Reapers Perform Better with Base Performance – TriCoachGeorgia


TriCoachGeorgia is on fire. The Reapers have increasingly attracted new coaches, athletes, and team members. The growth has been phenomenal and unprecedented. Many factors have contributed to this growth. One of the main factors has been the success of its training camps in association with the half-ironman 70.3 races in Augusta and Chattanooga, and the Ironman 140.6 (whoops 144.6) at the latter.

The camps are exciting and fun, demanding and thorough, and athletes are introduced to the course and some special products and lectures. One of the frequent contributors to the camps has been BASE  Performance. They have even sent the noted blogger and new BASE staff member, Miss Susie Kelly, to the last CampChoo. With her advanced medical background, Susie gave wonderful input about the correct and proper way to successfully use the products.

BASE Performance

For those unfamiliar, BASE Performance was founded by professional triathlete Chris Lieto, who spent 10 years searching for that secret sauce to help optimize his performance. After assembling his team, and many experiments later, BASE Performance products were born. Co-founding BASE alongside Matt Miller, another seasoned triathlete, they traveled the country with tic-tac containers filled with their now famous salt to hand out to athletes to try. Within 3 years the company has gone global and continues to grow through word of mouth as well as their inaugural pro, ambassador, and BASE athlete teams.

This tireless dedication to give athletes optimal performance and recovery through solid nutrition, backed by scientific and experiential data aligns with the TriCoachGeorgia philosophy. On principle, BASE Performance provides an experience for its athletes by staying on course at Ironman events at the lively “Salt Tent” until the last finisher crosses the line and attends training camps to participate side-by-side with athletes. TriCoachGeorgia can stand beside this, which is why the partnership seemed natural. Both firms strive to keep athletes performing and racing their best, finishing strong, with solid rest and recovery to attack the next goal on the list.

Joan Jett’s BASE Performance Experience

Given the fact that Joan Jett aka Carrie Giordano, an active TriCoachGeorgia Athlete, Social Media Dynamo, and Cycling Instructor at Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA, uses and espouses these products, we asked her to write a little blog about her experiences with the products. Here they are:

“While sitting in on a bike clinic in spring of 2015, I was confiding in a fellow racing friend about my trepidation on my upcoming 70.3, and also my first. I was warned that the run was hot and the weather here in Atlanta had been frustratingly mild which left little chance for heat training. He pulled out of his pocket a small red vial of “the good stuff” (BASE Performance electrolyte enhanced salt). After a brief bio on the salt, I was intrigued. He told me to keep it and use it at my race.

Gulf Coast Triathlon (GCT) in May each year is notorious for having a hot run. Anyone who has ever experienced Ironman Florida knows the course well. GCT uses one loop of the same course. It was scorching. I had not anticipated how hot it was truly going to be out there.

Directions given to me were one lick of the mini handheld BASE salt canister every mile on the run or as needed. After coming off the bike with a definite deficit in electrolytes and an oncoming headache, I popped a double take of salt. Every 2 miles I did the same along with water intake. It saved my race. I was ready to give up by mile 10 and by mile 11, it was a death march to the finish. I would’ve been in the medic tent had it not been for the salt.

Fast forward to January 2016, I ran the Jacksonville Marathon, I had already been training with BASE salt for 8 months and it was now a solid part of my race and training strategy. The race day was not optimal. It was chilly with nonstop rain that may or may not dissipate as the day went on. By mile 10 the rain ceased but I could feel a cramp coming on. I took one lick of BASE salt but the cramp continued. By mile 13 I was limping.

Determined to power through, I doubled up on my intake every mile. By mile 16 the cramp had evaporated. I knew my nutrition intake was scheduled for mile 17 so I added a sprinkle of salt to it and was reinvigorated! The cramping and limping dissipated and good solid running form resumed. Better still, I finished strong and did not feel trashed with minimal soreness.

More Recent Uses from Jett

I have recently tried their other products and have to say they are similar in quality, and a great addition to my training and race strategy. The Hydro is a great hydration drink, mild enough to be tolerated on a long course but tasty enough to want it. The Aminos are great for activity AND recovery. If you combine the Hydro, Aminos and Salt together you get a delicious combo called “Rocket Fuel” that’s perfect for liquid calories and recovery alike.” Don’t just listen to Jett. Listen to Susie’s Pro Tips for Successful Salt Use :

