Hey there! If you’re training for a Ironman 70.3 or IM and not sure about to fuel on the bike and/or the run – this is the blog for you!
At Nutrition Works, one of the most common statements our Sports Dietitians make is “Train the Way You Race”. We want to ensure not only are you fuelling your body and brain during training sessions, so you can maintain good energy levels and stick to your training program, but also establish a solid race nutrition routine so come race day, it’s second nature on what to fuel with, when to fuel and how much.
Here are some basic guidelines for long rides and runs. Remember – there are many ways to fuel, your race nutrition plan may be very different to your training partner, as long as you can finish sessions strong and feel comfortable, it’s all good!
Training Rides >90 minutes
- Fuel beforehand, no excuses. Anything that contains carbohydrates (CHO) is beneficial.
- Aim for high nutrient carbs such as fresh fruit, yoghurt, smoothie, toast or oats.
- During the ride – plan ahead. Factor in getting lost, hot conditions, headwinds slowing down on the return trip, etc..
- Aim for a minimum of 30g CHO per hour and approx. one bidon of fluid per hour. Most athletes require 60g CHO/hr and high level athletes can aim for 90g (however this requires the right mix of glucose and fructose, a Sports Dietitian from our Nutrition Works team can assist with this).
- A 750ml bidon of sports drink will provide ~45g CHO, plus necessary fluids and electrolytes.
- Food items that provide 20-30g CHO include gels, white bread sandwiches, fruit filled bars and Turkish delight. Remember gels are pretty much essential on the run so having something different on the bike can reduce the risk of gelly belly and flavour fatigue.
Training Runs >90 minutes
- While the guidelines are the same, fuelling and drinking on the long runs isn’t so simple.
- Practise drinking, even it’s only small amounts, get your gut used to tolerating fluids.
- Use a fuel belt or a camel bak, run laps with fluids left in your car, or run along paths with frequent water fountains.
- Sports drink, gels and lollies are the best options for CHO on the run.
Happy training everyone, we look forward to seeing you out there!
Written by Simone Allen, Accredited Sports Dietitian and Director of Nutrition Works