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Voedingsplan van start tot finish

Nutrition plan from start to finish

, by Dennis Florussen en Steff Overmars, 8 min reading time

Do you want to be well prepared at the start of your race? We are happy to give you advice for a nutrition plan: from breakfast to dinner.

How do you “Feed” during an IRONMAN to ensure that you continue to perform optimally until the finish?

During an IRONMAN you burn no less than four times more calories per hour than normal. Despite burning so many calories, you often hardly feel like eating or drinking in the final stages of the race. That is why it is essential to carefully plan your diet in advance. In this blog we would like to give you advice on what you should consider when creating your personal nutrition plan.

Focus on carbohydrates, water and salt
The energy you need for an IRONMAN comes from a ratio of 65% carbohydrates and 35% fat. Fortunately, we all have enough fat in our bodies, so we don't have to focus on this during the race (however, our Sub9 Energy Drink contains a small amount of fat to stimulate fat burning). However, our carbohydrate supply runs out after about 90-120 minutes. To keep you energetic and healthy during an IRONMAN, you should mainly consume carbohydrates, water and salt. The more varied your food choices, the more you can consume.

Sounds easy, right? Nothing could be further from the truth, because a nutrition plan is very personal. In terms of flavors you like and the amounts of food you can tolerate. Therefore, start testing sports nutrition well before your race, so that you know what suits you.

What can you take with you during your race?

Swimming part  
It is not practical to consume gels or drinks during your swim, but don't worry. If you ensure that you are recharged in advance with a good breakfast, this will not be a problem. We will discuss this further in this article. 

Bicycle part  
The cycling part is the best time to take in nutrition, because you can easily take water bottles, bars and gels with you along the way. Your upper body is static, making it easier to eat and drink on the go. Think of it as a buffet on wheels. We will explain later how much you should consume, but for now first what you can take with you.

Running part
For many triathletes, this is the moment (especially throughout the year) when the stomach and intestines start to struggle. That's why variety on the bike helps me personally, so not only liquid food but also occasionally eating a bar. Many athletes often experience abdominal cramps, cramps and diarrhea, especially during the running leg - or simply feel exhausted. So make sure that you also follow your food plan properly during your training and not just look at the hard numbers on your heart rate monitor or your wattage meter. 

  • Energy gels (you can take the High Energy gels , but if you have a more sensitive stomach and intestinal fauna I would not take high energy (these contain more carbohydrates than the Energy gels )
  • Electrolytes to ensure you replenish your salts and minerals during your race. This can be done very easily at the drink stations with water.
  • Gummy bar 

Avoid (hard) bars during your run. It simply takes too much energy to remove this. 

Your nutrition plan for IRONMAN Race Day 

Before your race, you will need to create a detailed hour-by-hour IRONMAN nutrition plan. This takes some time to make, but it is totally worth it. You don't have to remember it perfectly, but it's still better than making it up on the day. 

Below I indicate how many grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight you should consume during your IRONMAN at different times in your race. All 226ERS packaging contains the nutritional information you need to create your nutrition plan. 

Your breakfast (3 hours before the race)

+/- 4 grams per kg of carbohydrates. (I always have a good bowl of oatmeal with honey. Please note: this may be too rich in fiber for some athletes. But definitely try this out. Simple white rolls can also provide a solution with an addition of banana). Of course, for enthusiasts, a cup of coffee should not be missed for breakfast. 

Liquid: 5 to 7 ml per kg (For example 350-500 ml of liquid). For example, I take a water bottle with 500ml of isotonic drink . 

1 hour before the race

1 bottle (500ml) Sub9 Energy Drink  

15 minutes before the race

Energy gels (with or without caffeine) or an Energy shot

During the cycling part 

60-70 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Some athletes can tolerate up to 90 grams. I can't say it enough: train this well in the weeks before your race. Assume that you take something every 15-20 minutes. For example, set a countdown timer on your watch, because time flies by. 

Example 1 /hour  

Example 2 /hour  

Example 3 /hour 

Practical example for 5 hours of cycling: assuming 2x1L rear bottle, 1 handlebar bottle 500ml, 1 frame bottle

During the running part

Now it comes down to whether you have eaten well while cycling. But don't forget to feed when walking, although this is sometimes not easy. My advice is: 40-50 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Little and often. Here too, train in advance to see what your stomach can handle. 

Drink at every drink station you come across, in most races this is every 5km. Make sure you have your Energy gels or Gummy bar at hand just before the drinks station so you can wash them down with water. Also take electrolytes with water every hour , especially in warm weather. Take the time to drink and feed properly, you will benefit from it. Better to take 1 minute too long to swallow a gel than to get a knock on the head at 30km from that man with the hammer. 

After the race: recovery 

Before driving to McDonalds or the Beren...

  • Take 1 500ml recovery bottle as soon as possible after the finish 
  • In the next half hour, 1 bottle of 500ml isotonic drink 
  • And 200mlNight recovery 30 minutes before going to sleep

And don't forget to enjoy your race!!! 

Good luck!





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Nutrition plan from start to finish