Pro Tips for Successful Salt Use

  • Fill vials no more than 1/2 full so the salt doesn’t spill out.
  • Find a good spot on your kit to hold the vials. Learn from the unfortunate experience of others and don’t place in the waistband, as accidental spillage down the shorts is especially devastating (and uncomfortable). Try to use the side pocket on tri shorts. Certain fuel belts also work great. For the bike, Velcro-ing the tube to your aerobars will provide easy handling.
  • Always tote an extra vial! Don’t let your Race Day butterfingers impair your access to the life saving salt. If you don’t end up needing it yourself, you’ll gain a lifelong friend if you give it to a foolish soul who feebly uses poor-absorbing salt pills or worse–fails to use salt at all.
  • While BASE Salt is now available on the run course of IRONMAN events, don’t wait until then to start salting! Enter the run ‘topped off” with electrolytes by taking a few licks in T1 to replenish the losses from the swim. Continue to take 2-3 licks per five miles on the bike to maintain optimal electrolyte balance (and performance).
  • Don’t stop salting after the race! Particularly for full-distance races, you will finish at least mildly dehydrated no matter how hard you try to hydrate. The American College of Sports Medicine, in fact, believe it’s better to finish a bit depleted than risk ‘water intoxication’ and/or ‘exercise associated hyponatremia’ (low sodium). Plus, you need adequate fluids to repair damage to muscles. Using electrolyes for the day post-race enables your body to absorb and utilize plenty of water rather than pee it all out.
  • Those of us that take hydration and electrolyte balance super seriously carry BASE Salt everywhere! You’ll find one in her gym bag, car, and purse. Because hydration occurs outside of training and racing too.
  • Combine with BASE Hydro and BASE Amino to create what we she calls “Rocket Fuel“–the optimal hydration source.


The experts at BASE Performance and the TriCoachGeorgia coaches encourage you to try BASE  Electrolyte Salt and check out their other variety of supplements and vitamins available on their website. With the substantial discount they have offered TriCoachGeorgia athletes, team members, and coaches as well as their full 30-day money back guarantee, they strongly encourage trying their products.

Like many other Ironman athletes, Joan Jett and the Reapers have never been let down, and, in fact, have been saved on more than one occasion. BASE will certainly remain a part of many of the team’s athletes’ training and racing, and the team will always have extra at camps, in training, and on race day. #DoYourJob with the Reapers and BASE products and you can #ReapWhatYouSow!

Going Against the Grain – A Diet guide for the Modern Triathlete by Coach B.A.M.F. – TriCoachGeorgia

Going Against the Grain – A Diet guide for the Modern Triathlete

Coach BAMF aka Coach Chuck is all about his athletes racing faster and understands the factors that go into speed and efficiency. He understands there are many ways to achieve one’s goals. However, one of the bigger ones is making racing weight and being healthy and happy. Here he writes about a topic near and dear to him, and one that will assist many IRONMAN triathletes and endurance sports athletes.


Many of you may have heard me, or others use the acronyms “NSNG” (No Sugar, No Grains) and “LCHF” (Low Carb, High Fat) and wondered what it all means. Alternative ways of eating by removing refined sugars and complex carbohydrates that are not new to our low calories, low fat, heart healthy grain culture. In fact, they’ve been around for many years in one form or another. Advocates of this method of eating were considered heretics by so called ‘nutritional subject matter experts and doctors’ because they go against the conventional wisdom of what we’ve all been told was the “right” way to eat. But with the continued year over year increase of obesity rates in both adults and children, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease people are starting to have a paradigm shift in the way they think about, and eat food.


Scientific studies on obesity and removal of sugars and carbs from patients diets to promote weight loss date back as far as the early 1900’s and have been proven to show results. In the late 1970’s and well into the 1980’s people like Dr. Phil Maffetone were promoting this way of eating and helped many legendary triathletes such as Mark Allen, Mike Pigg, and Paula Newby-Frazier achieve great success in training and racing. Even advocates of the high carbohydrate diet for athletes like Dr. Timothy Noakes have done a complete 180 degree shift in their beliefs and views, and have even gone as far as to state publicly that they were wrong. Check out this very interesting Podcast with Maffetone, Noakes, and Allen.


So why do more people not follow this way of eating? Our culture has been engrained to believe that fat is bad, and that we need to “carbo-load” days before events and consume sugary products during them to perform our best in athletic competitions. In addition to this, product marketing is big business in our sport and many athletes are sponsored and required to promote them on a regular basis. Eating a high fat diet and removing all refined sugars is not a popular message.


Our bodies have both a fat and carbohydrate fuel storage tank. The carbohydrate storage holds a max of 2,000 kcals, whereas our fat storage can hold anywhere from 40,000 to upwards of 100,000 kcals at any given time. Even in the leanest of athletes. So the question is why would we not want to tap into that fuel for training and racing?

