Nutrition is a very important part of the puzzle when you are trying to get everything out of your body on a day to day basis and then asking it to do the unthinkable on race day. Personally I have not even really thought about my nutrition until this year.
When I was racing ITU and in University nutrition did not even enter into my train of thought. My nutrition then was eat enough no matter what it was cake, cookies, meat and the occasional green thing. I had a couple of races go up in flames because of these bad habits.
When I started to race Ironman 70.3 things started to change, slowly at first. First I got my race nutrition under control then I moved onto getting my day-to-day nutrition figured out. Here are some things I have learned and use to keep my body going.
Lets look at race nutrition first. A couple of rule I work with are 300-350 calories an hour on the bike and 200 calories an hour on the run. These numbers will go down the sorter/faster the race is. Water/electrolyte is based of how hot the weather is and how much I need but roughly 750ml and hour.
For me these race are under 1 hour so I would really only be looking to drink. I might put a little bit of 1st Endurance Liquid Shot or a Gel into my water bottle but that would be it. Your body has enough energy stores to get threw 90min of work without taking in any food.
These races would be in the 2 hour range. So I would be looking to take in about 200 calories on the bike and maybe 100 on the run if I needed it.
This is when nutrition starts to become a real factor. These races are about 4 hours (24-26min swim, 2:05-2:15 bike, 1:10-1:20 run).
-I like to take eat something right before the swim about 100 calories.
-On the bike I take in most of my nutrition as 1st Endurance Liquid Shot they come in a handy little flasks. I take in about 100 calories every 20min so 300 calories an hour. If you take in much more your gut will shut down and you will not get any nutritional value from your food.
-For the run I look to take in about 200 calories about 50 calories every 5km. I use 1st Endurance Liquid Shot but I like to water it down so that it is easier to take in with out water.
Long Course (4km swim, 120km bike, 30km run):
For the long course distance I just extend my half eating plan.
-A gel before the swim, 300 calories an hour on the bike and 200 calories an hour on the run.
I have not raced an Ironman.
When it comes to my day-to-day nutrition there are a few things that I have found really help. It is so important to eat with in 30min of your workout. I think the biggest trap that we have fallen into is protein. Protein is important in our diet but we have been pushed to take too much and have forgotten that simple carbohydrates are just as important, carbohydrates or the energy that fuels our body.
I have started to make large batches of rice/pasta/quinoa so that I have a carbohydrate ready right after my workout. Once I have had some carbs I will go and get some protein. It is simple but it works.
On top of my regular diet I take a few supplements to make sure my body is healthy. The most important one is Regenurex, it is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. This helps my body stay healthy and ready to go. To keep my immune system strong and healthy I take probiotics. On top of those I also take iron and vitamin C supplements.