We chat customizable Ironman nutrition today with Claire Davis. Claire has designed her own triathlon nutrition race plan using Infinit Nutrition.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome onto yet another edition of The Kona Edge. We’re going to talk some Ironman nutrition today. We have a returning guest, Claire Davis, on the podcast. Claire, welcome back. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us.
CLAIRE DAVIS: Hi Brad. Thanks for having me.
The price to pay using unfamiliar Ironman nutrition
BRAD BROWN: Claire, you mentioned something in passing in our first chat. At Ironman Kona, you felt nauseous on the run, for the first 15km. You lost your nutrition bottle on the bike. Things like that happen in races unfortunately, and it’s difficult to deal with. Talk to me a little bit about exactly what happened and what the plan was and how you dealt with it on race day.
CLAIRE DAVIS: Historically, I’ve been atrocious with my race nutrition. I’m a really picky eater. So, it’s taken me a long time to find something that I like. About 12 months ago, my coach recommended a customisable energy drink called Infinit Nutrition.
With Infinit Nutrition you can basically change up how much flavour, how much calories and how much caffeine you want in it. Then I finally found something that I really like and I can use it all day without having too many problems.
I had my plan on the bike and had doubled up on the nutrition. Knowing at some point I may have to take some of the on-course nutrition so I was aware that it might have to happen. But I was hoping that it was only going to be on the last 30 to 50 km of the bike.
Take the time to top up your special needs
Going up Hawi and coming up to special needs which is 100km at the top of Hawi and been passed a couple of times by other girls and I thought don’t worry, when I stop at special needs I’ll re-stock. I still had a full bottle which probably had about 6 to 700 calories in it, and I thought I don’t need it, that will get me home because I had a couple of gels left.
About 2km later, on the descent of Hawi I went over a bump and that rear bottle came out of my rear holder. I thought about stopping but I could see other girls coming up Hawi and I thought this is the best part of the ride, the descent out of Hawi. I’m just going to have to move onto the on-course nutrition.
When in dire straits find a nutrition that works for you
The Gatorade is sweet and it’s not what I had intended on. I don’t drink a lot of it. So, I was trying to dilute it on the back half of the bike course which left me probably a lot of calories short and it made me feel quite ill. That was just unfortunate and for the first 15km of the run, my coach was on the side and she was saying just mix it up at the aid stations and we’ll find out what works. Take less coke, take more coke. You’ve just got to try and find something that works for you.
I don’t know whether it was that, but when I got to the top of Pulani, I started to feel better.
BRAD BROWN: Awesome. I’m going to ask this question, because I know I’m going to get emails about it. Tell me a bit about this drink that you can customise.
Invest in a customisable energy drink like Infinit Nutrition
CLAIRE DAVIS: It’s a company called Infinit Nutrition (http://infinitenutrition.us) and I think they’re US and Australian based. Basically, you can go online or you can give them a call.
You can change it up however you like. I have a moderate level of flavour. My partner doesn’t like anything sweet, so he has very little flavour in his. I put a lot of electrolytes in my mix.
Leading in to hot races, I might take that up a little bit. In cooler races, I’ll put a little bit of caffeine in there. I have a Red Bull before I start the swim so I need to top up that caffeine after a period.
So, I think it’s good. It eliminates the need for solid food and bars which is things that I really struggle with. I still take a couple of gels on the bike every now and then. I think that’s more of a psychological thing that I feel like I need to eat a gel. Then I will stick to gels on the run.
Avoid hunger pangs with the right Ironman nutrition
BRAD BROWN: Fantastic. Well, what I’m going to do, I’ll pop the link in to Infinit nutrition in the show notes to this episode. If people want to find out more about it, they can do that. (http://infinitnutrition.us)
Claire, then as far as overall nutrition and how that fits into your regime. Coming from a swimming background, I know big weeks swimming you can’t figure out if you’re hungry again or still hungry. What’s your overall nutrition strategy?
CLAIRE DAVIS: To eat regularly is my biggest thing. I’ve recently gone back to work after some time off and have found that I’m not eating enough during the day. Because I’m not constantly grazing like I would whilst I was not working.
Make sure you’re secure with your Ironman nutrition
So, that’s one of my big things that I’m trying to fix now. Getting back into a routine of eating before you get hungry. Instead of coming home from work and trying to smash calories in and then go straight to training. I feel sick if I do that. I’m trying to get back into the habit of constantly grazing throughout the day.
BRAD BROWN: Your biggest nutrition mistake and what you’ve learned from it?
CLAIRE DAVIS: Probably to put that back bottle onto the frame and not lose it down Hawi, 2km after special needs.
BRAD BROWN: Claire, thank you so much for your time here on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated. We look forward to following your progress and seeing how you go to your next Ironman and eventually onto another performance on the Big Island.
CLAIRE DAVIS: Thanks Brad.
Brad Brown is a 40 something age grouper that dreams of one day qualifying for and racing on the big island (He may have to outlive everyone in his age group though).
Morbidly obese in 2009, Brad clocked in at 165kgs (363lbs) at his heaviest.
He's subsequently lost a third of his body weight on the way to a half Ironman pb of 5:06 and a full Ironman pb of 12:21.
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