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IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44)
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In addition to working with a # of professional athletes who had great days at IM Arizona (including women’s champion Leanda Cave (8:49), 7th place female - Kathleen Calkins (9:12)….& ST’s Jordan Rapp who I KNOW will move onto better days :), the bulk of the athletes we work with are age groupers ranging from first timers to those targeting a Kona slot. Some of these athletes don’t mind us publicly disclosing their nutritional programs & below I’ve outlined that of NJ's Sean Reilly who came out of the water 79th in his age group but ran his way to 2nd place in the M40-44.

Don’t hesitate to drop a reply if you have any questions/comments & I’ll aim to get back to you ASAP. Happy reading….

Ironman Arizona Triathlon – November 20, 2011
Race Totals: 9:29:29
Swim: 1:08:58 (79th in age group / 482nd o’all)
Bike: 5:01:50 (22.26 mph – off the bike 17th in age group & 140th o’all)
Run: 3:12:13 (7:20 per mile – finished 2nd in age group & 69th o’all)

Complete race results posted here.

BREAKFAST:


PRE-SWIM:
(1) bottle w/ (2) scoops of EFS + (1) SaltStick & (1) Accel Gel (Chocolate) before getting in the water

SWIM TOTALS:
1:08:58 (79th in age group / 482nd o’all)

BIKE TOTALS:
5:01:50 (22.26 mph – off the bike 17th in age group & 140th o’all)
Lap Splits:

  • 1:37:36
  • 1:41:59
  • 1:42:15

Bike Nutrition:


Bike Nutrition Totals:

  • Calories: 2774 (555 per hour)
  • CHO: 671g (134 per hour)
  • Sugar: 284g (57 per hour)
  • Sodium: 5593mg (1119 per hour)
  • Potassium: 2268mg (454 per hour)
  • Caffeine: 180mg (36 per hour)

*For reference, Sean raced at ~152LBS [Hourly Caloric Intake (Bike): 3.65 calories /LB per hour]

RUN TOTALS:
3:12:13 (7:20 per mile – finished 2nd in age group & 69th o’all)

Run Nutrition:


*Alternated between Perform, Coke & water through 13-miles & then switched to Coke & water to the end [approx 1.5oz of each at (24) stations]

Run Nutrition Totals:

  • Calories: 1360 (425 per hour)
  • CHO: 342g (107 per hour)
  • Sugar: 238g (75 per hour)
  • Sodium: 1966mg (615 per hour)
  • Potassium: 696mg (218 per hour)
  • Caffeine: 123mg (39 per hour)

*The run calculations are assuming ~1.5oz of PowerBar Perform & ~1.5oz of Coke consumed at each of the 1st (13) aid stations & then exclusively Coke & water for the remaining (10) aid stations.

NOTES:
As you can see, Sean's hourly caloric intake is very high (even higher than '10 IMF Champ James Cunnama who's report we posted HERE). We came to this mark by continuously experimenting w/ a higher & higher intake strategy which Sean tolerated well. He also felt at the higher intake (about 25% more than we had done in previous IMs), he was able to maintain power output in the latter stages of the ride - better than he had at the lower #. Given that Sean is also a very strong runner, another concern was being able to process this many calories & still run well. Obviously he was able to do this, having the fastest run split in his age group.

Now if we can only do something about his swim :)))

As noted, if you have any questions please drop a reply or if it’s something that you feel is better handled offline, please shoot me an e-mail (Brian@PersonalBestNutrition.com).

---

Brian Shea
http://www.PersonalBestNutrition.com
1st Endurance, Bonk Breaker, CarboPro, etc...
SlowTwitch Discount: STWITCH
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for sharing Brian. This information is really helpful for all of us that have struggled with nutrition issues in Ironman.

