InsideOut client: Janos Mako, Makes it! Qualifies for AG ITU World Duathlon Championships Netherland
Caroline Kavanagh | May 2, 2019
Early this year, Janos Mako purchased a sleek Trek Madone carbon road bike and then came to the InsideOut Lab to perform bike to run metabolic assessments. This was all part of his plan for the upcoming race season. Janos' first race would be the USAT age group Duathlon National Championships in Greenville South Carolina. This early season race would kick-off his 2019 race season. Results = A+ score! At the Duathlon National Championships his primary race would be the draft-legal sprint that took place on Saturday April 13. The course consisted of a 5k run, 18k bike and a final 2.85k run. Janos would make it a two-day flight-of-fancy and take on an additional challenge, competing again the following day in the Olympic distance race – 8.45k run, 39k bike, 4.5k run. Resilient and fearless? Yes! Makos' Sprint race went like this...... Race morning weather brought clouds and humidity to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina. The first run would be a two loop 5K rolling hill course. Feeling fresh and ready to roll, Janos eased into the run strategically building speed over the 3.3 mile distance. He moved up eight slots going from 18th to 10th place over the course of the run averaging a 6:29 pace! He then swiftly hopped on his new wheels and sped out onto the rolling hill three loop bike course. Mako's goal on the first part of the bike segment was to "connect" and then draft with other fast riders. Janos worked... and was able to catch and join with two other agile competitors. The next challenge would come in the form of a series of 180 degree turns which meant slowing down just enough to make the turns without loosing control. The controlled turns ended up creating a gap between Mako and the other two riders, this gap would then warrant hard effort charges to bridge back and regain drafting position. This pattern continued throughout the bike segment, but Janos was able to recover from each surge and continue to ride well. Eventually, over the course of the bike leg, the three rider "team" grew to a group of eight. With roughly a half mile to go, Mako made his move, accelerating past and dropping the group, rolling into T2 in 9th place! Averaging 21.9 mph for the 11.4 mile bike segment. Another quick transition (1.16 min) and off for the final push!
Out on the 1.9 mile run course with still some "gas in his tank" Janos felt his run legs coming to life. Another strategic run pace build as his legs began moving faster and faster. At the .9 mile mark he was running a 7:02 pace – just getting started! Then he rev'ed it up over the next .7 miles clocking a 6:33 minute pace. With just .3 miles remaining and still one place away from a qualifying spot to the World Championships, Janos brightened the flame once again and scorched past one last competitor running a blistering 6:09 pace as he cross the line to take 8th place. Qualifying for the AG ITU Duathlon World Championships in the Netherlands next year! Just to note..... Janos will be racing in the 60-65 year age group in 2020! Amazing! He also qualified for the Olympic distance race on the following day! He will need to decide which distance he will target at the World Championships as both races will take place on the same day. Look out competitors...... he will be flying!
What does Metabolic Efficiency Training have to do with Makos race success? Good question! I'll rewind the clock a bit to answer. Janos Mako sparked his Metabolic Efficiency Training journey with an incremental metabolic assessment here at the InsideOut lab three years ago. His goal at that time was performance driven. His competitive nature led him to triathlon and he had set his sites to compete at local races with the goal being to qualify for USAT age group Nationals. It was early December 2015 and therefore Janos was in the Base phase of his training cycle. This would simplify changes that he would apply to his daily nutrition. At that time, his typical daily nutrition consisted of roughly 55% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 20-25% fat. His physical training was roughly nine to thirteen hours per week and included all three sports - swim, bike and run. Fast forward to Mako's second visit to the InsideOut Lab... This visit was just 10 weeks ago in early February, where he performed a bike to run set of metabolic assessments. The goal of these tests were to target his fueling needs for his upcoming race season. Specifically targeting his intended race intensities on both the bike and the run. The data would be a valuable tool moving forward as he continued to train and then practice in training his new fueling strategy. With his first race being Duathlon Nationals in early April he would implement his fueling plan on race day and then fine tune accordingly as the season progressed.
In highlighting Janos' Metabolic Efficiency Training (MET) progression from his first assessment back in 2015 to his most recent test results (10 weeks ago) one can glean some insight into the MET process and nuances. The benefits for Janos have translated into improved body composition, continued good health as well as the performance gains he was hoping to achieve. Shown below are a select few pages of Janos' assessment reports. These first pages of a metabolic assessment report are titled "Metabolic Efficiency Point" (MEP). These particular graphs show energy expenditure from fat and carbohydrate at increased intensities. They also indicate whether an athlete does, in fact, have a Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP) and if so, the heart rate and intensity at which it occurred. It is from this unique information that adjustments to nutrition and training are made based on the athletes goals and current phase of training. The complete assessment report also includes training and race fueling intake ranges, targeted fat-burning as well as nutrition suggestions based on the clients current daily foodstuff. For this article, I am featuring the first page of each of Makos' reports and his bike fueling intake data page. These graphs illustrate Janos' progression and a glimpse into his fueling needs on the bike. Before any assessment there is a warm up period of about 10-15 minutes in which time the athlete is "hooked-up" to the metabolic cart with headgear and mouthpiece via long tubing. During this warm up, expired breath is measured (respiratory exchange ratio - RER) through the analyzer, and carbohydrate and fat oxidation is viewed as it scrolls upward on the computer screen. This warm up period helps to establish the starting pace of the assessment. ............................................... Janos' Assessments: ...............................................
Assessment #1 Client: Janos Mako Date: Dec 3, 2015 Age: 55 years
RESULT: Initial Assessment shows no MEP. Primary focus at this time – daily nutrition in order to stabilize blood sugar.
Janos' first assessment (above) showed no metabolic efficiency point. This is a common result for many athletes, even for those who are quite lean! What does this mean? Simply put, he was burning a higher percentage of carbohydrate versus fat even at a relatively low heart rate and intensity. At this point the result is neither good nor bad but simply the starting point in which to make improvements. The body is an amazing machine and adapts quickly when consistency is applied. This paradigm is used in physical training and the same principle comes into play with nutrition.
Immediately following the assessment the principles of Metabolic Efficiency Training and the impact these daily nutrition practices have on overall health, as well as performance, were reviewed with Janos. Nutrition is 75% of MET and based on his result the focus would be on nutrition and stabilizing blood sugar. We covered nutrition periodization and delved into the detail of macronutrient ratios based on Janos' nutrition at that time. Because Janos was in the BASE phase of his training he was going to be able to fastidiously implement 1:1 ratios for most of his energy needs which simplified the approach. Overall Janos was making some good choices with his dietary practices but it is in details that real progress can be achieved. The areas in which he could improve were highlighted and he embarked upon his metabolic efficiency journey.
Three years later...
Janos came back to the Lab for bike to run assessments to establish fueling intakes for his upcoming race season.
Assessment #2 Client: Janos Mako Date: Feb 12, 2019 Age: 58 years
RESULT: Assessment shows MEP occurred at a heart rate of 121 beats per minute (bpm) and intensity of 150 watts. Below this heart rate and intensity, he was more efficient at using fat as an energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.