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Ironman Nutrition

Hi folks

I'm doing my first Ironman this year at Sherborne after completing Ironman UK 70.3 last year. I need some help from previous Ironman finishers regarding nutrition during the event (& during training). I am on week 8 of my 30 week training programme which is going really well. I know (and I am) eating correctly on a day to day basis, but need advise on what & how to eat on the go. My appetite has increased dramatically since my training programme has kicked in, but I feel unsure on how to best feed myself on bike/run? I normally use HI 5 Gels & Luc Sport but have you got better ideas?

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"


  • Hi there,

    I am in a similiar position as yourself in the training phase, but I can comment on the IM as I competed last year at Sherborne, and for my sins will be there again this year.

    During the Bike and Run of the IM there are so many fuel stops that you will never be without bananas, drinks or gels. I suppose the main thing to test out is to see from the IM website which flavours they are using and make sure that they agree with you.

    During the run I used a Belt with 4 small bottles, you can get them from Tri UK and Wiggle, and other places. I made sure these were quite strong mixes, just for those emotional moments when I needed a kick up the butt.

    Some people also carry the chewy bars on the bike, these can be a bit of a struggle to chew at times, cutting them up into small pieces is an option.

    Just before the swim I took 2 gels, this depends on what you can stomach, it didnt do me any harm and I felt very good going into the bike.

    Anyhow, I can't think of much more, I am sure you will be fine and good luck. By the way, what time are you gunning for?

  • ironmanironman Posts: 7
    Thanks for that, I'm aiming for 13hours how about you?
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Hi all the best for Sherbourne,I try to eat as much solid food i.e bars,bananas as early as possible ,as the race progresses my stomach finds it hard to process solids so I revert to gels and I love flat coke on the run even better if it is watered down.After a while the sticky gels etc become too sickly,some races (Austria + Switzerland)provide savoury biscuits which are ideal as they contain sodium,I have never had to take salt tablets despite what all the books seem to recommend
  • I forgot about flat coke. Thanks for the luck jon, and to ironman, I suppose a sub 12 would be nice, thats if training keeps going in the forward direction. You know what injuries are like and last year I managed to get my fair share.

    It will be a great day, one to remember I can assure you. I would recommend getting to the lake on the friday for a practice swim, it helps calm the nerves,

    Anyhow, see you there
  • ironmanironman Posts: 7
    Thanks very much for the advice Jon. I've never tried the flat coke thing so I'll give it a go in training. Good luck with the training sassigs.
  • Just done IM New Zealand (12:36:15). Pretty much used the nutrition advice at www.beginnertrithlete.com although I opted for 15 minute intervals rather than the 20 that most of the experts suggest as I just cant take on as much in one go. I also trained and raced with Powerbar drink and gels as provided by the race organisers so check to see what is going to ge at your event. The coke and snacks are great during the run too as it is a nice change from what you have been taking in on the bike.

    Drop me a line if you want any more detail.
  • Hi Ironman NZ, Going off on a bit of a tangent, where abouts in NZ was the race, I was brought up in Christchurch, Governors Bay to be exact, nice place

  • Hi there sassigs264

    Ironman NZ was in Taupo, it moved there from Auckland in the 90's I think. Warm lake swim (19 - 20 C) with a good bike course out to Reparoa and back twice followed by a pretty much flat two lap run along the lake front.

    Had perfect conditions after last years nightmare.
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