Nutrition Pre Race

  • Practice having your breakfast 2-2 ½ hours earlier, sip water or a low concentrate electrolyte like SOS during morning. 1 hour prior have a ¾ - 1 bar or banana and then 10-15min to start have a gel. This way we are getting your glycemic index peaking for race start.
  • Aim to be in transition 60min prior to race start. This gives you plenty of time for preparation warm up jog, warm up swim and any s**t that gets thrown at you like change of tire or broken goggles!

So generally I’d recommend a strategy in a half & in training

  • You need approx. 60-90gm of Carbs per hour – how you make that up is up to you but when you think of the a drink (elect/carb drink) 1 bottle (750ml) only provides 25gm carbs or 1 gel (60ml) = 25gm of carbs.

Generally individuals can consume 60-90gm/carbs per hour. As a general guideline you need per kg of body weight – 1gm of carbs.  So an 85kg athlete aims for 85gm of carbs per hour. Really try to stick to this on the bike as it’s usually a bit harder to get the volume of carbs in on the run so for those that continue on to Ironman you may want to consider pushing this up a fraction to be in the positive!

So Gels I think are more effective energy source but you still need electrolytes and you still need water (some gels have that too).

Racing Guideline

This will slightly vary depending on body weight

Every 20-25min be getting in 1x 25gm fuel source Gels or Bar (this means over 2 hours)

  • 1 Electrolyte Drink (25gm)
  • 1 Water
  • 2x ½ Bar (40gmTotal ) – you could just have ½ or no bar and increase gels
  • 2-4 Gels (50-100gm) – depends on your body weight

Total of 115-165gm of Carbs

Half Ironman

In a Half Ironman I would only use 1xbar as the intensity at the distance can be a bit harder to digest – I’d aim to have the bar at the end of the first hour or start of the 2nd hour of being on the bike.

  • The first hour the intensity is a little high – focus on easy to process carbs (gels/ electrolyte/carb drink)
  • At the back end of hour 1/ start of hour 2 more time to digest solids as pacing and HR more consistent (possibly break into 2 periods that you have it)
  • Late in hour 2 or hour 3 then getting too close to run and can be a problem with a solid in gut as you start run


  • Bar (I personally like the Em’s cookies but they can be a bit dry when racing so then like the SIS Choc Mint (21gm Carbs + Protein) or Balance Fuel 2 Go bars (21gm Carbs + Protein).
  • Banana is another option at 25gm of Carbs good for training or IM but unless they are on course then it’s a bit of hassle to take
  • A Basic muesli bars are 10-15gm carbs again ok and cheaper for training but probably wouldn't race with the