Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ironman Bike Leg Nutrition

I'm working with the information that I've gained over my summer long rides and the Chesapeakeman Aqua Velo experience to fine-tune the foods that I take with me on the bike at Ironman Florida. I know I'll need somewhere in the range of 300 calories or more per hour for 7 hours, which equals 2100+ total calories. I have a short time-tested list of solid foods that agree with my stomach, that are easy to pack along, and that I can nibble on while riding fairly readily. Fortunately my stomach seems able to tolerate solid food reasonably well unless it's taken by surprise, or it's a record-breaking heat wave (over 85*F) on the bike course.

I think it was Linae that gave me the idea of plugging it all into Fitday to make sure the amounts and calories and nutrient ratios came out right. It's been interesting to tweak the amounts a little to fine-tune exactly what to bring on board.

I wish the process was this exact out on the bike course, but there are always some foods that just look too dry or too gross to eat once you start getting tired or overheated. I think I'm down to a few that have proven to work well for me, though.


Jeremy said...

"Corn Syrup, light or dark"?

nancytoby said...

Yep! Part of my home-made gel. Same ingredient as most commercial gels.

Jonathan said...

you are taking all those foods? how do plan to carry that with you?

300 calories/hour may be on the low end. average athlete requires anywhere from 300-800/hour. keep in mind that as the race goes on, you will lose your motivation to eat. so if you are targeting 300 cal/hour, by the end of the bike, you may only be taking in around 250. if you can tolerate it, i would aim for more cal/hour.

this is also very much an individual thing, so ultimately stick with what works.

nancytoby said...

It fits! In between a stuffed bento box, a gel flask, and 1 or 2 mini-sandwiches stuffed in the jersey pockets!

Yeah, I'll carry some extra and eat as much as I can! Plus any calories in Gatorade will be extra. These are similar foods (but less) than I carried at the Chesapeakeman Aqua Velo, where I also had Powerbars and Goldfish (both too dry to choke down much, for me).

Iron Pol said...

Hmmm, I was just about to make the opposite comment Jonathan made.

While an athlete might NEED 300-800 calories per hour, the body can't generally absorb that much.

There is a good column on just that in Triathlete Magazine (November, I believe). They put the absolute upper limit on absorption around 325 calories/hour, with 250/hour being more "average." It might be worth a perusal, as the authors indicate that bonking (and eating to make up the demand) is preferable to overconsumption and the associated intestinal issues.

Chris said...

Carbo-Pro, baby! I have yet to meet anyone who had any kind of GI issues because of it.

It doesn't cure the desire to chew something, but it won't leave you wanting to find the nearest porta-potty every mile either!

Kylie said...

I love carbo pro!! And great idea of using fitday to check balances. I might have to try that next time.

Comm's said...

I know you know this already nancy, but what is the average air temp, humidity and water temp on the last few races days for IMFL

nancytoby said... is from climactic data for that date in PCB.

My hunch right now is that it's going to be on the chilly side.

High about 70*F.

But that's just a wild-ass guess. Or maybe wishful thinking.