Get scientific with your Ironman nutrition for optimum performance and recovery
Get scientific with your Ironman nutrition for optimum performance and recovery

Get scientific with your Ironman nutrition for optimum performance and recovery

Today on The Kona Edge we chat to Federica de Nicola about her Ironman nutrition plan.

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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 talk some Ironman nutrition now and we head back to Milan in Italy to catch up with Federica de Nicola.

Federica, welcome back onto the podcast today. Nutrition we haven’t touched on it at all actually. How high do you rate your nutrition? Are you pretty strict on what you do or are you happy go lucky?

FEDERICA DE NICOLA: I’m really strict in what I eat during, before and after training. Throughout the day the best thing is to eat good and healthy things that you love and makes you feel good. A good thing is that our bodies know what it needs. Your cravings can lead you to the best foods for your recovery at that time. The sense of hunger also helps you to know when you need to eat and how much you need to eat.

I start before, during and after my session, I’m usually pretty scientific. So I count calories, I count macronutrients and electrolytes I need, because I don’t want to have cramps or feel less energetic during my training or not to be able to recover after a session.

Your Ironman nutrition weapon

Usually, I have a lot of gels during the run because they are easier to assimilate. My secret weapon during the marathons are the bananas because they are rich in magnesium and potassium. They also have a good flavour so I love having them during the ironman marathon.

During the bike if the course is really hot I usually only have gels, like 10 or 12 gels in the whole bike course. I alternate every 15 minutes with half a gel, because I put them in a bottle and every 15 minutes I have 1 gel alternated with some salt to keep the energy high and also to keep hydrated.

If the weather is not too hot I usually have 1 gel and 1 bar every hour instead.

BRAD BROWN: I love the fact that you’re that scientific with it that you have figured out what you need and you take it in. Do you experiment at all or have you figured out what works for you and that’s what you stick to? Or are you still trying to figure out and dial it in and get it better?

Ironman nutrition can change on the bike and run

FEDERICA DE NICOLA: I like to experiment in training. So during training I try to figure out what’s best for me. During the last 3 Ironmans I found the strategy that really works for me. That is gels on the bike and bananas and gels on the run. I’ve never experienced a stomach ache or any kind of problems using this so that’s my nutrition strategy that I stick to usually.

But of course anything can happen in Cozumel. I was dying on the run and I needed some energy and needed something that could be strong enough to wake me up. So at 32km I had a pretzel and I don’t remember what it was but it was something awful to drink, but it kept me going through the run. It wasn’t in the plan but it was useful.

BRAD BROWN: Sometimes you have to have a plan B, don’t you?

FEDERICA DE NICOLA: Yes, I also see the need for that.

BRAD BROWN: From a recovery point of view, nutrition wise how do you get the best out of your recovery from nutrition?

Precision in your Ironman nutrition

FEDERICA DE NICOLA: After every workout I have some protein and carbohydrate within half an hour after training because that’s the best window to have something for recovery. Then I also have a supplement every day. I’m a little bit anaemic so I have to take Vitamin B together with Iron, as well as Omega 3 that helps to fight the inflammation that my body experiences because of the volume of training that I do. Then after the hardest training sessions I also have Amino Acids so that my muscles won’t deteriorate.

BRAD BROWN: Well Federica it’s been great catching up. Thank you so much for sharing your Ironman journey with us and some of the things you’ve done to get better.

Best of luck in the build up to Kona 2017. We look forward to seeing how you go and hopefully you get to turn number 2 into number 1.

FEDERICA DE NICOLA: Hopefully I will. Thanks a lot Brad; it was great to have a chat with you.

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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