Ironman Los Cabos Nutrition Report

This is the first time I’ve posted a separate nutriton report, mainly because I finally got it right! The most critical for me is getting the bike nutrition right, since you can’t take nutrition on the swim, and you just take in what you can on the run (I take only liquid calories in the form of coke and pepsi, maybe a gel if variation is needed). For my full race report click here.

Ironman Food!

In the past I’ve only taken in around 400 cals/hour (mainly because I didn’t think I needed more than that). Through some initial (and quite experimental) metabolic testing I knew that if I was going to push hard on the bike, I’d need to take in over 500 cals, preferably more. So I lpanned my nutrition out, tested it several times on training rides and then in my Ironman rehearsal workout 3 weeks before race day. During my rehearsal, I managed to take in over 650 cals/hour but in cold conditions. I figured that around 550 would be ok in the heat.

I’ve got to say it all went very well. Here is a breakdown of both my pre-race and during-race nutrition:

 Pre Race
During the taper I ate lots of veggies, a high % of protein, but very little red meat and no processed carbs (the only carbs came from fruit and veggies). From the Thursday I started eating a higher % of carbs, mainly rice & oatmeal, no gluten or fiber. I think the no gluten paid off well, even though I have no official gluten issues, it seems to make it easier on my GI system to process other foods.

Friday: HUGE bowl of oatmeal with whey protein, some eaten at breakfast and some at lunch. Rice and tuna mid afternoon, and a light dinner of rice and vegetables.

Saturday: Pancakes for breakfast, rice and veggies for lunch, light dinner of rice and vegetables. Some rice bars during the day, and a bowl of oatmeal just before bed.

Race morning: “race day rice pudding”: 1 cup white rice mixed with 1 x EFS liquid shot kona mocha flavor.
1 x Starbucks frappuccino (you buy this in a glass bottle)
Cup of coffee (double espresso with hot water AKA Americano)
3 scoops IM perform, sipped frequently between leaving home and starting the swim
1 x gu gel 45 mins prior to swim
1 x gu gel 15 mins before swim

Bike: 5:07 243 watts normalized power, avg HR 140 bpm link to TP file

Approx 2820 cals, 560 per hour
– 200g maltodextrin, 100g fructose, 2 x IM perform scoop, 2 x nuun in Shiv bladder (1350 cals)
– 2 scoops IM Perform, 1 scoop Scivation Xtend (BCAA) + some fructose between the bars (200 cals)
– 2 x clif bars, broken into 6ths, in the bento (500 cal)
– 12 x gummy worms (390 cals)
– 2 packet cola blocks (380 cals)
– water to thirst

Garmin set to beep every 5 mins. Alternate every 5 mins food with gel in Shiv Fuelselage (bladder). eg
0:05 – 1/6th Clif
0:10 – 1 sip from bladder

I first finished the Clif bars, then moved onto the powerbar cola chews and gummy worms

I left a bike bottle filled with Coke in T2, and then just refilled that with Pepsi from the aid stations. I did that on the go, I didn’t stop once on the run. Total run nutrition
– about 3-4 liters of pepsi (no idea really, just kept sipping every 2 mins)
– 1 x clif shot bloks Margarita flavor (180 cals)
– 1 x gu gel
– drank water to thirst

Overall I was very happy with my nutrition. I took in a lot of calories on the bike with no gastric distress, and I got through the whole race with zero toilet stops (first time ever).  Next step is to get this right for Kona, which means taking a similar approach but practicing it a lot in hot weather. Los Cabos was almost as hot as Kona but not as humid which makes a big difference.