How 'out there' is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?
How 'out there' is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?

How ‘out there’ is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?

How 'out there' is your Ironman Nutrition strategy?

We chat to Amy Farrell on this edition of The Kona Edge about her Ironman nutrition plan. She shares the unusual Ironman nutrition strategy with us.

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BRAD BROWN:  Let’s chat some Ironman nutrition now. We head back to upstate New York to touch base with Amy Farrell. Amy welcome back onto The Kona Edge.

Nutrition plays a huge part in your overall triathlon picture. We haven’t spoken too much about it. You did mention one or two things but, not that you are really analytical about it, but you are pretty set with your nutrition strategy.

AMY FARRELL: For race day and leading up to race day, yes, very very set.

BRAD BROWN:  And you do have a bit of a pizza problem I believe.

When pizza is a problem in your Ironman nutrition diet

AMY FARRELL: I do yes. Pizza is a mainstay in my diet.

BRAD BROWN:  Is there one particular one or is it just across the board?

AMY FARRELL: I have my favourite pizzas that I have. There is a place that I go to in Kona, I can’t remember the name but I know that my condo is close to it this year and in Lake Placid, Main Street Pizza has been my lucky pizza the last couple of times that I’ve raced.

BRAD BROWN:  Is it any coincidence that your condo is close to the pizza place in Kona this year or is that done on purpose?

AMY FARRELL: A little bit on purpose.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about your overall nutrition approach to the sport of triathlon. You mentioned recovery in our first chat but let’s talk about the way you approach day to day training and nutrition.

Add protein for a strong nutrition recovery approach

AMY FARRELL: Okay. Do you want me to go through what my day looks like?

BRAD BROWN:  Yes, generally from a nutrition point of view. What would you typically do breakfast, lunch and dinner on a normal training day?

AMY FARRELL: I always start the day with coffee and then a couple of slices of toast or half a bagel with peanut butter before a workout. I find that I have to have something in my stomach before I start or I’m going to immediately bonk. That would be before a morning workout.

What I moved to this spring after reading Stacey Simms book, Roar, I realised I needed more protein. Then I would do a recovery smoothie with protein and greens and usually amino acids and whatever else I wanted to throw in there, fruit or whatever, but the protein powder was definitely key.

Dark chocolate is the perfect Ironman nutrition snack

Then I’d go to work and at lunch time it’s usually, I try to make up a big batch of like a vegetarian chilli or a lentil stew or something like that so I can get a power packed lunch in. And I would do that with chillies, sometimes I do meat with the chilli but beans and sweet potatoes. I’d try sneak a lot of things in.

And I have to have chocolate after every meal so a little chunk of dark chocolate. I snack a lot on breakfast cereal or granola or dried adobong, one of my favourites. So, before my afternoon workout, I usually eat a peanut and jelly sandwich and banana or something like that. I just feel better if I start a workout and I’m not starving.

During workouts, cycling I do mostly solids and I make my own bars with oats, peanut butter, coconut and sunflower seeds. It’s a recipe that I think Stacey Simms came up with for salty balls. But running, I’m usually okay without anything. I might do Cliff bars or something like that. Or caffeinated gel but then soon after an afternoon workout I try and get some more protein in.

Is pizza sufficient for your daily nutrition?

Dinners are usually whatever we have time for. With my daughter’s sport schedule and my coaching schedule and my husband working late we’re on the road a lot so there is pizza a couple of nights a week.

BRAD BROWN:  And then as far as racing goes, is the strategy that what you do in training, is what you do on race day? Uou mention on the bike it’s pretty much solids, is that the way you race as well?

AMY FARRELL: Yes. I think I’ve always done that but since I joined Coeur Sports, listening to the other women and reading up on some different stuff, I always feel better on solids on the bike. I like to feel full when I get off because the marathon is an awfully long way to be hungry.

The only difference I think would be during the marathon I usually start drinking coke at about 6 to 9 miles. So I usually have Cliff blocks or gels with me during the marathon and that’s pretty much what I’ll stick with.

Don’t try new things on race day

I did have an orange slice at Ironman Lake Placid that didn’t sit well in my stomach so I probably won’t grab the orange slices again.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you feel you’ve got your nutrition pretty much dialled in or are you still working on getting it better?

AMY FARRELL: No I feel like after all these years I have a good plan and I go with it.

I was excited because hydration wise I don’t like to carry a ton of bottles on my bike and I just figured out, I was using old containers, I use NBS Hydration and so I had old noon containers that I filled up with the NBS stuff that I can pour right in my speto.

That was something new that I did at Ironman Lake Placid that I will definitely do again. I don’t think I have the patience to stop for special needs and pick up bottles so this worked out great.

BRAD BROWN:  Sounds fantastic. Well Amy thank you so much for your time here on The Kona Edge today. Much appreciated.

All the best in the build up to Kona 2017 and best of luck. Let’s hope it’s another Ironman Age Group World Championship title. I’ve got a funny feeling and I’m sure you do too, that you’re feeling confident going into it but I look forward to tracking you and seeing how you go on race day.

AMY FARRELL: Okay great, thank you Brad.


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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