Home Training for a Triathlon

Nutrition and stomach upset during ironman

I've done ironman wales foe the last 3 years, but each time I've had stomach cramps etc., particularly on the run last year. I've trained with home made food, using the on course nutrition as well but it's annoying that it's occurring no matter what I do. I've made my own flapjack. Can anyone tell me how they've got around it? Cheers, Stuart


  • Hi Stuart, have you looked at your carb per weight in pounds, they say 0.6-0.8g per Ib of body weight on the bike and half that on the run. it maybe that you are over compensating with carb and causing GI stress in the gut. It works for me!

    Good luck in Sept!

  • Should be eating on race day what you've been eating during your training sessions - don't try anything new. Try and find out what your next race is offering at feeding stations and start practicing consuming those foods.

    Practice eating on the bike/take brief moments to walk during your running session to practice walking through the feeding stations.

    Better to eat lightly and frequently rather than big quantities of food. You want to eat enough to get you to the next feeding station.

  • stusurfstusurf Posts: 3
    Thanks for replying guys. I have trained using what's on the course, buying the same flavour, etc. but perhaps I'm trying to get too much in.

    Looking at what Garry says, I'm 86kg, so it translates to 113g of carbs per hour. What ratio of solid/liquid do you use?

    I'm probably guilty of over eating on the Saturday to settle nerves - would too much fibre also have an effect in the run up to race day?
  • 2220 magazine has an article somewhere on how to fuel for an Ironman, it split the 122 mile cycle into various segments suggesting what to take on for fuel.


  • I had a great deal of trouble on the Outlaw (my first Full Distance Ironman type event)  this year with stomach cramp and taking on food.

    Normally on a normal ride, I have no problem eating and drinking, however on this ride I found food really difficult and gagged repeatedly when eating bars. Gels were fine, but I had really bad stomach cramp throughout.  Ultimately i didn't take in enough food and the inevitable bonk happened at about mile 90 after which I was on empty for the run.

    The run therefore was a disaster.

    Any tips on what works for others, would be greatly received.

    A friend of mine used 15gels in water in a bottle which he drunk steadily throughout the ride and topped up on water and iso.

    He still suffered on the run though!

    Any help greatly received.


  • I set my gps/watch to alarm every 20-mins to trigger fuel intake.

    I take my time to swallow the fuel as I do in training and not gulp it down in a rush.

    Small amounts regularly reduced my tummy issues significantly.

  • Stusurf,


    I'm a registered SENr Nutritionist and have had several Ironman clients.


    Like people have said above, lots of it is down to finding something that suits you and using that in your training to train your gut. What do you use in your home made stuff? Also, usually you can find what the organizers are providing before hand so practicing with the specific brand can help you get used to it to.


    I do have a race day approach from previous clients if you'd like to have a look? If you do, drop me an email to [email protected]cenutrition.co.uk  and I'll send over a copy. 

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