Half ironman - first time

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Half ironman - first time

Postby Sweeper59 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:54 pm

I'm doing the half ironman event in Port Macquarie this Sunday. It's my first time doing the longer distance, and I'm a bit concerned about nutrition during the event. I'm generally too nervous to eat much before the event, but OK once I get going. I'll try to get additional energy onboard during the cycle leg. Apart from gels and bananas, does anyone have any tips on foods that fit on the bike or in my cycling jersey?
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by BNA » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:31 pm

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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:31 pm

If you don't get a good amount of food in before the start you will be in trouble I would think.Good meal the night before and as much as you can squeeze in a at least two hours (3 or 4 is better but you may have an early start) before the start.
Keep drinking a sports drink while waiting from the time you wake up till you start (pee as much as you can before the off).Mix your own drink from powder and run it strong,you can get a lot of energy into a 800ml bottle.But you should trial the drink strength before hand in some hard training rides so you know how it sits on your tummy.
You may crave something more solid than a gel...on long rides I like cheese,fruit cake,almonds.Becareful with dried fruit etc that can bloat you.
I know nothing about tri / IM's...but pretty sure IM's are all about having a good run...eek!.
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby Hebden » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:26 pm

Hey Sweeper59,

Leave your bananas at home, there will be thousands on the course and lots of volunteers to hand them to you.

You should definitely only eat what you have eaten in training. Don't change anything on race day, that is the cardinal rule. Switch to a low fiber diet a couple of days out and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with water and sports drink. Have your last "big meal" 10-12 hours before race start (pasta or rice, lotsa carbs). Breakfast 2.5 hours before start of the race - your usual will be fine. Then if you can stomach it and you’re used to it, a gel/banana and a sports drink 30min before race start.

You should have a good idea from training how much you need to eat and drink, just don't forget in all the excitement of the race! Your best bet is to eat and drink a little extra on the bike as it’s usually easier and it’s good to have a buffer for the run.

Good luck and don't forget to enjoy yourself!
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby Sweeper59 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:08 am

Hebden,
I was interested in your previous post - a report on an IronMan event in Port Macquarie from a competitors point of view. You mentioned that the volunteers were 'awesome' and the event couldn't be run without the 2000+ locals who volunteered.
Well, I was one of those volunteers - I co-ordinated about 25 locals over a 5 km section of the cycle leg. I was onsite at 3am setting up road barriers, clearing the roadway and setting up the volunteer's posts and still on the track at 4pm to open the road again. By the time I got to the finish line, the leaders were showered, changed and onto their 3rd or 4th beer! However, to see the middle of the pack struggle over the line and be cheered by locals and greeted by family was inspiring. So much so that I'm competing in my first long distance triathlon this Sunday - the Scody Port Macquarie Half Ironman event.
One thing I will remeber to do is thank the volunteers as I go past on the bike and run - as a previous volunteer, it made the day to be thanked by the competitors. I'm sure a number of the locals who volunteered previously will be back bqased on the 'good feelings' they received when thanked by the athletes.
The ironic thing is - as a competitor I get an extra 2 hrs sleep before the event !!!
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby Hebden » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:51 am

Sweeper59 wrote:Hebden,
I was interested in your previous post - a report on an IronMan event in Port Macquarie from a competitors point of view. You mentioned that the volunteers were 'awesome' and the event couldn't be run without the 2000+ locals who volunteered.
Well, I was one of those volunteers - I co-ordinated about 25 locals over a 5 km section of the cycle leg. I was onsite at 3am setting up road barriers, clearing the roadway and setting up the volunteer's posts and still on the track at 4pm to open the road again. By the time I got to the finish line, the leaders were showered, changed and onto their 3rd or 4th beer! However, to see the middle of the pack struggle over the line and be cheered by locals and greeted by family was inspiring. So much so that I'm competing in my first long distance triathlon this Sunday - the Scody Port Macquarie Half Ironman event.
One thing I will remeber to do is thank the volunteers as I go past on the bike and run - as a previous volunteer, it made the day to be thanked by the competitors. I'm sure a number of the locals who volunteered previously will be back bqased on the 'good feelings' they received when thanked by the athletes.
The ironic thing is - as a competitor I get an extra 2 hrs sleep before the event !!!


