Fuelling an Ironman
My job is varied. As well as shipping essential plant-based workout fuel to athletes and workout warriors all over Australia, I provide advice, meal plans and fuel to athletes embarking on one of the toughest events around, an Ironman.
An event that sees an individual swim 3.8km, ride 180km and run 42.2km. After months of training, the individual is in solid shape (read: lean) and ready to line up with 2000+ other competitor’s come race day.
With a sea of enthusiastic loved ones and supporters’ along the way they slug it out on a course that is gruelling and merciless to cross the finish line within the 17hr time limit. It’s a tough gig. But in the words of Ironman – anything is possible.
How do you fuel an Ironman?
100% plant-based foods – high net gain foods for maximum energy. Key foods that I add to an endurance athletes diet are:
- Coconut water
- Acai powder
- Chia seeds
- Porridge oats
- Hemp seeds
- Hemp protein powder
- Maca powder
- Chamomile tea
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
The above ingredients are key to sustained energy and assisting the body in accelerated recovery. The above are consumed so the Ironman athlete can literally get back in the pool, on the bike or run the bitumen the next day, the day after and the day after that.
Does a diet need to be restricted closer to the event?
Only a little, a few changes are made to the food intake during this last week with a suggestion to reduce fibre intake ensuring greater ease of the digestion system.
The week leading up to a race I suggest consuming more low-fibre foods:
- White rice
- Risotto rice
- 100% durum wheat pasta
- White potatoes (baked and mashed)
- Zucchini (with seeds removed)
- Bok Choy
Consistency is key
In the month’s leading up to an event don’t try anything new, try and stick to a food routine consuming familiar foods, eating at familiar restaurants and limiting travel where your diet can be affected. And stick to a food timing routine, this ensures’ your body is functioning daily to the best of its ability.
Don’t try anything new
The golden rule for any race is ‘don’t try anything new’. After spending months training for the big day, why would you think to try a new gel, drink or food item on what is the most important date in your race calendar. This is why you train. You not only train physically but you train your gut as well.
Focus on recovery
Consume plenty of smoothies, they are an easy way to consume solid nutrition and calories especially after a hard training session where sometimes the hard part is trying to eat and digest solid food. Include key ingredients such as:
An ironman is an amazing journey not only the athlete but the spectator as well. There is so much to learn during the training and event with more than one lesson being learnt the hard way. Grin and bear it and you will come out stronger on the other side.
Interested to find out how the powers of plants can help you achieve your Ironman goal? Allow me to become an integral part of your Ironman journey; ensuring your power is maximised by the foods you fuel with.