Stuart Pass – Ironman Triathlete
I started my sporting career as a rugby player and after hanging up the boots I was a very “un” comfortable 115kgs and needed to do some exercise. I took up running which is to say I attempted to run and lasted 4 minutes but I was determined to lose some weight so I stuck with it and over time managed to significantly improve my general health and also found out that I was not a bad runner. I was losing about 1kg per week and I was coerced into running a marathon. On my first crack at 84kgs I ran a 3:16 at Chicago Marathon and as I stepped over the line I knew this was for me.
This started a ball in motion and on my 3rd marathon I managed to run 2:43 at Philadelphia Marathon. After that I raced a bunch of marathons including Boston, Berlin, New York, and Sydney. I wanted to do some cross training instead of straight running and a work colleague convinced me to buy a bike. Another friend was in a masters swim group and the rest is history. In 2007 I did my first sprint Triathlon and I was hooked. In 2008 I did my first Ironman in Louisville Kentucky and managed to come 2nd in my age group and qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii 6 weeks later. After this experience I knew I wanted to keep racing and get back to Hawaii someday.
Since then I have been back to Hawaii in 2011 and 2014 after racing in the European World Championships and Ironman Western Australia. Next on the calendar is Ironman Maryland on October 3rd where I will hopefully qualify for Hawaii again for 2016.
While my results have been good, I found in Hawaii in 2014 I went into the race at least 4kgs heavy and holding a lot of fluid. Relying on a traditional high carbohydrate diet and constant glucose fuelling on race day, I started getting moderate GI issues that I had never experienced before and I just felt there must be something else I can do.
After much research and watching a friend successfully execute a HFLC (high-fat low-carbohydrate) diet into a very successful Ironman, I thought I would give it a crack. I have never looked back, but what I did notice was that as I was pushing the envelope on performance often in training, I was still needing a good energy source and glycogen stores for those tough 90+% efforts and the long 3+ hour rides.
I came across UCAN and from the first use I was amazed at the sustained energy it provided throughout my long sessions. It perfectly complimented my HFLC diet, kept me mentally and physically energised throughout my sessions and didn’t cause the usual gel based spikes and troughs that I was used to. What I was most dubious about was the fact that you can train on only about 100 calories an hour, but with a metabolically efficient diet I have found this to be absolutely possible. The result is no GI distress and an incredibly easy fuelling strategy of UCAN for energy and water for hydration. Not a sugar hit every 25 minutes but consistent energy for hours. I was also pleasantly surprised with the taste as I was expecting to be drinking a potato, but the UCAN Orange tastes great and can be used all day without getting sick of the flavour because you are only having it every 90 minutes.
This season I am getting ready for Ironman Maryland in early October. It will be my A race for the year and hopefully qualify me to go to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in 2016. After I get home I will be racing in Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney and Geelong, hoping to qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba in September 2016.