Jen Rulon

Race day is around the corner. It may be your first Ironman Triathlon or your 6th Ironman 70.3 Triathlon. You are STOKED. You have done the training. You have put the time and effort in the pool, on the road and in the running shoes. #BAM, you got this!


Gun goes off.

You ROCK the swim.

You get on the bike. Your nutrition is like a the “buffet” line and you grab what is on the course. Bike is finished.

The run is your thang or so you thought. Body isn’t feeling good. You want to throw up but you opt to walk instead.

You crossed that finish line but super disappointed.

What happened? Where did things go wrong?

I have one word for you and maybe you have already figured it out:


Race Day nutrition is a VERY challenging concept for an Ironman Triathlon and an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon but with some trial and error, planning, along with getting information from the right people, I can guarantee that you will NOT have an issue on the race course.

Let’s talk a little bit of science and then let me give you a real life example.

There are a couple of different ways on how athletes will consume their calories for long distance triathlon.

  1. Old school way –  Utilize your carbohydrates storages to get your energy. From many studies, we know that muscle glycogen depletion has been shown to be a major cause of fatigue in moderate intensity exercise lasting longer than an hour.
  2. New school way – Utilize your fat storages to get your energy, another term that you may have heard is “Keto.”

SideNote: Remember, EVERY athlete is different for nutrition, so you have to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you. First Endurance are my peeps and they help me a TON, along with The Core Diet!


My example is my journey with Ironman Triathlons and 70.3 IM Triathlon.

I was trying to figure out what worked for me and it was getting to a point that the nutrition piece was getting complicated and I was not getting in what I needed to take in. I did everything you can imagine:

  1. Started the “Old school way:” Power Bars, Gels, Hammer Products, CarboPro, Foods such as PB&J and finally Infinite
  2. Tried the “New school way:” Generation UCAN
  3. Back to the “Old school way:” First Endurance and nutrition on the course

In the beginning, nutrition was all about trial and error and if I didn’t have any GI issues. I started reading about what other athletes were doing. Then I would try things EVEN if the original stuff was working. About 6 weeks before IMFL 2013, I started using Generation UCAN. Not the smartest idea but something needed to change. In 2015 for IMMT, I was using Generation UCAN but I needed more, since I did NOT train my body to utilize my fats properly. At IMMT, I was in the bathroom, 5x’s on the run with taking in Generation UCAN and other nutrition. I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to make a change.

I read about First Endurance EFS Pro on Slowtwitch and how Jordon Rapp used it for IMMT in 2015. I researched it, chatted with my coach and a light bulb turned on. I need to go back to basics of science…CHO is a primary food source for most athletes.

Once I started using First Endurance EFS Pro, my race day was SOLID. I didn’t have ANY GI issues at IMFL 15, IMFL 16 and numerous other races. IMTX was a TOTALLY different race. Just don’t swallow the water in the lake.

Around August 2016, I started chatting with a friend, who works with QT2 and The Core Diet. I looked at The Core Diet website and another light bulb turned on. I realized that I needed to get a full “Race Fueling Plan.” Truthfully, it was the best thing I have ever done, as this has helped me heading into IMFL 16 and just two weeks ago at 70.3 IMTX.

Ready for this? Here is what I consumed before the Ironman 70.3 TX:

Friday Night – March 31st

Pho Soup with very little vegetables

Saturday Morning – April 1st 

Scrambled Eggs


Two pieces of GF Bread

Two pancakes with syrup

Cantaloupe and coffee

Lunch – April 1st 

HUGE sandwich with GF bread and chips

Dinner – April 1st

Chicken, Rice and Gatorade

Morning (4:00 am)

1.75 cups of Applesauce with protein

EnviroKids Rice Bar


Coffee – No Butter 😃

Pre Race (6:50 am)

Huma Gel and  water

Here is my Race Info: 

Bike: I knocked out 230 calories of EFS Pro for the first and second hour, along with another bottle that was worth 170 calories. Grabbed some Gatorade Endurance, about 100 calories of that. No water. (Probably needed some gels but not there yet)

Run: First Endurance Vanilla Shot, every 15 minutes until mile 8. Base salt every other mile. Took in Coke from mile 8 to the mile 12 and pushed it in to the finish!

I took WAY more in than I ever thought possible with NO GI issues AND eating gluten before hand, and jumping on that podium at 70.3 IM TX!

So, what is the take away to this? Hire a nutritionist, who will help you figure out your nutrition, especially if you are getting ready for an Ironman Triathlon or an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon!

I did. Maybe, just maybe, it will take you to the podium…just saying.

Intersted in what The Core Diet can do for you? Click the photo below or through out this blog!


AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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