Let’s chat about nutrition, when it comes to a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon. I will also chat about Ironman Triathlons, Olympic and Sprint Triathlons in the next couple weeks.
We will chat about the 5 W’s, and will post 2 – 5 tips regarding nutrition within the triathlon. So let’s chat today about:
Details of a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon
Who Does a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon? My suggestion is that you have been doing Sprint Triathlons and Olympic distance triathlons for over a year now. You have probably done a 13.1 Marathon, and maybe even did a full marathon. You feel comfortable at least in 2 out of 3 of the sports.
What is the distance of a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon? 1.2 Mile Swim/56 mile Bike/13.1 mile Run
When are 70.3 Ironman Triathlons? Year Round!
Why do a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon? If you want to do a 70.3 Ironman but don’t have time for an Ironman Triathlon, 70.3 IM is the best for your time. I think training for a 70.3 Ironman has got to be the “easiest” on your schedule, IF you are craving to go long.
Four Tips on Nutrition for your 70.3 Ironman Triathlon:
1. What do you consume during the race? Everyone is DIFFERENT!! I chatted briefly about this in the Olympic distance triathlon, as it truly does depend on when you finish, BUT the body will start needing calories after 75 – 90 minutes of exercise so you will have to consume calories.
There are “two” different ways to take in nutrition:
- CHO (Carbohydrate) based: The race will on average clock 4:30 – 7 hours, so you will need some type of CHO. The body can only store enough CHO in the form of glycogen to last 60 – 90 minutes. I have seen athletes consume: PB&J, Beef Jerky, Liquid Calories (See Below), PayDay, Fritos, Bananas, or Breakfast tacos with eggs and bacon. HA! BUT you truly need to figure out what works for you! I personally train with EFS Pro from First Endurance. I have trained with other liquid calorie types of CHO as there are many out there.
- Utilizing your Fat Storage: This is a COMPLETELY different blog. I talked briefly about it when I was using Generation UCAN. Check out Bob Seebohorn’s video about Fat Utilizing and Generation UCAN.
2. When do you take your nutrition for the 70.3 Ironman Triathlon? Let’s break this down as we head into the workout.
- Pre-Swim: You may want to consume something about 30 – 45 minutes before the swim. You can do a gel, a banana, etc. Whatever your body can handle before a race. I would NOT do something “new” on race day. I decided to try orange juice before the World Championship Duathlon and was throwing that up on my bike! HA!
- During the Bike: Consuming calories on the bike will be the key for you. I suggest to athletes that whatever you do for your bike nutrition, you MAY want to “change” it for the run nutrition, as you may get “sick” of your nutrition. I will have my watch go off every 15 minutes on the bike. I will either take in my nutrition, water, or my supplements. I will focus on taking in at least 240 calories/hour. This is 6 scoops of EFS Pro, and is based on my weight, what I have tried in training, and what works for me. You need to do the same. I have seen athletes consume too many calories, and they have to get rid of it somehow; or not taking in enough, and then they are walking on the run. There is a delicate balance! PRACTICE!
- During the Run: You can always attempt to try what you would do on the course BUT try it in practice, and not race day. I will go with First Endurance EFS Liquid Shot. I will take a shot of it every 3 miles, but remember, it will take about 15 minutes for the nutrition to digest so you may want to take it in earlier rather than later. The EFS Liquid Shot has 400 calories. I truly feel that I don’t consume as much on the run as I took in plenty on the bike BUT, once again, you may be totally different. I have had athletes who can consume gels and GU like clockwork every 45 minutes.
3. Water and 70.3 Ironman Triathlon. Yes, you need to drink your water BUT you need to drink water based on when you are thirsty. Some athletes will start drinking water WAY ahead of needing it, and this may actually hinder your race. Remember, a lot of it depends on the time that you are out there, the weather, etc. But the BIG reminder: Drink water when you are thirsty. (Check out Timothy Noakes’ interview HERE. Timothy Noakes has written a lot about hyponatremia.)
4. YOU need to figure out what works for you! Remember, your favorite Pro Athlete and best friend will consume differently than you will. Please do not do 20 gels for a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon on the run just because the Pro did it.
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