Glycogen storage can be used up within a shorter span of time based on the level of effort put forth. So in order to maintain performance an athlete must continue to ingest sugar and carbs to top off the tank. This creates blood sugar and insulin spikes in the body and cause a peak and crash effect. It can also be the cause of GI issues many athletes consistently deal with. Learning to tap into your fat storage provides a constant flow of energy without spiking. With time and training an athlete is ultimately able to reduce the number of calories needed per hour which can also assist with controlling stomach problems.


So what do you need to do if you want to try it? This is simple. Stop consuming anything with refined sugars and/or complex carbohydrates. That means all of it including all sugar substitutes and grains that we are all told are “healthy.” It also includes your precious training drink mixes and energy bars. When it comes to the body, it doesn’t know a healthy grain over one considered not good for you. It only knows it as a grain.

And don’t fall victim to sugar. Sugar goes by many names. The problem is almost everything that is sold in your local grocery stores has some form of this in it, especially in the middle of the section of the supermarket. You have to start reading labels. And, you have to start eating real foods. Meats, fish, nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs (yes the WHOLE EGG!), real butter, (no sugar) dairy products, vegetables, and fats such as olives, olive oils, coconut oil, avocados. Some fruits can be included*


Ok, so you decided to change your diet. Now how do you become a fat burner? This is the tough one for athletes to grasp and apply because many of them have a specific mindset on how they should be training. In order to become a fat burner you must SLOW DOWN. That’s right. You have to slow down. Fat burning takes place at an aerobic threshold pace. Another way of explaining it, you train at your sub-maximal effort.

The switch doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re a regular high carbohydrate eater your body is used to burning glycogen first. It can take several weeks to reverse this process and get your body to tap into its fat stores. You do this by changing your diet and adjusting your level of effort in training.


Let me close by stating there is no one-size fits all approach to this. For example, read here High Carb or High Fat? The Running Diet Debate. About a quarter of the population can consume and process carbohydrates quite effectively. Everyone is different and you have to figure out for yourself where you fall in the scheme of things. If you’ve been following the same pattern for quite a while now and are not seeing success in weight management or results in training and racing, perhaps changing things up in your approach to both could provide a different result.


The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney
Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz
Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich

*Much of the fruit that is grown and sold now has been highly modified (genetically) to increase the fructose sweetness, therefore you must be careful and selective when choosing to consume it. The best options are to stick with fruits considered to be low glycemic such as berries, and avoid the ones considered to be high glycemic like bananas.


Bob Seebohar’s Caffeine Protocol: the Essentials

Caffeine, a commonly used legal stimulant, is a proven effective ergogenic. It works for the improvement of performance in endurance events and pain reduction during physical activity.  You can get up to 12% (YES I SAID 12%!) improvement in endurance using it properly, which the coaches at obviously advise you to try and secure. However, the effects of caffeine and the proper use of it are often misunderstood and you may not get the best effect if you don’t follow a systematic testing regime.  Also, you may experience side effects like GI distress.

To get the maximum benefit, Seebohar wrote a caffeine protocol that we are experimenting with our athletes with. Thus far, we have had some success.

How It Works

We are going to shortly summarize the protocol here. In order to make sense of it, you must learn the caffeine content of your sources (e.g., tabs, gum, drinks) and your weight in kilograms.  You will also be better off with a caffeine taper (25% reduction per day) prior to your event, as opposed to going cold turkey.

• Coach Slayer tracked down a handy dandy lbs. to kg chart online. Google it or use this linked table to determine your weight in kilograms:

• Then take your kg and use a dose of 3-6mg of caffeine/kg about 60-90 minutes prior to your training session or race.  An example is a man weighing 80kg should take 240-480kg before their session/race.

• You can combine caffeine sources like a cup of tea or coffee once you know the  caffeine content of it as some drinks vary. We are also using Stay Alert gum at 100 mg of caffeine or Pre-Race by First Endurance at 200mg per scoop in your drink. So for the example above, one could start with 3mg/kg and work up to 6mg/kg to see if it can be tolerated.

• Once you start with caffeine you must keep it going! Thus, after your pre-race dosing, for longer events of 4+ hours, subsequent dosing during the event is done 1 to 3 mg/kg every 90-120 minutes. Try and record responses to different dosage amounts and intervals to maximize your performance in training.

• Next, apply this to your lower ranked races. Finally, have a go at your A race and watch your performance improve!

If you want help with fueling for training or racing, the coaches at TriCoachGeorgia can help. We also have resources for more in depth nutritional analysis for weight loss or gain. Next up we will discuss Seebohar’s sodium loading protocol.


