What to eat?

On planning a huge training weekend, a man needs to eat and load up for the road out there. Pizza, if one can get it the night before, is often my fuel of choice. Here are my thoughts on what you need to fuel for a Half Ironman.

Points which are key to me:
- Don’t experiment with all the freebies and cool products you get at the race expo or local shop near the race.
- Big lunch the day before, followed by a relaxed dinner. Do not go overboard at the dinner. Just eat until you are satiated. Focus on carbs, and drop the fibre. Eat pasta, bananas, a slice of your favourite cake is ok. Think “fuel”.
- Eat at least 3 hours prior to the race. Food should be digested by the time you get into the water.
- Eat what you usually eat. I take in jungle oats, honey, two slices white toast with honey/peanut butter, 2 x coffee, 2 x Lucozade. If I am full I take less, if I am hungrier I take more. This also helps push out the lunch from the day before prior to race start.
- Liquid is easier for the body to digest than solids. Varies between athletes. You could fuel a Half Ironman on liquids pretty easily, but it’s not good to experiment. By liquids I mean liquid nutrition:- Cytomax, etc
- Go by feel. If you are feeling good, eat. Eat early and often. If you force feed yourself when you feel bloated or are going too hard, chances are you’ll chunder because the digestive system goes on hold.

My plan:
- Big lunch day before
- Pizza or Pasta night before
- Breakfast 3 hours pre-race
- I whack an electrolyte drink post-brekkies and pre-race
- SWIM:- takes about 30 minutes. I pee about twice during the race. Sign of good hydration (and bad upbringing)
- 90k Bike broken into 3 hours. I drink on bike after about 20 minutes, and eat after about 30-45mins.
- Thereafter I drink every 15 minutes (a swig or two), eat a bar (or small peanut butter sandwich) on the half hour and take a gel on the other half hour.
- I’ll have something like a chocolate bar for the 50k mark. I start fuelling up for the run.
- Smarties or jelly babies in the last 20-30k’s.
- If I feel like it I’ll take a banana or what’s on offer from the aid stations if it looks appealing.
- Aside from the juice I start off with, I’ll aim to go through about 2 bottles of Powerade or whatever they offer on the course.
- RUN:- I alternate between water and Powerade at aid stations. I have about 3 gels with me on the run, maybe 2 x salt tablets. I’ll take a gel every 30 minutes. I start Coke at the half way mark to take advantage of the caffeine kick.
- I’ll take a Protein shake after the race.

Eat to live, and chew like you mean it*,


*Taken from the movie Madagascar when the zebra (Marty) is trying to wean his friend the lion (Alex) off meat (i.e. zebra) to fish:-

So, what's for lunch? Close those eyes! Why do I have to close my eyes? Do it! They're closed. Tighter! Yes, sir. No peeking! All right, they're closed. Rico. Open that hatch. Fire in the hole!Now chew! Chew like you mean it. Savor it! And? Well? Pretty good, right?There's always plan B. This is better than steak. I love it! I love it! The kitty loves the fishy.


  1. Wow! Eating is a job onto itself. What's cytomax? so why no fiber? Funny on the pee thing, in the pool or out? kidding!!

  2. Cytomax is a powdered carbohydrate drink - liquid fuel if you will. Leave out the fibre pre-race because the body likes to get rid of fibre from the body and that's not a good thing if you're racing!

    And no peeing is allowed in the pool. They put a mystery chemical which makes the pee-area go purple. Anyway that's what we tell the kids ;o)