Triathlon training is tough, and Ironman training is even tougher. It isn’t just the volume, which is something you work up to over the years and develop, but the constant hunger. Now deep into my preparation for Ironman Arizona, I’m truly beginning to understand the meaning of nutrition as the fourth discipline in triathlon.
Before heading out the door of every long ride, I stuff my pockets with nutrition – some pretzels with extra salt, fuzzy peaches (a personal favourite), a few gels and lately, I’ve added a Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bar into my rotation. With my usual breakfast of oatmeal, a banana and coffee an hour before the ride, I usually don’t start craving some solid food till 70K into the ride. That’s a great time for a Skratch Labs energy bar.
Similar in texture to most energy bars and packing about 200 calories, I find Skratch Labs’ bar a welcome respite from the usual sticky sweet gels. The chocolate lover in me is especially partial to the chocolate chips and almond flavour. The chocolate isn’t overpowering, and there’s a great blend of fruit and nuts – flavours I can actually taste amongst the chocolate chips.
Another thing that Skratch Labs get right, aside from the taste, is the easy to use packaging. On the bike, I’ve been able to easily reach back, grab the bar and rip it open, all while staying in aero (you don’t have to stay in aero, but #aeroiseverything).
Aside from on the bike, I’ve also found Skratch Labs’ Anytime Energy Bar’s to be a great pre-swim snack. Due to my work schedule and extra-curricular commitments, I end up doing my swim workouts in the evenings after work. By 6 pm, I’m already craving food after a mid-day snack and need a little something for my 8 pm swim, the bar did the trick.
On the run is where I would hesitate from grabbing a bar. From trial and error, I’ve learned not to take something so dense with me on my run. Even having food an hour before my morning run is a bad idea. So, if you’re even a little bit like me, you’ll definitely want to test these out in training, before relying on them in a race.
For short training session or in races shorter than a half Ironman, you may not need to eat something solid. However, if you’re racing a half or longer, or planning a big training day, you’ll want to add Skratch Labs Anytime Energy Bar to your race pocket or special needs bag. If you’re not a fan of chocolate chips and almonds, Skratch Labs has two other flavours: ginger and miso, and cherries and pistachios.
Price: $47.88 (Box of 12 bars)