70.3 race-day nutrition advice

Confused about bike and run nutrition for your first 70.3 and wondering whether to use gels or foods like flapjacks, and if you should carry just electrolyte drinks or one water and one electrolyte? Mark Kleanthous gives us his opinion


When you’re on the bike, solid foods such as energy bars and flapjacks are a great option, as food is more digestible. During the run, it’s best to stick to easily digestible nutrition such as energy chews, drinks and gels. Carry as much electrolyte drink as you can and pick up water from the feed stations.


Energy gels versus energy bars

Ironman nutrition: what to carry on the bike

Eating too many solids on the run can cause gastric distress. It’s important to find your limit of how much food you can take on during a race to avoid overloading your gut. Taking on calories little and often will limit the amount of food sloshing around in your stomach, which could lead to painful bloating.

The biggest nutritional mistake you can make is not having a plan that works for you, so practise feeding in training to learn what your body can tolerate. You also need to learn how to adapt your nutrition plan for changes in weather conditions, as warmer temperatures mean you need to take on more fluids. Your nutrition plan must be tried and tested so you’re operating on autopilot come race day, while constantly listening to your body and the way calories affect you.


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