Four times winner of the Ironman World Championship, Chrissie Wellington’s provides top 50 race tips includes these on nutrition:
Don’t overhydrate or overeat. I cut down on fibre and spicy or rich foods three days out to reduce the likelihood of GI distress. I stick to plain foods, with a lower GI index, such as white rice, bread and pasta. Retaining the same calorific intake, coupled with the reduction in training, should ensure your glycogen stores are full but not overflowing. Avoid eating anything new in race week; there are a lot of freebie food samples at race expos – don’t be tempted to try them
Eat your breakfast around 2.5hrs before your race start time. Consume low fibre, simple (low GI) carbs, with a small amount of fat and protein. I have hot rice cereal, made with water, with nut butter and honey stirred in. Sip water and have a cup of tea or coffee if you’re used to it.
In half and full iron distance races, I take on one gramme of carbs per kilo of body weight per hour. The carbs are a mix of sugars (glucose and fructose to increase glycogen absorption). In an Ironman, I have two bottles (430 calories in each) on the bike, plus two gels and a chocolate bar. I make my first drinks bottle slightly less concentrated than the second, to make it more palatable early in the race (especially if I’ve swallowed
some open water!). Following the formula above, I have one gel every 25mins – washed down with water – on the run.
Know the electrolyte (including salt) values in your food and drinks. Unless you’re a very heavy sweater you probably don’t need to top this up with tablets. Take care with caffeine tablets as they can cause GI distress (I speak from experience!).
Replace fluid and then re-fuel as soon as you can after the race
“One of the biggest fears of a male pro triathlete is getting “chicked” by a lady. For the first time in history that fear applies to nearly all male professionals. Chrissie is that good”. – Lance Armstrong
Her autobiography: A Life Without Limits: Chrissie Wellington
Article on Recovery: Ironman champ: The importance of R&R