I have been a personal trainer for eight years and a tri/endurance coach for five years. During that time I have trained several athletes for whom sports must fit into very busy lives. My clientele are full time mothers, office workers, schoolteachers, and entrepreneurs whose working and personal lives come before their sports.
Your First Ironman - Nutrition Guidelines
Planing a successful nutrition strategy of fueling for your first Ironman triathlon.
By Dara Wittenberg
8 oz. of water at turn around if offered.
1 Gel at the turn around (carried in cuff or leg of wetsuit)
12 oz of plain water during first 20-30 minutes of bike. It is best not to take in anything other than water when first on the bike, just so you can settle down.
At 20-minute intervals from then on, your calorie intake should be about 100 calories, so that it equals about 200-300 cals per hour (for an average woman of about 145-150lbs. For heavier men, this could be increased up to 300-450 cals/hour). Practice with this!!!!
Your calories can be in any combo of solid or liquid nutrients. If you are not going to drink the race Gatorade, plan to eat your gels with water in between aid stations and have those bottles finished by the time you get to an aid station.
As discussed, it would be best for you to walk through the aid stations to ensure sufficient hydration and nutrition.
Use the same formula as above.
Plan of GU and sports drink will be to alternate, just like on the bike. With Gel take in the water, and without the Gel take in the Gatorade.
Plan on 2-3 GU’s per hour.
This equals: 24 oz of water per hour, 24 oz of Gatorade per hour, 3 GU’s per hour (300 calories)
If you are going to use your own sports drink, you will need more of it than you can carry in bottles. One way around this is to mix a very thick bunch of it and put it in a clear bottle. Mark off serving sizes on the bottle, and then you can add one serving to an empty bottle + water from the aid stations. Your bike will be lighter, and you will have your special drink! BUT, you must practice this and be very careful how you mix and measure your drink - too rich and you will get GI distress, too thin and you won’t get enough calories. Start practicing now!
Your nutrition/hydration plan could like this:
After your initial 20 minutes with just plain water,
1st 20 minutes: one serving Gel (roughly 94-100 cals) + at least 8 oz of water.
2nd 20 minutes: half bottle of sports drink (roughly 100-150 cals)
3rd 20 minutes: one serving of Gel + at least 8 oz of water.
And just keep alternating. If you plan on eating solid food, substitute it for the Gel. Do not mix sports drink with other calories as it will be hard for your stomach to digest this mixture.
Generally, we can tolerate more calories on the bike than the run, so if possible, practice with more calories early in the bike ride. By the time you get to the run, it is going to be very difficult to tolerate solid food, or even gel. So stock up early!
It is a very good idea to add some table salt to your sports drink, as this will aid in electrolyte balance and in a reduction of water loss.
If you do not like the taste of the additional salt, you may take sodium tabs (up to 1000mg per hour)
Should you chose to take tabs, Endurolytes (from www.e-caps.com) are very good and contain the following:
100 mg of Sodium Chloride
25 mg of Magnesium (Chelate)
50 mg of Calcium (Chelate)
25 mg of K (Chelate)
6.6 mg of B-6
1.6 mg of Manganese
Plan to take 2 tabs 1 hour before swim start. Once out of the water, take another 3 every hour.
Total liquid intake per hour should be 1.5-1.75 bottles of water or sports drink per hour (36-42 oz)
Remember to race within yourself and follow your pacing plan. Do not be tempted to run anyone else’s race. Use your HR to guide you, if you have been training with a monitor. Whatever happens, use your mind as well as your body to deal with it, as a race this long is not won, or finished, by just being fit enough.
Created for T3Coaching by Dara Wittenberg and Denny DePriest, coaches and triathletes.
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