My Approach to Race Nutrition for Triathletes & Runners

This week’s blog comes from a simple but brilliant post written on the Georgia forum of by one of my best triathlon buddies, the elusive Brown Dog, Doug Bachman. Actually, his wife, the less elusive but still wonderful Mrs. Brown Dog, Stephanie made a couple of good points too (i.e., you must fuel well before and after an event to have the best day and drink to thirst per one of my faves Dr. Tim Noakes). We are a very active, not always agreeable but friendly, bunch on the forum and I like to throw questions out there to stimulate discussion and flesh out opinions.

Is There Such Thing as a “Secret Sauce”

This particular topic had to do with “secret sauce” or tricks of the trade we had learned this year. Somehow my secret sauce question led back to the topic of “the best” nutritional plan. I get lots of back channel questions because of my weight loss and success with a lower calorie approach to racing. After some thoughtful discussion about how each plan has merits, it generally ended up with coaches and triathletes chiming in that there is no one method that works for everyone and, thusly, we must all find out what works for ourselves through trial and error, Doug wrote there is no “secret sauce”.

According to him, “you have to work hard and smart in training to figure out what works for you. The people who struggle with nutrition are the ones who listen to anything published by Gatorade or just do what one of their fast friends do.” Here he is absolutely right. Too many of us take the plan that was passed down from coach to coach, without properly considering the full effect on the body.

Doug stated that he “used to give detailed nutritional advice, but (he) realized that wasn’t really helping the athlete. Now (he) tell(s) them this:

Learn to train on less.

You need to know exactly what it feels like when you start to run out of fuel. Most people think they are low on nutrition when they are actually just low on energy/fitness. Eventually you will know how it feels when you need salt, fuel, or a blood sugar boost.

Learn to pace yourself.

An overwhelming number of GI problems on race day are caused by going harder than your stomach can handle.

Learn to perform well on a variety of fuels.

Train with Gatorade sometimes.  Use UCan for a month.  Eat nothing but salted boiled potatoes and drink water on a long ride.  Take in nothing but flat coca cola and salt tabs for your next 20 miler.  Use infinit.

From my experience this year, racing several HIMs on less than 200 cals and, in fact having a breakthrough race of a 4:26 on 140 calories in April, I will not dispute that we can train and race on many less calories than you might have heard or would expect. Prior to my breakout season, I personally have had solid races up to Ironman on 300+ calories per hour post swim (but I woke up in the middle of the night before race day to pound down 1000 calories) and many pros take in many more calories than I do so its not always best to do the less is more approach unless it works for you.

Personally, I hated gaining weight on big races and big training days, not to mention the horrible toll on your system so this approach works for me.  Many of us former heavy people don’t just do triathlon for podiums, but for healthy living and weight loss/management.  Not even mentioning the physical toll on your teeth and systems, even the ordinary person sees the problem with excessive sugar intake.

Pacing is also crucial. You overshoot the swim or the early bike and the later bike and/or the run could get ugly for you in many respects, especially from a GI perspective. If you want to push the pace on race day you have to push the training stress (e.g., volume and intensity) in training. You have to do your job preparing and not buy into a less is more training approach unless you are very gifted and talented.

Finally, you have to learn what fuels work best for you. Like Stephanie said, learn that race day nutrition starts the days before and ends after the race. Eat well as a rule and periodize your nutrition to your nutritional training needs.

I love the products like natural foods (e.g., bananas, raisins, dates, smoothies, etc.) and  Generation Ucan that work hand-in-hand with my general nutritional program that I share with my athletes and friends. Obviously, I am not a big fan of sugar based products, which have no nutritional value and can lead to bonking because of the insulin spikes, but some have/had success so we know the protocols and how to refine them for you. Slower burning fuels like Ucan seem to me to be the way to go, but I respect others that choose the traditional sugar-based paths of gels, blocks, and the liquid mixes (if they work in training and they don’t mind the physical toll).

One exception for me is for the elixir, coca cola, on the back half of the runs on long course triathlons. Short course triathlon is another animal and requires a separate discussion altogether, but I see far too many age groupers with a cornucopia of gel packs for a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon. Not only is that unnecessary, it slows you down and is bad for your body. You have 2-3 hours of glycogen stores for training or racing in you at any one time if you fuel well normally.

Here at we systematically work with athletes to refine their particular nutritional plans for a variety of triathlon distances and other endurance events. Though not Dieticians, both coaches have had extra coursework and study in the area of athletic fueling, healthy eating, weight loss, and weight gain. We are familiar with Seebohar‘s caffeine and sodium loading protocols and a variety of fueling strategies. We can help you along those lines as part of our comprehensive coaching package. Give us a shout and see what we can do to help you score a personal best while finding your happy weight in and out of sport!