I am going to use this blog to give recommendations about how to fuel during an Ironman and what I have done as well. Figuring out a nutrition plan can be rather daunting for us age groupers and tackling the question involves definitive planning. Very few of us have a nutritionist who figures out exactly how many carbs are body is able to consume per hour and writes out a whole plan. In other words, we are on our own to fuel correctly in an ironman. In the actual race one of the most important aspects is fueling right and this is what causes most people to drop out. From my perspective most pro’s fueling plans seem to be rather complex to me, such that I believe they may cause stress about things not working out. Of course the pros have many advantages that we don’t when creating there plan.
My plan is relatively simple.
Here is what I would recommend before the race starts.
1. Eat a breakfast that works for you a few hours before the race. Eat as much as you are comfortable with and don’t calculate all the calories. Just do what feels right. Avoid fiber and try to get lots of carbs in along with some fat and protein
2. Leading up to the race snack on something that works for your body and is relatively light. Should be carb based. Additionally stay hydrated but don’t over drink. Again do what feels right. Stay relaxed!
3. Get in some electrolytes right before swim, perhaps a gel and then your off.
Once on the bike your primary fueling should begin. I recommend either eating right away or waiting 20 mins if you tend to cramp up. Then eat solid food to start off with. There are still 8+ hours in the race and gels make a sloshy stomach after all that time. In order to get used to solid food, eat it on the bike in training. From here keep drinking water and an electrolyte drink. I tend to start with three bottles, one water, one electrolyte, and one carb based. I mix the carb based one with my solid food at start. From here the plan gets simple and I keep eating every thirty minutes exactly. I carry solid food for the whole ride. However, I pick up drinks from the aid stations. You will notice I avoid caffeine or any type of gel for the whole ride. This is because I like to save these for the instant energy I need when the going gets tough on the run. Always keep drinking and eating, its simple! Do what feels right for the most part and you will be good.
On the run I get food in early to sustain me for the rest of the way and transition to gels at a higher and higher frequency throughout. I try to get some fuel in at every aid station to keep me going.
As you can see, my philosophy is keep it simple. When you stress about what type of foods, and get to exact I find it constricts my mind. Food is food. It’s how one approaches the nutrition that will make it pass or fail. I use no special needs bags as food at aid stations is bountiful and saves complications. By no means am I saying my method will work for you, it is only a suggestion.
If still interested there are some much more lengthy and in detail plans from experts far more qualified than me. If you’re looking to create an exact plan as you should be look around and think about it a lot! Finally I encourage you to work on something that works for you instead of sticking just to one other ppersons plan..
My blog is a collection of topics including training, nutrition, sponsorships, and becoming the best man I can be. In addition, I write about my spiritual realizations that are intrinsic to the sport of triathlon.