Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fueling the Body During an Ironman Pt 2

It still hasn’t completely sunk in that the Ironman is over and done with. My nutrition plan the past few days after the race as involved a lot of burgers and McRibs but that will end after this weekend. As a follow-up to the nutrition plan during the race, here’s feedback on what actually happened during the race and how I felt.
Breakfast/Pre-Race (1040 calories/206 grams carbs/2006 mg electrolytes)
Actual: I woke up around 4:45am and had the first Hammer nutrition bar consumed within 5 minutes. The second was finished right before I left the hotel around 5:20am. I sipped the Gatorade throughout this period along with the EFS Liquid shot on the car ride over to the race. I finished the EFS Liquid shot and had about a third of the Gatorade left.
Right Before Swim
  • 200mg caffeine pill
  • Finish off 32oz Gatorade
Actual: Right before heading into the swim start, I took the caffeine pill and finished the Gatorade. While waiting to enter the water, they had water so I drank about a cup worth before jumping into the lake. Felt good at the swim start, meaning not feeling I was too full or on the flip side, not fueled up enough. 1000 calories seemed like the perfect number.
Transition 1 (280 calories/38 grams of carbs/839 mg electrolytes)
Actual: The swim felt great and I didn’t have any hunger pangs getting out of the water. While I was putting on the bike gear, I started to drink the Zico and eat the Hammer Nutrition bar. I chugged the rest of the Zico before heading into the bike area. I forgot to take the caffeine gum.
Bike (Total: 3100 calories/709 grams carbs/9,098 electrolytes)
  • Hydration: 40 oz of Lime Accelerade (sipped every 15 minutes): 480 calories/84 g carbs/620 mg electrolytes
  • Nutrition: Two 24oz water bottles with 3 Flasks of EFS Liquid Shot in each diluted with water (sipped every 20 minutes) 2,400 calories/600 grams carbs/8,460 mg electrolytes
  • One Hammer Nutrition Almond Raisin Bar (at 3:00 hrs) 220 calories/25 grams carbs/18 mg electrolytes
  • One Stay Alert Caffeine Gum every 2 hours
Actual: I was pretty consistent with sipping the Accelerade every 15 minutes and sipping nutrition every 20 minutes. I ran out of the Accelerade at about the 95 mile mark and had to re-fill the Speedfil with Ironman Perform (Ironman’s version of Gatorade). I drank maybe about 16 oz of this the rest of the race. I had about 6-8 oz left of the EFS Liquid shot mixture. I ate the hammer nutrition bar at around the 2:50 mark. I ended up only doing one piece of caffeine gum. For some reason, I didn’t really enjoy the taste of the gum being mixed with the Accelerade or EFS Liquid Shot. The cooler weather helped a lot with not feeling dehydrated which may have decreased my need for electrolytes as I started to feel bloated toward the end of the bike.
Transition 2 (160 calories/37 grams carbs/941 mg electrolytes/50 mg caffeine)
  • 1 Zico Coconut Water (60 calories/13 grams carbs/821 mg electrolytes)
  • 1 Jelly Belly Sport Bean Packet (100 calories/24 grams carbs/120 mg electrolytes/50 mg caffeine)
Actual: Still had the bloated feeling from the bike. I chugged the Zico and ate the Sport Beans while changing shoes.
Run (2,018 Calories/496 carbs/7557 mg electrolytes)
  • Hydration: One 50 oz Camelback Fairfax (sipped every 15 minutes) with 2 Nuun Hydration Tablets/water: 18 calories/0 carbs/1,437 mg electrolytes)
  • Nutrition: 4 EFS Liquid Shot Flasks (sipped every 20 minutes): 1600 calories/400 grams carbs/5,640 mg electrolytes
  • Jelly Belly Sport Beans (1 pack per hour): 400 calories/96 carbs/480 mg electrolytes/200 mg caffeine
Actual: I was still feeling pretty bloated from the bike nutrition so I didn’t take anything in until about 45 minutes into the run where I started to sip the Nuun about every 10 minutes. I then started to take sips of the EFS Liquid Shot every 20 minutes. About halfway through the run, I started to also take regular water at a few aid stations as well as RC-Cola. I think I went for the Cola for the change in taste and to start getting some caffeine in. At some stops, I would mix the Cola with the EFS Liquid Shot and the result was something that tasted close to Vanilla coke. I didn’t eat the Jelly Belly Sport Beans until about mile 18. Only had one packet. At the end of the race, I had about 6-8oz left of the Nuun in my Camelback and only used one and half flasks of the EFS Liquid Shot. No feelings of muscle cramps, thirst, or “dead leg” after the run was completed.
Overall
This was my first stab at an actual Ironman race nutrition plan so I was pretty satisfied with the results. At the end of the race, I felt like I had some left in my body’s energy reserves and didn’t feel like I was overly dehydrated. I’ve mentioned that the race seemed like a blur because I was so focused on the nutrition plan and watching my clock to make sure I was eating/drinking when I needed to. I think this helped to break the race into 10-15 minute mental “chunks” as opposed to thinking of it as a 140.6 mile day. A few lessons learned from this race is that I will have to play around with the electrolyte counts a bit more to avoid the bloated feeling I had at the end of the bike/beginning of the run. I learned that I will have to find another source for caffeine as as the Stay Alert gum wasn’t favorable to the palate when mixed with the Acclerade/EFS Liquid Shot. I also learned that I don’t necessarily need as many calories on the run as I had originally thought. It will be interesting to see the adjustments that will be made when I do a standalone marathon and translate that back to an Ironman race in 2012.

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