For the larger athlete do you think the high kcal consumption on the bike is key? I am a tall, 180lbs triathlete with fuel test results that show I am almost wholly a carb burner, even in my easy training pace zones. Needless to say I generally die late in the marathon of Ironman races. I have never experimented with more than 400kcal/hr but this report gives me encouragement to do so. Also, how does the EFS sit in the stomach for most folks. I recently switched to CarboPro after trying almost everything out there and it seems to help enormously with gastric issues.

Thanks for any help!
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Brian and I worked on this for the better part of 18 months. This has been a constant work in progress and will continue to change as my fitness and race venues change. If any of you are having nutrition issues, I would highly recommend working with Brian. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable but he's also incredibly patient.
Nutrition is really the 4th discipline of IM racing. With Brian's help, I've really been able to nail it. I'm not guessing anymore on race day or during training. This is one of the few components that you can truly control. Thank you Brian for your continued help. Now, do you have anything by EFS that will make me swim faster?



"Failure is only failure if we fail to learn from it."
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Not nutrition related, but any idea on average power on the bike?
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [cmscat50] [ In reply to ]
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I didn't race with a power meter but did most of my training with one. My last long ride before tapering I averaged 226 watts for 4 hours.

"Failure is only failure if we fail to learn from it."
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [sreilly] [ In reply to ]
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9:29 is seriously fast....I finished with a 12 next to my finish time. It is really hard to imagine a "9" at the front of my finish time. Thanks for the information...very helpful for my next IM attempt if and when it happens.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [sreilly] [ In reply to ]
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Would it be correct to assume your IM would have been more near 200 than 226? I'm simply curious as to what sort of power it takes to ride to a 5 hour IM at 150#. I'm not sure 22 mph can be done on 200w that's why I ask. I have no power training or racing.

Congrats on a fine race!
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [cmscat50] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, nice job! I was happy with my 11:07. I can't imagine a 9:29, that's awesome.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [cmscat50] [ In reply to ]
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cmscat50 wrote:
Would it be correct to assume your IM would have been more near 200 than 226? I'm simply curious as to what sort of power it takes to ride to a 5 hour IM at 150#. I'm not sure 22 mph can be done on 200w that's why I ask. I have no power training or racing.

Congrats on a fine race!

I'm pretty sure you can do 22mph on 200w at 150#.

I'm 185#, and do about 23 on 260. A buddy of mine is about as fast, and does the same speed at about 200-210. This assumes a relatively flat course (like IMAZ), and fair conditions. Also... we can only hold this for HIM (or 2 hrs of it anyway)... working on that IM thing.


--
WeBike.us | 2012 IMAZ Race Report
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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I think you MISSED mentioning a few 'BRANDS'...WORST self promotion ever on ST.

tfun~
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [trvfsub2] [ In reply to ]
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Would you rather him just give calories without saying how he arrived at them and using what product? Not sure that would help much without knowing if it was solid, liquid or whatever.

Thans Brian for taking the time to put these up.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [trvfsub2] [ In reply to ]
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I really thought it was a good post, very helpful to know brands. I am smart enough to know that what works for him may not be the brand I need. Thanks Brian! Helpful to see what others can do.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the info Brian and great race Sean.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Always glad to see you posting the inner workings of how a race unfolded. You guys are constantly putting out good results, congrats on that!

_________________________
I got nothing.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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it is all so concentrated. How does he absorb all that without any water-other than a few sips at aid stations. I thought you had to drink 6 oz of water to absorb one gel?
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [mrtrik] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 185#, and do about 23 on 260. A buddy of mine is about as fast, and does the same speed at about 200-210. This assumes a relatively flat course (like IMAZ), and fair conditions. Also... we can only hold this for HIM (or 2 hrs of it anyway)... working on that IM thing

I'm really not sure what I was able to hold as far as power was concerned. I do know that I was stronger at the end than I've ever been. (I realize that fitness also plays a key role in that.) Trying to limit the damage as far as calories are concerned played a key role in that too.

