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On this edition of The Kona Edge we catch up with Rasmus Svenningsson and talk about how he overcame his initial struggles with nutrition issues and how he approaches his Ironman nutrition strategy now.

  (Read the transcription of our chat here)

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Podcast Transcription:


BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back onto this edition of The Kona Edge, I’m Brad Brown and we’ve got Rasmus Svenningsson with us once again. Rasmus, let’s touch on your nutrition. We haven’t spoken about it at all. How big a role, we always talk about it being the fourth discipline, for you, is that the case?

RASMUS SVENNINGSSON:  Yes, for sure it is, definitely. I’ve had in my previous season in 2016 and 2017; I had major nutrition issues or nausea issues and problems with a sensitive stomach and vomiting during races. That has definitely played an important role.

BRAD BROWN:  Tell me a little bit about that and what do you think caused it and how have you fixed it?

RASMUS SVENNINGSSON:  I think you never know. I think you cannot expect to go through an entire Ironman without any time feeling like your stomach is going to turn upside down or have some kind of GI distress. I think it has not played, not nearly as major part as it has been in previous years. I think that you really need to practice it in training. Once again, when you’re out there on race day, you’re just doing everything that you have done in training and so you should train with the exact same sport fluids as they offer on race day and so on and so forth. I think that one major thing for me has been not going out too hard and try to really stay cool and stay relaxed on the bike.

That’s one thing I realized because I never had any GI problems in training and then I wasn’t nervous and I was completely relaxed, which wasn’t the situation when it was race day. I told myself during my races that just stay relaxed on the bike and drink very little to start with and get your stomach used to it and tell yourself this is just like training, there’s nothing weird about it. I think that has been quite key for me to think, this is just training and not get too excited. I find that for me it can be probably good. I’m not sure, but I think that may be the reason.

BRAD BROWN:  Talk to me about your race day nutrition strategy, are you one of those guys that goes by the clock that every so many minutes I’ve got to take this or do you play it by ear? Tell me about your race day?

RASMUS SVENNINGSSON:  Yeah, I think on the bike I’m rather, I have a good plan; especially in Kona I had a really detailed plan for my nutrition intake. Then on the run I had a plan also but then usually I feel like I need to take more and that’s okay. It’s not as good as if you’re oh no, I don’t need it, that’s a warning sign I would say, but it’s like yeah, you want to drink more than you’re supposed to or had told yourself before, then just go ahead. On the bike I had a really detailed plan and I had in my workouts in Kona, I had been weighing myself, I kept track of how much I drank so I knew how much I sweat prior, I weighed myself prior and after the workout and compensated for it, I always lost weight, despite drinking like seven liters of water or fluids. In Kona especially, I would recommend having a really good nutrition plan.

BRAD BROWN:  Tell me about your day-to-day eating, not necessarily training nutrition, is there anything particular that you do, high fat, low carb, no carbs, what’s the deal?

RASMUS SVENNINGSSON:  No, I try to maybe reduce the carbs a little bit, especially if I have longer and slower training. If I’m going to have a high intensity training, then it’s really important to be well fed on carbs. Otherwise I just try to eat healthy. The nutrition is really an important part and I think it’s really important for your performance and I think the routine is also really important. Otherwise I eat a lot of vegetarian, but not everything vegetarian. I try to eat as much vegetables and fruit as possible. I try to eat healthy but nothing like, I don’t weigh my food or anything like that. It’s important that it doesn’t get too big of a role also. That’s my strategy on nutrition.

BRAD BROWN:  Brilliant, Rasmus, it’s been great catching up. I thoroughly enjoyed our chat and best of luck in the future and if you make it out to Ironman South Africa next year, let me know and let’s show you around.

RASMUS SVENNINGSSON:  I will definitely do that.

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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