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70.3 nutrition advice

hi all, signed up for my first half, its only 2 months away so might struggle a bit on the run!!! buts its a charity one so not really a race for me. obviously gonna try my best
has anuone got some bombproof nutrition advice?
Just read one article and it says just drinking a proper sports drink will cover all needs rather than needing any gels? is this true? are gels just an "emergency" plan to get some instant energy?
Any advice welcome


  • Hi there,

    ok, it's simply a matter of numbers. You will need somewhere between 60 and 90 ish g of carbs per hour - doesn't matter what format, liquid fuel or gels (gels are certainly NOT just an emergency fuel source). You need to practice with these tho in training (personally I like Hi Five or SIS and think that ZipVit should come with a 'unfit for human consumption' warning). But of course you need to drink plenty of fluid too so a number of bottles of carb fuel and a few gels should do the trick on the bike and water and a gel or 2 on the run - but work out how long you think the race is going to take you and then work out how much liquid/ how many gels you'll need. I mix and match flavoors as some can be pretty sickly after ingesting for hours on end. Try the Hi 5 website - they have some good free downloads for 'racing faster' for tri - obviously using their products. Any help?
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    I dont think there is such a thing as bombproof advice especially with nutrition as its such an individual subject. In fact even what works for you one day may not work on another if there has been a change of circumstance such as illness, lack of sleep or not eating properly prior to the race etc.

    Usual advice is try it in practice not on race day n two months should be enough time?
    Not being very bright I kept it simple and did this...
    Do a 3hr + ride using just a sports drink and see how you feel. If after 2hrs you're on your arse reach for the gels/flapjack/choclate and make a note/remember it didnt work and adjust as required.

    I believe gels are more of a easy supply of energy than emergency use. If you're reaching for emergency energy its too late and something has gone wrong like a lost water bottle, missing a feed (snack whilst on bike) or pushing too hard.

    Experts have proper nutritionalist and everything measured....sometimes we just need to keep it simple at our level.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    you've got two months to get it practised and perfected for yourself, everyone's nutrition is unique to them. Rule of thumb is that 1g of carb per kilo of bodyweight per hour.

    Generally - 1 gel every 30mins or alternating with energy drink / H5/ Nuun etc.

    Rememeber also you should try and train to food available at the aid stations - incase you get caught out and have to rely on the aid stations. That way if you've trained using them then you'll have no issues come race day.

    You should use your long ride to nail your nutrition down.
  • fire trifire tri Posts: 173
    cheers for advice upto now guys,
    didnt mean emergency in should a dramatic way lol
    i was hoping to do it in 6 hours, but after doing wilmslow half marathon earlier in the year and taking 2 hours for just that I think I may need a re think on realistic time for me lol
    1g per kg bodyweight blimey i'm gonna need a lot then
    good advice about going on the 3 hour ride and seeing what happens and making note of that, hadnt even thought of that cos my rides havent been that long in a while and cos not in an event I just trundle towards the end!!!
    I'm no where near gonna be winning, although only 2 of us in at the moment lol, but would like to do as fast a time as i can, any tips on pacing, i was thinking of just going off heart rate for this as if i stay under 160 i feel fine, think if i did this on the bike i wouldnt be killing mself for the run
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Depends on the gels - you need to see what the event use and find out how many carbs it carries. Also your energy drink contains carb, thats what I alternate between drinks ie energy drink/ H5 Zero.

    This means you should your optimum requirements. Remember, you can't replace what you take so you are only delaying the fatigue. The 1g of carbs is a rule of thumb
  • LancsRiderLancsRider Posts: 205
    I have just finished reading Chris McCormack's 'I'm Here to Win', in which he has opened up my thinking on the area of nutrition, so here is some of his thoughts not mine.

    One thing that came across in the book is that as we are working harder i.e. as out heart rates increase then blood moves away due to muscular demands and into our muscles and away from the linning of our stomachs. As this happens it becomes harder and almost impossible for us to take in energy through our stomach walls from complex / semi-complex carbohydrates, the result is we don't want to eat bars / take gels etc at worst we will throw them back up again as we can't process them. His answer at Hawaii was to keep his heart rates low on the bike to enable himself to continue to digest carbs from bars etc.. and when he pushed on hard in the run to go to the simplest form of glucose readily available out there coke washed down with water. It took him four attempts and failures at Hawaii to work this out going against advice he was given from 'white coats' in labs.

    The point I am trying to introduce is that if you can keep in control your heart rate then you have more options open to you such as what is available in the feed stations. If you push on hard or like many you start to get heart rate creep through the course of the event, possibly through dehydration as a main factor, then your stomach will slowly shut down. This is much as a physilogical factor for a first timer at half-ironman as it is for a top age grouper racing. The thing to know is follow the advice given and practice a strategy during training, but remember it is impossible to replicate what will happen in your event, only experience of a number of events in different conditions will give you this individual experience. From your post it seems that finishing time is not a big factor, the advice therefore is be prepared to simplyfy thing as you go through the event moving from possibly solids through to gells and onto simple liquids. Keep the carbs going in and try not to get into an emergency position where you are running low or out of energy. If you do be prepared to slow down / walk sections, there is no shame in that, simply to get your heart rate down so you can get what you are eating back into your system to see yourself through the latter stages and on to a satisfying finish. Best of luck with your event, hope this helps a little.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Cavaet - Macca's nutrition was developed as he is oner of the "bigger" guys and realised that smashing the bike then struggling on the run would end in disaster. He realised that to do well in Kona he needed to maintain a better pace on the bike and therefore leaving him fresher for the run.

    He then developed the strategy of keeping the HR low so to enable him to fuel/ power his way on the run.

    This goes back to my point that everyones nutrition is different and its trial and error. I've previously tried to use a liquid only nutrition strategy as I hate gels..
  • fire trifire tri Posts: 173
    How did you get on only using liquids then?
    I don't mind the gels but dont use em that much cos most of the time dont have the water to go with em!!!!

    I'm a bigger guy so I'm in a similar boat, I'm 6ft 3 and weigh 14st 10 at the moment, hopefully drop a bit to hopefully make the running easier!!!!
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