"Failure is only failure if we fail to learn from it."
Last edited by: sreilly: Nov 30, 11 1:56
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [BrianPBN] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats. My first response is "Wow, that looks too complicated - I'll just slug down what I can, when I can." From a logistical perspective, how do you remember what to take when, how do you set-up or access the various sources? Thanks,


Damn, that's a cold ass honkey.
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [dubyakay] [ In reply to ]
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dubyakay wrote:
Congrats. My first response is "Wow, that looks too complicated - I'll just slug down what I can, when I can." From a logistical perspective, how do you remember what to take when, how do you set-up or access the various sources? Thanks,

Practice, practice, practice. My race day is a mirror image of my long training days. Eating and drinking are 2nd nature on race day. Also remember that the majority of my nutrition is in my water bottle. The Liquid Shot and Clif shots are the only thing outside the bottle.
I prepare my nutrition the night before I race the same way I prepare it when I'm training. I'm so regimented with the way I train that it borders OCD!

"Failure is only failure if we fail to learn from it."
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Re: IM Arizona Nutrition Report (9:29 - 2nd M40-44) [Sub] [ In reply to ]
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Sub: Thanks for sharing Brian. This information is really helpful for all of us that have struggled with nutrition issues in Ironman.
For the larger athlete do you think the high kcal consumption on the bike is key?



As a general statement, the more calories you can consume/digest, the better off you’ll be if you can get in more fluid & calories (regardless of the size of the athlete). We place so much focus on getting in a significant amount of calories on the bike, so your need to consume high amounts on the run is lessened & this is especially true for athletes hoping to run off the bike (ie If an athlete’s realistic goal is a 5:30+ marathon…which as much as we hate to say it, is usually >50% of the field, your ability to still consume calories/hydration is easier at those 12min/mi paces).

This is NOT to say universally that an athlete will have a better race if they consume more calories, but it does say that it's been our findings that the more calories an athlete can race on in an IM, the better off they'll be. Whether that upper mark is 275cal or 500cal is something only you can answer.



Needless to say I generally die late in the marathon of Ironman races. I have never experimented with more than 400kcal/hr but this report gives me encouragement to do so.

There are obviously a million different reasons that an athlete can have issues in the latter stages of an IM. It’s also important to understand than even those at the pointy end of the field are suffering TREMENDOUSLY over those last 10km. One of Sean’s 1st comments to me after his race was that he hurt more in that race than he ever has. The point of hurt needs to be manageable & whether or not your issue is related to pacing or fitness or nutrition can only be determined by trial & error.

With all the athletes we work with, on all ‘key’ long training sessions we’re quantifying exactly what their hourly intake is, so we have confidence on race-day that the program will work. Because Sean had a myriad of rides of similar intensity/duration at >500cal /hr, he knew going in that he could tolerate this & still run <7:30’s off the bike for the full marathon. He is somewhat of an anomaly in that we usually don’t recommend as high an intake strategy on the run as well & once you get 7+hrs into the race, intuition on what you feel you need is a big part in your success.

My suggestion to you would be to continue experimenting w/ strategies well over the 400cal/hr mark & see how it works for you. It’s also important to remember that this should be done in similar conditions that you expect to race in as a well-practiced fluid intake plan on a 5hr ride in 45F weather is going to be dramatically different than that at 90F. Although calories may remain relatively consistent, total fluid intake could change dramatically.



Also, how does the EFS sit in the stomach for most folks. I recently switched to CarboPro after trying almost everything out there and it seems to help enormously with gastric issues.
There are a million different fueling options that work & I can’t say that EFS is markedly better or worse than anything else on the market, but it has been EXTREMELY well-received since it's introduction. I will also say that it is one of the more tolerable products, even when mixed at higher concentrations. We’ve found the CarboPro remarkably easy on the gut as well which is why we often use it as a staple when creating a concentrated solution in excess of 400-500cal /bottle.


I am a tall, 180lbs triathlete with fuel test results that show I am almost wholly a carb burner, even in my easy training pace zones.

