Ironman Nutrition Plan

Bloody IMJ got me thinking.
Every “plan” I’ve ever had has ultimately failed.

Generally, I couldn’t care about carbs or calories or whatever, I just need some energy and drink.

Day sort of goes like this;

3am - porridge, coffee, banana
4am - start sipping 750ml High5 energy drink
5am - red bull. gag. Gag. Gag some more. Energy drink at 5am is foulAF
0540 - Gel.
0600 - Swim
0700 - T1
0720 - manage some water and finished farting, take a swig of decanted gels from the down tube bottle
0800 - try a gel. Or half a bar. Or jelly babies.
Then just repeat that every 30mins and drink every 15-20mins (mix of energy and water)
1230ish - T2
1300 - damn. I’ve gone through 7km, best slow down :see_no_evil: take a gel
1325 - take a drink
1350 - take a gel
1415 - what time is it? Why is that lake so long?
1445 - Jesus. Those geese are aggressive.
1510 - water, water of life, Jesus gives us the water of life
1535 - there goes sub10. Again. May as well walk this in.
1600 - Actually, that chippy in Bridgford closes at 6pm, if I want to get showered and a massage and get there, best get a shuffle on
1615 - Finished. Muted yay.
1700 - Packing car.
1720 - fish and chips are in my mouth hole.
1800 - Sat at home

Any pointers on where I can improve?


You’re predicting a 5.5hr bike split?

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That’s how my last 3 full Outlaws played out.
5hr 20min bike splits.
I’ve rounded times above.

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For me it’d start the night before. I carb and sodium load. I’m a salty sweater, so the latter has been huge for me in resolving cramps. And the former just seems sound on a number of levels. Especially as to store the carbs, you also store additional H2O (I think it’s 3:1?) so you’re getting additional on-board fluids stored up too.

I’m similar to you first thing - porridge, banana etc. I’d now add a bottle of Maurten to sip throughout setting up, etc. I also eat a bagel with peanut butter and lotus spread in transition, simply to give some extra solids in my stomach as it’s a long day (this is always >1hr before the swim).

Bike is just chopped up bars, chews, and various bits. I’ll have a Maurten bottle as well going forwards. I have historically switched to gels in the last 90mins, but not sure with Maurten now in the mix. Fluid is PH1500.

I’ve historically relied on gels on the run. Used to use Gu. Will make it easier now they do good ones on course.


T1? Or before the swim?
I did similar for cancelled Outlaw and 113.
Found it a bit easier than porridge.

Your plan seems fairly flexible.
Do you work out roughly what you need, stick that in your bento box and try and get through it?

Mine goes like this.

Eat breakfast at hotel, trip to loo, breakfast gone.
Walk to swim, gel.
Swim, thinking ‘man I’m hungry, those jelly fish look tasty’

T1 swig of something

Bike- sip from ‘bomb’ with 10 decanted gels in and swig from BTA
water bottle DON"T GET THEM CONFUSED! repeat 1,000 times, lose all feeling in teeth.

Nibble on a bar just to get the taste of something different.

T2, fuck me, are the chip shops open already, is that what I can smell?

Run start, it’s definitely chips but no worries, I’m having a gel and some congealed ‘something’ from the aid station.

Run out of town, that’s better, I can’t smell those chips,

Run into town, ‘man those lights look cosy, look at their puff jackets, I want one of those, that fucker is eating chips, in front of me!’

Run out of town, ‘oh those cosy warm beer drinking, chip eating bastards don’t know what they’re missing, look at me, I’ve a handful of stale Pretzels’

Back in Town, ‘they’re still bloody eating, and they look happy, maybe if I act like a seagull they’ll give me a chip.’

Out of town, I don’t need them, or their chips, I just just need this cold, dark, barely lit road to help this gel go down, made even tastier by all the people I can see walking home who have finished their race’

Back in town, 'good, they are thinning out a bit, I hope they are all throwing up.

Out of town, 'I sure could use some company, those people weren’t that bad. wow, that kid should be in bed by now, hmmm bed, I’d like to go to bed now, with some hot chocolate and a pastie, I wonder when that pastie shop closes?

back in town, ‘finishing now and everything is shut, I could eat a fucking horse’

Finish chute, 'yeah yeah I’m special blah blah, where’s my medal?

