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Ironman Nutrition Plan – Don’t blow your Ironman chances by not planning

Rob Cummins Ironman Bike

We chat to Hans Christian Tungesvik on this edition of The Kona Edge about his Ironman nutrition plan.

Hans Christian reveals what his Ironman nutrition strategy is on this Ironman podcast.

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BRAD BROWN:  Welcome back to this edition of The Kona Edge and chatting about an Ironman nutrition plan today.

We head back to Norway to catch up with Hans Christian Tungesvik. Hans Christian welcome back. Thanks for joining us today.

HANS CHRISTIAN: Thanks, it’s a pleasure.

How important is having an Ironman nutrition plan?

BRAD BROWN: Let’s talk some Ironman nutrition. In your opinion, how big a role does your Ironman nutrition plan play in your overall performance in an Ironman?

HANS CHRISTIAN: It’s really important. If you’re in good shape but don’t do the Ironman nutrition correctly, you’re out of it. It is simply not possible to compete on a high level if you’re not focussed on your Ironman nutrition plan. It is vital.

BRAD BROWN: Have you found your Ironman nutrition plan has come pretty easy to you? Some people really struggle to find what works for them and what works for their stomach.

Have you struggled or have you pretty much settled on an Ironman nutrition plan pretty quickly and that’s what works for you?

Switching your Ironman nutrition plan from solids to liquids

HANS CHRISTIAN: No I’ve been lucky. I found an Ironman nutrition plan that works for me quite easily.

My stomach takes almost whatever it gets so it’s not a problem. But I’ve been phasing more and more over to liquids and gels instead of, in the beginning I almost only had the solid food bars and stuff like that, but it’s easier to get it down when it’s something liquid, so it’s more and more of that now.

BRAD BROWN: Talk to me, let’s talk race week of an Ironman, whether it be Ironman Kalma or Ironman Kona, what do you do in race week in the build up to a race?

HANS CHRISTIAN: I try to especially drink a lot, especially on the Ironman Kona of course. And drink a lot of salt, drinks that contain salt and minerals. And I really load up on carbs, pasta, rice.

An extra load of that in every meal. That’s what I’m used to from cross-country skiing and it works really well for triathlon as well.

BRAD BROWN: And race day itself, breakfast what do you do, do you do anything for breakfast? And then talk me through your race day strategy.

HANS CHRISTIAN: Well for race day, usually I have some slices of bread for breakfast, as much as I can get in. I need that for the competition. Then maybe a bar just before the start. And usually I try to drink endurance drinks containing some energy during the bike.

It’s often tempting with water because it tastes cleaner, but I just need that energy so I try to stick to that. Also, I’m usually mixing between gels and bars during the bike course and for the run it’s almost only the liquid hydrogels, almost liquid gels. They’re easy to eat and they work really well.

Reward your efforts with McDonalds and a Beer

BRAD BROWN: As far as once you’re finished an Ironman, what’s your go-to? Is there anything that you crave that you maybe deny yourself in the buildup to an Ironman that you have to have afterwards?

HANS CHRISTIAN: Well, it’s a beer, you have to have that beer after the finish line otherwise it’s not an Ironman.

BRAD BROWN: I was going to say I know it’s not ice cream because it sounds like you have ice cream on every bike ride that you have, so beer it is.

HANS CHRISTIAN: Yea that’s right. And then it’s just, usually I go to the closest McDonalds and I just load up on everything they have and then it’s a food party for the next week. That’s almost the best part of it.

BRAD BROWN: That’s why you do Ironman.

HANS CHRISTIAN: Yea, that’s right.

BRAD BROWN: Hans Christian thank you so much for you time here on The Kona Edge. Much appreciated. We look forward to see how you go in Norseman in 2017 and hopefully back in Kona soon, if it’s not this year if no one comes up with a cheque and sends you, hopefully in 2018 let’s see how you go. Can’t wait to watch you again.

HANS CHRISTIAN: Thanks for having me Brad. It was a pleasure.

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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