Alternately, you can stuff a bottle in your cycling jersey, but that’s kind of a pain during the race.

  • Victoria September 30, 2013, 10:00 am

    They have bottle handoffs about every 15 miles in most 70.3s, including Miami. What I would suggest doing is carrying a bottle of concentrated HEED and one of water, and alternating drinking from the two throughout the bike leg. You can keep replacing the water from the bike aid stations. It’s really easy, and you barely have to slow down.

    • Jen September 30, 2013, 3:18 pm

      I second Victoria. Be ready for the hand-offs. Maybe even practice one is advance so you can ride one handed, grab a bottle from a person and transfer it to your cage. It will help.

  • Marni Sumbal September 30, 2013, 10:03 am

    Caitlin (AKA ROCKSTAR) – I’m so proud of you!! This has been a lot of work but you know the medal at the finish line doesn’t get awarded to everyone. It is dedicated to those who committ to the task at hand and overcome obstacles before and during the race. You are an inspiration to many and you are also finding out how strong you really are – mentally and physically. And most of all – don’t forget to thank your body. Your body is allowing you to train for 70.3 miles and that is a LONG way to go. You and your body are amazing! Keep on believing in yourself and refusing to give up until you get what you want.
    -Your coach and fan (among many), Marni 🙂

  • Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad September 30, 2013, 10:11 am

    I ran 10 miles Friday morning and then my cold that I didn’t realize was a cold came out with a vengeance. Now I’m taking a few days to get better. Bummer. I’m super impressed by your long workout! My longest workout ever was marathon training during the winter. The miles would take a lot longer when I was dodging snow and ice so I was out there for 3 1/2 or so hours at a time. That certainly was interesting. After long runs I just sit for like an hour (after some stretching). I will move around later to keep things flowing but I need to just sit for a while immediately following something intense.

  • Ali September 30, 2013, 11:01 am

    Congrats on finishing that workout!! That’s awesome. You’re going to do great at the actual event:)

  • Laura @ RunningJunkie September 30, 2013, 11:26 am

    WOW! That is intense! I could never imagine swimming that far (on top of the biking and running). You should feel really accomplished!

  • rachel September 30, 2013, 12:32 pm

    i was traveling this weekend and needed to get a 10 mile run in – i found a nice trail around a lake in dallas and totally killed it! i was running super fast for me and zoned out – it was awesome and made me feel really good about my half coming up in october

  • Sarah Anne September 30, 2013, 12:35 pm

    I am a long time reader but RARELY comment – I HAD to break the streak and tell you how AMAZING you are. What a rockstar and an inspiration you are. Thanks for sharing and being a great motivator for my own fitness.

    • Caitlin September 30, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Thank you!

  • Megan @ The Lyons' Share September 30, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Way to go, Caitlin!!!! I’m always so grateful that I’m able to fuel so much on the bike, because I’m REALLY bad at taking in fuel while running. I also use HEED and really like it – very easy on the stomach!

  • Whitney @ Pancakes and Tulips September 30, 2013, 1:45 pm

    That is quite the workout! Congrats for staying with it. I did about an hour of yoga and that left me dead tired. I couldn’t imagine doing half of what you did!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 30, 2013, 2:54 pm

    oh my gosh, that is a LONG workout! Haha and that’s coming from a marathoner. But I guess that’s what you have to do to prep for such a long race!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 30, 2013, 3:13 pm

    Way to finish the workout!

    I liked doing the Half IM without a watch or anything & just doing it for the sake of feeling awesome & strong. I didn’t win or anything but I had fun!

  • Sara September 30, 2013, 3:17 pm

    I did a 21 mile run on Saturday. It was my last before Marine Corps Marathon! I’d love to do a half Ironman. Any recommendations for finding a trainer/coach? Online coaching? Would love to hear your thoughts.

  • Amanda K. September 30, 2013, 3:53 pm

    was the workout longer than your labor with henry!? i think that should be your standard 🙂

    • Caitlin October 1, 2013, 7:45 am

      lol 🙂

  • Sonia the Mexigarian September 30, 2013, 7:01 pm

    Wow. I got tired just reading the recap. How were your legs feeling on the run?

    I did my first 17 miler on Saturday. New PDR for me while marathon training. it was hard. 🙁

  • Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind September 30, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Congrats!! Maybe a hydration pack would work well?

  • Mary September 30, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I used a Camelback during the bike portion of my half Ironmans with one water bottle with Gatorade. I am not coordinated for water bottle exchanges in motion and I didn’t want to stop. I also had a small bag on the bar of my bike that I kept small wedges of nut butter sandwiches for the first half of the bike ride because 70.3 is a long way to go on just liquids and gels for me. You rocked that workout. I never did a brick that long before my races. I think you will be fine. Best of luck on your race!

  • MomHTP September 30, 2013, 10:44 pm

    You are amazing….what a workout! You must be so glad to have a bike that fits you better, and allows you to ride with less discomfort. You continue to surprise me with your strength and drive. Congratulations.

  • Erica October 1, 2013, 7:43 am

    You are doing SO GREAT! I ran 17 miles on Sunday and it felt awesome! It’s my personal distance record since having my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction due to breast cancer. Good luck on your race!

    • Caitlin October 1, 2013, 7:45 am

      You are awesome!!!

  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} October 1, 2013, 8:40 pm

    Way to go on your “practice triathlon”, sounds like an intense day. I can’t believe the HIM is coming up so fast, seems like just yesterday you announced that you were doing it.

    I can’t wait to hear all about your race!

  • Stephanie October 1, 2013, 9:16 pm

    Nice! When is your half IM?!

  • Luv What You Do October 1, 2013, 10:57 pm

    It is really crazy when your typically toughest races become your training runs!!!

  • Megan October 2, 2013, 11:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing about your race nutrition. I completed my first Half Ironman 2 months ago (which went great!) but I definitely need to improve on taking more nutrition during the race. I didn’t take anything during the run (I was too excited to be ahead of pace!). Rookie mistake. Live and learn for my next Half in March!

  • The Athletic Club October 3, 2013, 7:27 pm

    Thats a really hectic workout you had. Most of us would give up midway but kudos that you carried on.

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