BRAD BROWN: Welcome onto this edition of The Kona Edge. I’m Brad Brown. It’s awesome to have you with us today. We’re joined once again by Jarrod Harvey who is just outside Brisbane. Jarrod welcome, thanks for joining us today.
JARROD HARVEY: It’s good to be back, thank you.
BRAD BROWN: Jarrod, we haven’t spoken too much about your Ironman nutrition hacks in our previous chats. It’s often referred to as the 4th discipline in triathlon. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s probably as important as the other 3.
Stay in your Ironman race longer with the right nutrition
BRAD BROWN: Exactly. Let’s talk about the lead up. Do you change things up in the week or 2 weeks before a big race? Are you pretty much on the same trip right throughout your training, leading up to race day?
Race day Ironman nutrition hacks
JARROD HARVEY: My partner is a dietitian, so I’m pretty lucky there. To be honest we just eat what most people would eat. We’re big into the veggies, big into meats and chicken and things like that. So, leading up to the race we don’t try and change it. We don’t eat a lot of junk food, your take away’s, things like that. I find I get very lethargic if I eat those type of things.
So, good wholesome foods and getting the body accustomed to eating the right things. In the lead up to the race, I have a set meal the night before a race. This seems to work well but it’s just pretty much stock standard diet for us of eating veg mainly.
BRAD BROWN: What’s your go-to the night before?
Ironman Nutrition Hacks: Dial in your pre-race day dinner
JARROD HARVEY: So, the go-to the night before is chicken breast chopped up. We’ll have an egg fettuccini pasta. We’ve got broccoli in there and a little bit of spices, as well as bacon pieces on the top. The sauce is a Greek yoghurt and it all blends together and tends to come out really nice. So, that’s the meal for the races leading up to Kona and it’s been the meal every race since.
BRAD BROWN: And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
JARROD HARVEY: That’s right.
Executing your race day performance
BRAD BROWN: Talk to me about race day. Your race day Ironman nutrition strategy. What’s the Ironman nutrition plan going into a race? How do you execute on Ironman race day?
JARROD HARVEY: I use some performance products. They’re Australian based so I use their electrolyte drinks in the couple of days leading up. I won’t over-do it. I’m really aware of putting too much in. Having to go to the toilet so much the couple of days before, I effectively flush my whole body out of everything that it had in weight.
So, I’ll drink. I make sure I’ve got a bottle in my hands most times the couple of days leading up. Especially if it’s hot races but I won’t go overboard with it. My Ironman nutrition on race day is pretty well not big either, especially on the bike. For me, I’ll have about 1500mg of sodium per hour in my bottles and things. I have it so I carry 2 bottles on the rear, and a refillable bottle on the front.
Don’t have a heavy hand with your Ironman nutrition hacks
Even in places like Ironman Kona, being allowed to have my own hydration that I train with. I know it works for me up until about the 120k mark, on the bike. Then having one of those refillable bottles. What I did for Ironman Kona, I went and bought a pop-top from the shop the night before. Drank the pop-top and then made a really strong mix.
What I would normally put into a 750ml bottle, I put it into a little pop-top bottle. I put that into the back of my suit. That would generally get me through the back end of the bike. Going through an aid station, I just put my little squeezy bottle into the tub.
Fill it with water and magic. I’ve got my own mixer. That works pretty well, and as I said, a massive eater on the bike. I’ll have a gel every 25 minutes on the bike. I really gasp through the gels on the bike as well.
BRAD BROWN: It’s interesting you talk about your own mix. That doesn’t happen by accident does it Jarrod? That’s trial and error. Figuring out the Ironman nutrition hacks that work for you. The biggest bit of advice I can give any triathlete, what works for Jarrod Harvey, won’t necessarily work for Brad Brown. You’ve got to figure out what works for you.
The value of practising nutritional timing for race day
JARROD HARVEY: You’re 100% right. In the lead up to Ironman, I tried 5 or 10 times, before it got to a point where it was ok. Some days I didn’t have enough sodium in there, some days I was putting too much in. Which had just as bad an effect as not having enough.
It’s a bit of tinkering and I’ve tinkered with the timing of the gels and time. One of the big things for me is my hydration leaks has no sugar. I try and separate what I call my fuel, which is my gel. I have my hydration, which is what I’m physically drinking. So I’ll sit on my hydration throughout the whole process of the bike.
Be persistent till you find the Ironman nutrition hacks that work for you
Whereas I’ll have my fuel, which is my gels. These contain the sugars and things. I’ll have them at timed intervals. My theory behind that is it just allows my gut time to process it and then to stop working. I tried it when I did my test runs in some of my big rides. I tried having the sugar ones the whole time and my gut just can’t tolerate it.
So, as you say it’s about finding what works for you. That may take you 10, 15, 20 times to get it right. You might get lucky and get it first or second time. Keep persisting with it because as we say, it’s the 4th discipline of long distance triathlon anyway.
BRAD BROWN: Yea that’s probably the most important. Because if you stuff that up it can easily mess up the other 3. So, it is vital that you get that right.
Jarrod, thank you so much for your time once again here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated. Best of luck in the build-up to Kona 2017. I know you’ve got a big race coming up soon. We’ll be following your progress closely. Hopefully you do get to stand on that top step of the podium on the Big Island. It would be amazing.
JARROD HARVEY: Yea, a dream come true. Thanks for having me on 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.
If you'd like to advertise on The Kona Edge, download our rate card.
If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Patron of The Kona Edge, click here.