Pickens County Y Race Team


Long Distance Calories (Read 178 times)

    IronFriends, what sort of nutrition do you prefer in an event? Do you switch it up with liquid and solid calories? At what mile points do you eat? I sort of prefer liquid only, but I don't want to have to pee... although I've recently learned hardcore athletes pee with running... :O

      Number one...have a good breakfast.  Its hard for me to eat before a race, but I force myself to eat as good a breakfast as possible.


      On the bike I eat gels and some other solids including a candy bar or two to change up the taste monotomy - at the special needs point I will have a couple of pb&j sandwiches waiting on me and maybe some boiled red potatoes.  I also have a sport bottle of perpetuem that I sip on during the bike, but I can't do a completely liquid fueling for an Ironman.  I also take enduralytes if its a hot race and I'm sweating a lot.


      During T2 after the bike and before the run, I will sometimes have a bottle of Ensure there for me - but when its hot, that stuff isn't so good.  Have to close your eyes and swallow fast.


      On the run, nothing but gels and liquids - no solids for me except for some bananas and oranges at the aid stations, and then only lightly - oh, and a couple more pb&j's awaiting me at the special needs point.  But solid foods while running are typically an easy way to get an upset stomach.  However, when suffering in the late stages of the marathon portion, I have been known to take bags of potato chips and cookies from spectators.  Also, late in the race, most IM races will have chicken broth out at the aid stations - best stuff ever at that point - rocket fuel!  I'll pass the aid stations and ask "is the chciken broth out yet?"...something I look forward to.


      On both the bike and run I try and ingest a gel about every 35-40 minutes.  You get sick of them after a while and they become hard to swallow...and you crave something else - thats when I try to mix in something else for a few times.


      I used to pee while riding and running when doing the long races.  Not anymore - I figure I can stop for 30 seconds or so and take care of it.  Whats 30 seconds in a 10-12 hour race?  It takes major concentration to pee while biking and running - lot harder than I thought, but once I got it, I got it.  Also, it only took one event and a flight home to figure out that its a good idea to rinse out your race shoes after you have pee'd in them.


      I've had one IM race where I had gastrointestinal issues the entire race - from swim to completion...and lemme tell you, it was the worst thing ever.  If you've never sat in a porta potty in a jungle under the Mexican sun for 15 minutes, then you're missing out.  I swear I lost more sweat in those porta potties than I did the entire race.  Every porta potty personnel on the course knew me - I don't think i passed by a single one.   Thats was a longggggg day.


        i am far from an expert but  I would suggest having a plan and trying it out well in advance of the race. It is easy to "tough out" a Sprint or Olympic but a HIM or Ironman can really take a toll. I mostly use gels because they are easy. I find something I like and buy it in bulk. When I get tired of it I switch to something else. HIM vs. IM is night vs day. You can go 6 hours without solid food but over 12 hours you will suffer. I am convinced that most poor performances are due to poor training and not nutrition but most GI upset and misery is self-inflicted from what you ingest on the course. Don't expect some magic goo to make you go faster or perform better. Put in the work and repeat what you have done with your training. My IM plan was peanut-butter crackers, gel or a Payday candybar every 30 minutes on the bike.. On the run it was whatever was available at the aid stations which was mostly pretzels. 


        Pizzing on the bike and run? You are own your own. I have read about people doing it on the bike but never on the run. I haven't found this to be a big issue. If you don't over-hydrate you should be fine.


        I agree with everything Eric said except I don't accept food from strangers, I think Enduralytes is BS and prefer not to pizz on myself. 


        Disclaimer, Eric is a lot faster than me so pizz on


          I'm a little opposite on the Endurolytes - I swear by them in hot weather.  I can say without a doubt that they have helped me (even if its all in my mind), in particular with salt-loss enduced cramps.  They are basically little more than salt tablets...and i have a high sweat rate and fluids alone won't replenish what I lose.  The key for me is to stack them the day before the race or long training day - if you do it any sooner than that you'll start retaining fluid and bloat up.  Also,  If you wait to take them when you start cramping in the race, its too late. 


          I'm a little opposite on the nutritional factor contributing to a poor race as well...in particular in the Iron distance.  You can get away without worrying about nutrition in the shorter races, and even in the half irons to a degree - but not the full.  I would even say that nutrition is the 4th discipline:  swim, bike, run, and nutrition.   Even the best trained people who don't follow a good nutriton plan during the race will pay for it - in particular the age groupers.  I see myself as a great example of that - I've had 2 ironman races where I allowed myself to skimp on the nutrition and paid big time for it when it came down to the marathon - and I went into those 2 races believing myself to be in the best shape of my life.  And I was...but I made stupid nutritional mistakes.  Like driving a car with water instead of gas - it can be the best car in the world, but it doesn't matter if you don't put the right stuff in it. 

            For sure I'm test driving pre race...also certain, I will not be peeing myself (unless, like, Vin Diesel jogs up beside me, but that's a totally different loss of self control).

            Thinking I need to sample some gels- is there a less gaggy flavor? And liquid calories, what do you prefer? Sampling Nuun now, it's a bit salty, but doable. Also Gatorade makes a Pro Series with more stuff in it, trying that on for size.

            Thanks for your suggestions!

              I'm definitely still trying to figure out a nutrition plan for long distance races.  I know i like PB&J, snickers bars, Gu chomps and gatorade.  i just have yet to take in enough...i always forget something or don't take the time to eat enough.  I've taken 1 or 2 gels with me to every race, but i've never used one.  I don't think i ever will.  I haven't pissed myself in a race.  I don't think you should need to take a leak in a 70.3.  In the iron distance, i just ran behind some trees a couple times.  I think for beginners, solid food on the bike is fine.  that's what your stomach is most used to.  I ate Stacy's chips and fruit rollups for B2B bike ride and even though I was totally clueless, i think it helped.

              cindy m

                I HATE GU gels. Don't know why. If I can stomach the Sports Beans that's what I go with. I usually eat the beans on the odds & drink on the evens. GU Chomps are doable to me. My question...what should you eat on a full marathon race? gels, chomps, all the way or real food stashed in you're running belt?


                Haley, just pee in the water during the swim. Best of luck on the half Iron..that's awesome!!


                  I HATE GU gels. Don't know why. If I can stomach the Sports Beans that's what I go with. I usually eat the beans on the odds & drink on the evens. GU Chomps are doable to me. My question...what should you eat on a full marathon race? gels, chomps, all the way or real food stashed in you're running belt?


                  Haley, just pee in the water during the swim. Best of luck on the half Iron..that's awesome!!


                  I would only do gels and liquids at the aid stations.  Weather conditions will be important.  You may be able to get by on liquids alone and if I could do that, I would.


                  I mainly use GU products but Hammer has a new gel called "Montana Huckleberry" that is really good.  The problem with GU is that most of their product is very sweet.  I like that early on, but it gets old very quickly