Using your own research to come up with a unique Ironman nutrition strategy
Using your own research to come up with a unique Ironman nutrition strategy

Using your own research to come up with a unique Ironman nutrition strategy

Using your own research to come up with a unique Ironman nutrition strategy

Riana Robertson reveals how she came up with a unique Ironman nutrition strategy by doubling down on what works and doesn’t work for her during an Ironman.

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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 would like to try SFuels out, simply click on button below and they’ll send you a FREE box.  (They’ll even cover the shipping)

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 here on The Kona Edge. Riana Robertson joining us once again. Riana welcome back onto the podcast.

You mentioned you made a slight nutrition error on the Big Island. The last 20k’s of the bike didn’t have any nutrition. No aid stations. It’s important to plan the race from a nutrition point of view and make sure that you’ve got everything in order.

Was that the biggest nutrition mistake you’ve made or are there others?

Experimenting your Ironman nutrition one thing at a time

RIANA ROBERTSON: I’ve made some others. Not in Kona but in other races where I would go into a type of osmosis about just taking in too much carbs. My body’s not able to absorb that and transport that into energy. When I knew I was going to Kona I knew that is something I need to fix and work on.

So I approached Mark from 32GI to help me with my diet and obviously my nutrition as well. That was very helpful. Then we started experimenting with protein shakes on the bike. This is a bit of a meal replacement as well. It seemed to have fixed that little problem and I had more energy to sustain going into the run.

We also worked a bit on sweat rate so I knew going to Kona what I had to take in. That’s also maybe where my rookie mistake came in is that I didn’t carry all the water with me. You pick up the water at the water points as you go past. I was bargaining on that last water point just to fill my bottles up.

Don’t get caught up putting different things into your body

I had little sachets of energy drink or salt tablets or whatever hydrate I used and I would just fill it up with water. I’d drop a little sachet into my bottle and fill it up with water but obviously if there’s no water, and then you’re back to square one. Which is a good and a bad thing.

BRAD BROWN: Absolutely. As far as your approach, you mentioned the protein shakes on the bike. What’s your strategy when it comes to approaching an Ironman? Let’s not talk necessarily Kona but if you’re doing an Ironman distance race, what’s the plan nutrition wise?

RIANA ROBERTSON: Obviously you start hydrating and it’s not just plasma but also muscular hydrating before the race. So the week before is vital. You try and cut out all the bad foods, the sugars, the carbs, etc. I used to follow a low carb, not no carb. It was just a low carb diet and that also seemed to work for me pretty well.

And then not to get caught up with putting too many different things into your body because at the aid stations you’ve bananas, you’ve got coke, you’ve got red bull, you’ve got the energy drink.

I see so many of these athletes just putting everything they can get their hands on into their bodies and it’s not something that they’re used to. Obviously I’ve trained with what I knew was going to be available on race day. And I actually took my own nutrition with me so that I could fill up the bottles as I went along.

Is your Ironman nutrition being absorbed by your body?

BRAD BROWN: It’s important to be mindful, you are right. Often when athletes get to an aid station they just shove anything and everything they can into their mouth. Then they wonder when things don’t go right 20 or 30k’s into the run when they’re feeling like death warmed up. Even though it’s a long day and you do need to fuel, you’ve got to be very deliberate about it.

RIANA ROBERTSON: Yes, you have to take your nutrition. It’s still a whole day out there. Imagine going to work at 7 o’clock in the morning and not eating anything for the whole day until you get home, 8 or 9 o’clock at night. You still have to take your nutrition.

Now here’s the tricky part. It’s what works for you, so I might have my nutrition strategy where I know I don’t eat solids, I like drinking stuff. That just works better for me, which is why we decided on the protein shake.

I don’t really eat too much gel. It doesn’t seem to be absorbed in my body that well. So again, that is what works for me. There might be the most brilliant strategic nutrition plan out there. But the biggest thing is that athletes need to go and experiment and need to find out what works for them. That’s the reality.

Different Ironman nutrition for different training sets

BRAD BROWN: And that’s probably the challenging thing with Ironman. Because it’s such a long day as well, you don’t get many opportunities to test and work it out. If you’re doing a 10 or 12 hour Ironman you don’t have big days like that.

How do you experiment, Riana? What’s the story to figure out what does work for you? How do you get that balance right knowing how your body is going to react at k 30 in an Ironman marathon?

RIANA ROBERTSON: I would basically use my nutrition that I’m going to be using on race day in my longer training sets as well as my shorter harder stuff. As your body goes into different energy zones the absorption rate obviously changes. So I would experiment with my energy fuels on all my type of training sets. Whether it’s a long bike ride, whether it’s running off the bike or even a track set. I just know what reaction would come off that.

BRAD BROWN: Fantastic. Riana thank you so much for joining us here on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated.

I look forward to following your progress and seeing when you do get back to Kona. I’m sure you’re going to.

You are one of those people that when you set your mind to something, you do achieve it and we look forward to following that journey. Thanks for your time.

RIANA ROBERTSON: Thank you Brad. Well, it’s out there now so I guess I better go run.

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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