Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. I am a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition,I teach spinning and I am CPR certified. I have finished the 2006 Boston marathon, 2006 IMFL, 2007 Ironman world Championship and I am qualified for the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I write for Triathlete magazine and I love writing for BT.com!
Member Question: Determining Liquid Consumption for the Ironman Bike
What process do I use to determine liquid consumption on the bike for an Ironman?
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Member Question from g_schotts
"What process do I use to determine liquid consumption on the bike for an Ironman?"
Not only are you fueling yourself for 112 miles of cycling but you are preparing your body for 26.2 miles of running in order to finish the Ironman. Most athletes require 20-24 ounces/hr during an endurance activity in order to meet hydration requirements. Although water keeps your body hydrated while controlling core temperature, it does not provide your body with vital electrolytes and calories. Considering that sport drinks meet both hydration and caloric needs, it is important that you plan an efficient fueling strategy to keep your body well-fueled over the course of the race.
Gatorade Endurance is generally the sport drink available to athletes at the 3-5 aid stations on the bike course. It is recommended that athletes bring along 3-4 sport bottles of their favorite sport drink on the bike, in order to minimize the need to rely on a volunteer handing you a bottle or two at every aid station.
Three, 24-28 ounce bottles of a 220-280 calorie sport drink (prepared race day morning or frozen the night before) will allow you to meet both hydration and fluid requirements for 3 hours of the IM bike - without even having to consume a gel. Depending on your predicted finish time for 112 miles of cycling and your choice of consuming gels and solid food/gummy candy, you will need to plan for two, three or four additional bottles of water/sport drink in order to meet fluid requirements.
It is recommended to use 1 bottle of your well-practiced, already prepared sport drink for the first 75-90 minutes of the bike ride (toss the bottle to free a bottle cage), the middle 60-75 minutes of the bike ride (toss the bottle to free a bottle cage) and the last 60 minutes of the bike ride.
*Be sure to stick to a plan of consuming 4-5 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes (sport drink or water) and if consuming a gel, consume every 40-50 minutes w/ 4-6 ounces of water.
If consuming solid food, consume ¼-1/3 bar every 20-40 minutes to allow proper digestion. Do not rely on gummy candy/beans/blocks to meet calorie and electrolyte needs.
Here are some other suggestions to meet fluid and caloric requirements for the other hours of riding:
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