InsideOut client: Mary Wakeham Qualifies for Ironman World Championships in Hawaii

Caroline Kavanagh | Jul 29, 2019

Someone is going to Kona – Mary Wakeham! It was 2017 when Mary initially began implementing the nutritional concepts of Metabolic Efficiency Training (MET). Within a few short weeks she was mastering MET and feeling fantastic. She never looked back! Over this past weekend, Mary raced Ironman Lake Placid... lookout competitors, she will be racing the 2019 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Congratulations! ............... Mary's journey began with a few goals, improve both her day-to-day and race-day nutrition. Stated simply as - "improve so that I am not just 'surviving' the race."


Fast forward one year later at the 2018 iconic Lake Placid Ironman race. Mary pushed herself to new limits – she more than "survived" the race. She cruised across the finish line with a personal record, shaving off 1 hour and 30 minutes from her previous best to take 7th place in her 55-59 age group. Mission accomplished. Stellar performance!

Fast forward two years...

Mary recently came back to the InsideOut Lab in July 2019 with the revised goal to hone-in on her race day nutrition for her upcoming Kona World Championship race.

Mary will use the data obtained from these second set of tests to not only identify developments made since beginning her nutritional journey, but more importantly, to provide fueling intake numbers that she may adopt in these training months prior to her big race. Always keeping in mind that vast changes at this time are not the plan, but rather, "tweaks" that may be implemented before the "big-league" competition.

To highlight Mary's Metabolic Efficiency Training (MET) progression from her first assessment (2017) to her most recent test results I am providing her original bike assessment below. The benefits for Mary had already translated into the performance gains she had been looking for and the primary focus now is on race day fueling, but nice to see the modulation. Shown below are the first pages of Mary's metabolic assessment reports and 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 reports also include 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 only featuring the first page of each of Mary's reports and will then show the two intake reports - both for bike and run - as it is this data that she will use to target revised race day fueling. 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 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 intenisty of the assessment.



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Mary's Assessments: ............................................

Assessment #1 Client: Mary Wakeham Date: Jul 20, 2017 Age: 55 years

RESULT: Initial Assessment showed MEP occurred at a heart rate of 161 beats per minute (bpm) and an intensity of 133 watts. Below this heart rate and intensity, she was more efficient at using fat as an energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.

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This first assessment revealed that she was in fact a good fat-burner. We dived into the details of her daily nutrition and applied the principles of MET. This nutritional focus is 75% of Metabolic Efficiency Training, while the other 25% is on the physical training element. Adjustments were made to her daily nutrition and periodized carbohydrate ratios were established and implemented.

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Assessments #2 ............................................

Client: Mary Wakeham Date: Aug 20, 2019 Age: 57 years


RESULT: Assessment showed MEP occurred at a heart rate of 162 beats per minute (bpm) and an intensity of 155 watts. Below this heart rate and intensity, she was more efficient at using fat as an energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.

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Mary's second assessment shows some great improvements. A few standout points: • Mary is now stronger at the same relative heart rate. This means further = faster with a 20 watt improvement! • Mary is down 11 pounds. Improved body composition. Faster, stronger, lighter. • Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP) shifted to the right two stages which means less of those precious glycogen stores are being used at increased intensity and higher percentages of fat stores can fuel her training and racing efforts. Her body is now more efficient at doing critical other tasks, like cooling the body and supplying blood flow to the working muscle groups while racing and training. Physical adaptations are fabulous.