I'm continually amazed by how tight knit and supportive the triathlon community is. Each person I meet who is involved in endurance sports has been more supportive of my goals than the last. Two individuals who are proving unbelievably helpful in my Ironman goals are Brian Shea of Personal Best Nutrition and Cliff Scherb of TriStar Athletes.
Brian Shea is the president and founder of Personal Best Nutrition, a supplement retail store and coaching program. Each product that Brian sells he has personally tested and tailors his product recommendations to the need of the athlete. I had e-mailed Brian a few weeks ago after reading one of his posts on Slowtwitch and was amazed with the level of detail he responded to me with. Brian took the time to understand my needs as a diabetic and triathlete and has taken an active role in my blood sugar management. I've never experienced this level of customer service from any other retailer and have been shocked by how much Brian wants to see me succeed.
At a recent seminar Brian discussed the merits of following carbohydrate and electrolyte drinks with pure water to improve absorption. Rather than speak in highly technical terms he broke the seminar down into easily understandable pieces. A college professor once told me, any teacher can give students a test they will fail and think they are the smartest person in the room; it's the teacher who can get students to understand the material and come out with better knowledge that truly does their job. Brian without question is one of the best teacher of nutritional information I have ever met. His Ironman Cocktail has reduced my exercise induced lows by over 30% over the past several weeks. Since working with Brian I have had three consecutive 11 hour training weeks. While my fitness base and diabetic management knowledge is greatly improved I attribute alot of my recent workout success to the nutirtional information Brian has provided.
The knowledge that Brian can share is somewhat more tailored for the endurance sport community but the life that Cliff Scherb has led will be a great inspiration and of great benefit to each person touched by Type 1 that reads my blog. Cliff was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 9 years old. In college he walked onto the Wake Forrest basketball team and then shifted his attention to weight lifting. Eventually Clif got bit by the endurance sport bug and hasn't looked back. He began his Manhattan life as a pharmaceutical rep but quickly traded in his tie for an aero helmet and started TriStar Athlete a triathlon and endurance sport coaching company.
Cliff is one of the top Type 1 triathletes in the world. Last year he posted the fastest non-Kona qualifying time at Ironman Florida finishing the 140.6 mile race in 9 hours and 7 minutes. He knows better than almost anyone how environmental factors can affect blood sugars and struggled with this during his only trip to the World Championship in Hawaii. Cliff continues to chase the Kona dream while raising money for diabetic research through the Janus Charity Challenge and it will be an honor to share the starting line with him at Ironman USA in Lake Placid.
With Coach Eggers approval (I disclose everyone who I'm working with to Coach to make sure they fit in with our overall training philosophy and so she doesn't think I'm cheating on her!) I'll be working with Cliff over the coming weeks on my biking technique and diabetic management. Like Brian he is unbelievably sincere and really wants to see people who are focused on achieving their goals, reach them. I had a great 2 and 1/2 hour conversation with Cliff during our first meeting and can't wait to hammer away with him on the bike.
The Ring The Bolus Team continues to grow, with this support group and unreal advice my confidence for success at IMLP grows each day.