Just as your ability to consume/process calories at higher amounts is a trained behavior, your preferred ‘choice’ of what fuels your body uses is also somewhat of a trained behavior. You may want to give this article a read & implement some of the strategies as you head into next season to see if you have a positive response:

Low Carb Training


Cat: it is all so concentrated. How does he absorb all that without any water-other than a few sips at aid stations. I thought you had to drink 6 oz of water to absorb one gel?

Different athletes can process calories at different concentration levels & although traditional science tells us that a 6-8% carbohydrate solution we've found that many athletes can excel at well above that. There’s rarely a need to get this detailed, but if you ever want to calculate the carbohydrate concentration of any beverage as a percentage, divide the amount of carbohydrate in one serving (in grams) by the amount of fluid in one serving (in milliliters), and then multiply by 100 (8 ounces equals 240 milliliters).

So, despite the fact that you should be consuming more fluid, especially at such a high intake, we’ve found many athletes can consistently consume well above that CHO% & race well. As an example, (2) of the pro nutrition reports we’ve posted in the past [James Cunnama (1st Place IMF ‘10) & Jordan Rapp (1st Place IMAZ ’09)] have used intake strategies that are WELL above what should be tolerated….but they continue to work.

I would be more reluctant to implement an identical plan as those outlined above if the weather was warm & Sean’s total water/fluid intake will be dramatically higher in Kona…but when conditions are moderate, aiming to consume 6-8oz of fluid for every 100cal (ie 1-gel) could lead to frequent stops to the port-o-john & in worst case, over-hydration & diarrhea.




Dubyakay: Congrats. My first response is "Wow, that looks too complicated - I'll just slug down what I can, when I can." From a logistical perspective, how do you remember what to take when, how do you set-up or access the various sources? Thanks,

I’m not opposed to a simpler strategy like yours, as long at the end of the hour/ride/day you’ve hit your targets. What we have found is that athletes tend to consume more when there’s variation. For example, when we have athletes that are relying exclusively on a concentrated calorie bottles (Sean had 2 of these), we’ll often have each bottle contain different flavors, even if the actual mix in each bottle is identical.

So if we again look at Sean’s plan, the bulk of his calories are from the EFS/CarboPro Bottles (nearly 1100cal) & EFS Flasks (800cal), so about 70% of his calories are from those 2-sources. When we look at the logistics of his race, the basic outline is that he needs to consume (1) of the concentrated bottles & (1) flask over the 1st 50-miles & replicate that same general plan over the next 50-miles. Between those ‘scheduled’ feeds using either of these 2-sources, he can take hits of any of the other options….the only caveat to that is we prefer to use the caffeinated gels in the latter stages of the ride, so in Sean’s case, the plan was to utilize the Bloks earlier & the Accel Gels later (& the 2nd Surge at 100mg of caffeine per packet) as a last go-to.

So it’s not as complicated as it may seem as we’re basically just using (2) main sources & filling in the gaps as needed. This is NOT the only way to do this as we could have also done a more concentrated bottle at 1 /loop & supplemented w/ on-course Perform or a million other variations. Sean’s plan was simply based on a lot of back/forth where he would do a ride, he’d try the Accel Gel & come back to me & say ‘Yeah, those sat well…I think we’ll stick w/ that.’ The next week we’d try the same 400cal intake from an alternate gel or a more concentrated drink & he’d again say yay/nay

Lastly, as noted above we’re also making some game-day decisions with regards to conditions. If the race ended up being 95F & hot, we would have definitely backed off the gel concentrations & relied more heavily on the on-course Perform to keep his calories consistent, but increase his fluids.



I hope that helps answer your questions, but if there’s anything else, just let us know!!

---

Brian Shea
http://www.PersonalBestNutrition.com
1st Endurance, Bonk Breaker, CarboPro, etc...
SlowTwitch Discount: STWITCH
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