Daniel Martin (27) recently completed his first Half Iron Man in Durban on the 1st August 2015. He first sought my help in the beginning of 2015, knowing that good nutrition would take his training to the next level. I worked with him to formulate a comprehensive diet plan including dietary guidelines, training guidelines, a full meal plan, supplement recommendations, and fueling and recovery recommendations.
Now that he has completed the event in an awesome 5hours and 45minutes, I wanted to gain some feedback regarding his nutrition plan.
Ironman was always something I wanted to do I had just never taken the conscious decision to sign up. A friend called me up one day and said we doing this – end of discussion!! That was in in February and gave us what we thought was enough preparation (+- 5 months) to get ready for the race.
As I am not a natural swimmer I always knew that to train the swim was going to be tough. I also knew that we would be training in winter in Johannesburg, which is never easy, and so it was important that we got into early habits of training 5 to 6 times a week.
No – I was all for eating a good meal before, lots of carbs and then only drinking water during and after. Mistake #1!!!
It was actually astonishing the difference that good nutrition made for me during the training, especially on the bike ride where we would train for up to 4 hours at a time. I found I had a lot longer lasting energy and my recovery time on the bike was much quicker. I also found my breathing improved a lot too, which was a huge help when training at altitude here in Johannesburg.
Cutting out excess carbs and sugars worked well, but for me the most valuable was the MCT powder.
On race day I had 2 boiled eggs and cheese, a cup of filter coffee, full cream yoghurt and a nut granola mix. On the ride I had some “power balls” made up of 4 different kinds of raw nuts, dates, honey and cacao powder. Before the run I had 3 sticks of dry woers and another powerball. This was coupled with 3 bottles of water mixed with MCT powder and peak endurance.
More than sufficient!!
The swim was by far the hardest and it hurt me physically and mentally for the rest of the race.
I would eat more earlier on in the ride and not eat too much before the run. My biggest mistake was eating too much too late. It didn’t digest properly and it affected the first 10km of my run.
Train the run the hardest, as this is where you can make up the most time. Give yourself at least 5 months before to start training and make sure you know what works for you and what doesn’t when it comes to nutrition. There is a saying that goes, “when training make sure you train the 4 disciplines, swimming, riding, running and eating”. Understand what works for your body and then make sure you get your body used to that. Most of all enjoy it and set yourself a goal, it will drive you to succeed when you hit the dark days of training!!! It’s a fantastic event and well worth the sacrifice!!