Finish tent, ‘what’s that mate? No thanks, not really hungry now’

(mooches out to a near empty car park to pick up bike’)


That’s absolutely brilliant :clap:t3::rofl::clap:t3:

Hitting the Red Bull at 5am is waaaay to early for that sort of a caffeine hit for me.

Similar on the bike.

On the run - assuming aid stations are 5km apart - I always carry a gel, squeeze it down approaching aid station. Walk aid station taking on some fluids to wash down gel, hydrate & take on a few more carbs. Pick up gel for emergency or for approach of next aid station…repeat.

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Could you explain the so many calories before the start thing, when would you have used them? surely your glycogen is near full, just a little bit of liver glycogen lost from sleeping - but even then I can’t imagine you slept much so probably only a few hours worth?

If it’s just so you can start digesting to replace as soon as you’re swimming, then it doesn’t seem to need to be so much, or so far before?

Of course never done an ironman, can’t actually advise, just seems odd to add a load of weight and stomach bloat for a long day of exercise?

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A normal start time :-
am porridge coffee, shit, coffee, shit again,
energy drink, maybe a gel 15minutes before start
swim, this is fun
still swimming, yer this is getting boring now
still swimming, oh nearly there
T1, bite an energy bar and water
Bike, eat whatever i can, anything , bananas are good though
T2, fuck is it 3pm already, its nearly tea time, I hungry
run, I feel sick, i dont want food.
walk a lot

or Midnightman,
eat a large pizza at 4pm because the wife convinces you that you will be hungry later. Oh and a bowl of pasta.
6pm race start , waddle to start with a very bloated, full stomach, water temp conveniently 23c not the 24c for non wetsuit. feel like a boil in the bag kipper…shit kippers…I feel sick.
end of lap 1 - 18:15 spew my guts up in the lake
end of lap 2 - 18:30 spew again
end of lap 3 = 18:45 spew again
lap 4…FFS how long did that take
Bike … High 5 I like that. one swig, try to empty stomach on dual carriageway but nothing in there. . water…yes that works. about an hour later, ooooh a high 5 bar I’m starving…15 minutes later spit it out with a cramping jaw and teeth glued together after trying to chew it for 15minutes.
some time after midnight
run … lets walk … fizzy cola bottles mmmm…what I wasnt sick, nice…1 giant fizzy cola bottle per lap, for 8 laps. at about 7:45 am, my teeth finally fall out. Beer passed by John. mmmm beeer :drooling_face:


I’d like to say it was from the ‘Fiction’ section but sadly not. :smile:

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You know what, I’ve never thought about it.
That’s just what people say to do, so I do it???

I mean, it’s sort of my standard breakfast (porridge or a bagel) but without the energy drink.

I’m used to a tonne of caffeine, so a Red Bull is neither here nor there.

Another excellent nutrition strategy :clap:t3::clap:t3::clap:t3:

What I’m getting here, is that everyone fails and nobody has a proper plan - just a rough outline :muscle:t3::+1:t3:


I properly planned for a half in Austria, 3 gels an hour on bike, 3rd one caffeine. Had 2 bottles of drink as well (2.45 bike iirc), and run gel every 30minutes, so 3 of them although the segments of orange on the run were a nice addition and unplanned for.

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I recommend trying Clif Bloks margarita citrus flavour, taking one every 5-10 minutes. They have sea salt so not too sweet and plenty of sodium. Easy to store and eat. Managed to take on 137g of carbs per hour the other day with those and High5 drink and run after, without any nasty surprises.

Starting to think all my teeth will be falling out soon though. Have started brushing teeth between bike and run in brick sessions!

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That should be included in the official programme for Wales 2021. Nailed it! (Apart from the jellyfish - which scared me witless- but you’ve lived in Oz…”call that a jellyfish?”). :clap:


What is Lotus Spread?

No plan survives first contact with the ‘enemy’.

But, in my experience, if you can’t palate any nutrition on the bike, you’re going too hard.


Remember Wales, evening before with brother and g friend at the fish and chip shop. Ordered a few beers, crammed down my meal, ate some of theirs, few more beers. Pudding. Brother said, ‘ I’m not sure what this Ironman is, but it doesn’t look too healthy to me’ lol