Longest race of my life: two weeks to Ironman; diet


Airman 1st Class Clayton Wear holds his weekly allowance of healthy food in his hand September 6, 2017, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Wear prides himself on the quantity of healthy food he consumes each week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Clayton A. Wear/Released)


If you have been following this series, then you would know that two weeks from this Sunday I will be competing in the Ironman 70.3 Superfrog. I have written about many aspects of my training, and now seven articles in; I am running out of ideas.

I started asking those of you who have emailed me about this commentary series, to see if there were any aspects of training you were curious about. To my surprise, many of you wanted to know about my diet. But, before I divulge my food consumption I want to make it entirely clear that this training regimen has been experimental.

I do not stick to a strict diet at all. Each time I burn more than 3,000 calories in a workout, I promise you with the Air Force as my witness, that within the hour I’ll be in the Dominos line ready to pick up a large pizza, and cinnamon sticks.

The only time I do follow somewhat of a diet is before my long workouts, but even then it isn’t for typical dietary reasons. I avoid heavy carbs, eat salt, hydrate as much as possible, and snack rather than eating three meals for gastrointestinal reasons. (Due to professionalism, I will allow you to imagine how this would be a problem five miles from the nearest bathroom, rather than extrapolate in detail the awkward walk, in spandex running shorts, back to a change in clothes.)

With the time constraints of college, work, and usable sunlight during the work week; I shift my ‘diet’ to the later days of the week in order to prepare for the weekend when I have the time for the longer workouts.

This has worked great for my training and my nutritional discipline since I have an allowance for some junk food here and there. I realize, though, that when I no longer burn 4,000 calories a day that I will have to take on some serious dietary measures to remain fit for an active duty lifestyle, but until then; more Oreos, please.


My shameless base plug:

In all seriousness, a few weeks ago I took pictures of the “Ask a Dietitian” booth at the Base Exchange. I was standing in the background taking photos as the base dietitians were answering questions. From that experience I can honestly say that the base medical group has two fantastic nutritionists who are here to help active duty military members achieve their fitness goals with educated advice, unlike myself.


Editor’s note: This is an on-going 10 week series. You can visit www.vandenberg.af.mil and the 30th Space Wing Facebook page every Friday for a new feature.