Friday, September 23, 2011

Ironman Race Day Nutrition

Ironman is a long day, made only much longer if nutrition is screwed up. The following is my Challenge Henley race day nutrition. I had no stomach issues and I credit that to the ZipVit products I use.

I typically eat breakfast 3 hours before the race starts. This usually means an ungodly hour to wake up, but I like my breakfast to be digested before I set out sprinting in the water when the gun fires. Breakfast consisted of oatmeal, a banana and one piece of bread with butter. I never drink coffee before I ride at home, so I don't drink it before I race.

30 minutes before SWIM:
1 ZipVit orange gel

On the BIKE:
On the bike I started with two bottles of fluid - each had 1 pkg of ZipVit Energy Drink Elite in them. After I used these up I switched to water for drinking. I have never used High5 (the drink on the course) and didn't really want to take a chance that my stomach might not like it. Every 20 minutes I took in some ZipVit gel (all non-caffeine). At the top of each hour I took half a bar - I did this four times, for a total of two full bars. An hour before I got off the bike I grabbed part of a banana and took my Caffeine ZipVit gel. As I mentioned in my race report, I had a section on the bike where I felt I was going backwards between miles 85-95. I should have probably had a minimum of 200 more calories on the bike. The weather was cool (43F when I started the bike, 58F when I got off), so I was not overly worried about electrolytes. I took one salt tablet on the bike once I switched over to water.

On the RUN:
Onto the run and I had three ZipVit gels with me when I started - an orange, black currant, and cola (caffeine). Multiple flavors helps me make sure I don't get sick of them and therefore continue eating them. I finished those three in two laps (13 miles), where I then picked up two more gels. (Each gel has 200 calories). I drank water the entire run, until the final lap when it was all about Coke, Coke, Coke! On the final loop I also ate part of a banana.

In the past I took in a lot more caffeine on the bike, and I actually think this hindered my racing (I would end up feeling sick - almost as if I had the flu). So this time I decided to back way off on the caffeine and try to use it sparingly and more toward the end of the race when I really needed it. I think this worked well for me.

If you have any specific questions about my race nutrition feel free to email me. For those of you who live in the UK - ZipVit products can be found here.