The Kona Edge chats to Subramani Venkatesh about his Ironman nutrition strategy. He shares the reason he strictly keeps his training and racing nutrition the same.
BRAD BROWN: Welcome back to yet another edition of The Kona Edge, time to chat some nutrition today and great to be able to welcome Subramani Venkatesh back on. Subu, welcome back. When we first spoke you said one of your biggest lessons that you’ve learnt was to get your nutrition right. You made some big mistakes in your first Ironman. It’s something that you’ve had to work hard at this discipline of the sport, to try and make sure you don’t make those mistakes again.
Don’t mess with a successful formula
SUBRAMANI VENKATESH: Sure Brad, yes, I literally don’t want to mess the nutrition that I practice on the race day, so I keep pretty much the same food and same nutrition all the time when I race and when I train. Depending on certain number of calories per day and the bike particularly, if I don’t screw up on my bike I definitely can manage the run all the time with decent nutrition.
BRAD BROWN: Talk to me about how you approach race day from a nutrition point of view. What’s your race plan for an Ironman when it comes to nutrition?
SUBRAMANI VENKATESH: I can give the whole day, the process how it goes for me?
BRAD BROWN: Please do.
SUBRAMANI VENKATESH: I start my nutrition planning, loading calories, even two days before the race I would say, keeping decent amount of carbs and the protein, not to lose any of those resources, so I keep loading my calories. It’s like it goes, say if my race is on Sunday, I start on Friday for that and when I come to race day, early morning, I wake up around 3:00, I listen to my favourite music and I make my breakfast with a cup of oatmeal and a banana with honey or maple syrup, that’s what I add with the cinnamon and no fat in it, not even peanut butter. Generally when I eat my regular breakfast I put peanut butter in it, but on race day I don’t because I keep less fat and load more carbs and a little bit of protein in it because protein comes from the oatmeal itself. That makes about 1000 calories for me on the day.
Up until the swim I’m loaded with calories and then 30 minutes before the swim I take my sport drink that is customized to me, which has no protein at all, it’s purely a sugar of 350 calories and I drink that. Then it settles down in my stomach, because I have no protein, this helps me out to have a smooth swim because I had issues with protein before, so I don’t want to take any more protein in my food. By the time I come out of the swim I feel really strong and as soon as I go into transition I take about 150 calories of a mix of 1% protein, carbs and about 150 calories in that, not even, what is that, 15 grams of carbs, I take so much and then I hop on the bike and go and for the next 20-30 minutes I don’t eat much, other than drinking water with salt. After 30 minutes I really start adding my nutrition, for every one hour my goal is to eat about 300-320 calories of nutrition and it’s all liquid.
BRAD BROWN: I was going to say, it sounds like you’ve got it all sorted out.
SUBRAMANI VENKATESH: Pretty much, yes. I train in the same aspect as during my race, I don’t mess it, even a little bit during my training. Also I try to make less recovery; I try to replicate my same race training during my regular training days.
BRAD BROWN: Brilliant, Subramani Venkatesh, thank you so much for joining us here on The Kona Edge, much appreciated. Best of luck in your journey to get back onto the Big Island, I’m sure it’s going to happen and we can’t wait to see you race again in Hawaii.
SUBRAMANI VENKATESH: Thank you so much Brad, it’s so nice to talk to you about this. Thank you very much.