Ironman Nutrition - an easy thing to work out that makes a big difference
Ironman Nutrition - an easy thing to work out that makes a big difference

Take time to formulate an Ironman nutrition plan

Ironman Nutrition - an easy thing to work out that makes a big difference

We catch up with Damien Coad to chat about his approach to his Ironman nutrition. Damien reveals why it’s important to take the time to formulate a nutrition plan that will enable you to race to the best of your ability.

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Go longer with SFuels.

Train your body to use fat for fuel.  SFules helps you go longer & avoid the dreaded spike or bonk

They contain no sugars, honey, syrups, sugar alcohols, wheat, oats or cheap protein, which helps avoid gut and GI distress.

If you’re in the United States and you’d like to try SFuels out, simply click on button below and they’ll send you a FREE box

SFuels was recently launched in the ultra running space and the response has been phenomenal! See for yourself what the buzz is all about about.

Don’t delay, the free sample boxes of SFuels are limited.

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Transcription:

BRAD BROWN: Let’s chat some Ironman nutrition now. We head back to Cairns to touch base with Damien Coad. Damien, welcome back. Thanks for joining us today.

We’ve touched on it briefly, but haven’t spoken in too much depth about nutrition. It’s a vital part to any Ironman performance and it’s played a big part in yours. I think your first Ironman you had some issues and obviously you’ve worked on it and seem to have got that balance right.

When the ‘rest’ cubicles call you on your Ironman race

DAMIEN COAD: Thanks Brad. Yes. I’d have to say in my first one, energy wise, I was fine with my nutrition. It was just that I couldn’t really resist the urge to venture into the rest cubicles a few times. And I did do that in 1 or 2 other Ironmans after that race but touch wood I’ve got it under control. I can’t tell you anything specific that I’ve done in terms of changes for that. But I think I’ve taught myself how to wee on the bike, comfortably, finally. That’s nothing that’s any enlightenment to anyone.

I’m not really a nutritionist and I think it’s a very individual thing. I reckon it’s something that each person really needs to spend some time working out what’s best for them. Because it’s certainly an important factor, if not the most important factor. And it’s fortunate for me that I tend to be a bit of a garbage guts and I tend to shove anything in, on the race.

Ironman nutrition is easy to work out and makes a difference

Particularly on the run, I just grab anything from the aid stations and eat. I eat a lot, I will drink a lot. I run the aid stations but I make sure I grab everything I can. I don’t think the volunteers at the aid stations particularly like me because I probably leave the place in an absolute mess after I’ve gone past.

The only advice I can give to anyone about nutrition is, if you are sensitive to particular foods and you cramp easily or you sweat a lot. Or if you can’t handle solids, or for that matter even gels because of the particular content in it. Then you need to really sit down and work out what you need to do. It’s such an easy thing to work out and it makes such a big difference in the race.

I eat a few bars on the ride, probably a gel every hour. And I drink as much Gatorade, or whatever is on offer on the course, throughout.  Keep my fluids up, but that’s about it as far as what I do.

Then on the run, I take something at every aid station.

Make time to figure out the Ironman nutrition that works for you

BRAD BROWN: I love it! You’re so right that nutrition is an experiment of one. You need to figure out what works for you. As much as we like to give ideas on the podcast, you need to sit down and work it out for yourself.

How deliberate are you when it comes to nutrition? You mentioned a gel maybe every hour on the bike. Are you one of those guys that sets a timer and you religiously do that? Or do you go by feel? How do you approach it on race day?

DAMIEN COAD: You can’t really go by feel, you need to try and get that food in you on the race. Also, you need to look at the course on the race, in particular with the bike. There might be some sections where it’s going to be hard to do any eating or drinking.

Is winging your Ironman nutrition the way to go?

But I would say I don’t have times. I don’t have a set plan down to the minute of when I should be taking on food or hydration. I know I’ll finish a couple of litres of electrolytes each hour. And I know that I’ll probably eat 1 or 2 gels each hour and maybe half a cliffbar. Maybe 2 cliffbars in total on the ride.

So, whether I do that over the whole ride or whether I get more into me in the first half of the ride, and less in the second half, that might be a little bit on feel. Luckily for me I’ve always felt like eating. And I always enjoy eating. I do make sure I’m well set up for the run as far as fuel storage goes.

BRAD BROWN: And then, as far as tinkering goes, how much do you actually tinker on your nutrition strategy. Or are you satisfied with the way things are, or are you always trying to improve it?

Should you rely on aid stations for your Ironman nutrition?

DAMIEN COAD: No. That’s one area I haven’t messed with since my second Ironman, Brad. I’ve just thrown my nutrition bars into my bento box, I tape or pack my gels that I think I need. I put my mixes in my bottles and set it all up on race morning and then forget about it.

I never really worry about it the week leading up to it. I obviously do take in the conditions on race day, weather wise. So, I will perhaps adjust things a little bit during the race if the conditions are a little more adverse.

Aid stations are always there and I know I can eat whatever they provide, so there’s never really any concern that I’m going to be left high and dry.

BRAD BROWN: Brilliant stuff. Damien, thank you so much for your time on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated. We look forward to following your progress to Kona 2017, and beyond. Best of luck and we look forward to chatting soon.

Bucket List item every triathlete should have

Hopefully we can come to Cairns because that’s definitely one of the Ironman races that I think everyone should have on their bucket list. It’s an incredible place and a phenomenal race.

DAMIEN COAD: Thank you Brad. Thanks for having me on your chat show. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

About Us

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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