Thats fantastic Sweeper, I hope you have a great day, and thanks for your efforts as a volunteer!
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby tripstobaltimore » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:17 am

A mate tried out hammer perpetuam in the gold coast HIM and gave it the thumbs up - it is more of a replacement meal than a sports drink, as it has a mix of carbs, protein and fat. I plan on given that a shot for longer tri's (i personally havent used it yet).

Something like a cadbury breakfast bar or an apricot bar is a nice compact source of energy - worth giving a shot. A couple of those should get you through. I'm with twolonglegs - you need to have something solid before hand, otherwise your body will be depleted of glycogen.
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby Sweeper59 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:36 pm

Well, I completed the Half Ironman last Sunday, and don't think I had too many problems with nutrition. I was up early, and had a good breakfast of cereal and fruit, then drank plenty of water before the start. I completed the 90k bike leg in less than 3 hrs (including a flat!), but was unable to swallow the power bars I tried to eat on the ride. However, High 5 and bananas got me through.
The main problem was lack of sleep.....I was so nervous before the event that I tossed and turned for 5 hrs, and ended up getting about 2hrs before waking at 5.15am. I ended up running out of energy because I was so bloody tired.
Has anyone had this problem before? Is it OK to take sleeping tablets to ensure a decent sleep? Any other ideas?
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby ClownBoy » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:49 pm

Sweeper59 wrote: Is it OK to take sleeping tablets to ensure a decent sleep? Any other ideas?


Not the night before - a common side effect is lethargy the day after.

I use tablets the preceding couple of nights so I am up on my sleep but stop the night before. On the preceding day, I do nothing but check in my gear, eat and sleep. Then when I toss and turn the night before, I am well rested anyway.

Note - my first half ironman is not for 11 months but I do have several endurance events under my belt and this seems to work.
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby Hebden » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:46 am

Sweeper59 wrote:Well, I completed the Half Ironman last Sunday, and don't think I had too many problems with nutrition. I was up early, and had a good breakfast of cereal and fruit, then drank plenty of water before the start. I completed the 90k bike leg in less than 3 hrs (including a flat!), but was unable to swallow the power bars I tried to eat on the ride. However, High 5 and bananas got me through.
The main problem was lack of sleep.....I was so nervous before the event that I tossed and turned for 5 hrs, and ended up getting about 2hrs before waking at 5.15am. I ended up running out of energy because I was so bloody tired.
Has anyone had this problem before? Is it OK to take sleeping tablets to ensure a decent sleep? Any other ideas?


Congratulations on your race Sweeper!

It's probably more important to get a good night’s sleep the two nights before the night before the race. Nerves can keep up even veteran athletes. If you have a couple of early nights in the lead up to the race or even an afternoon nap or two if you can, then missing proper sleep the night before shouldn't affect you too much. Consider it sleep loading :wink:
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby tripstobaltimore » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:12 am

Hebden wrote:
Sweeper59 wrote:Well, I completed the Half Ironman last Sunday, and don't think I had too many problems with nutrition. I was up early, and had a good breakfast of cereal and fruit, then drank plenty of water before the start. I completed the 90k bike leg in less than 3 hrs (including a flat!), but was unable to swallow the power bars I tried to eat on the ride. However, High 5 and bananas got me through.
The main problem was lack of sleep.....I was so nervous before the event that I tossed and turned for 5 hrs, and ended up getting about 2hrs before waking at 5.15am. I ended up running out of energy because I was so bloody tired.
Has anyone had this problem before? Is it OK to take sleeping tablets to ensure a decent sleep? Any other ideas?


Congratulations on your race Sweeper!

It's probably more important to get a good night’s sleep the two nights before the night before the race. Nerves can keep up even veteran athletes. If you have a couple of early nights in the lead up to the race or even an afternoon nap or two if you can, then missing proper sleep the night before shouldn't affect you too much. Consider it sleep loading :wink:


+2. At least try and get a good sleep the night before. It will be a sleepless night for me tonight with the first race on the season tomorrow!
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Re: Half ironman - first time

Postby casual_cyclist » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:52 pm

Sweeper59 wrote:The main problem was lack of sleep.....I was so nervous before the event that I tossed and turned for 5 hrs, and ended up getting about 2hrs before waking at 5.15am. I ended up running out of energy because I was so bloody tired.
Has anyone had this problem before? Is it OK to take sleeping tablets to ensure a decent sleep? Any other ideas?

It has happened to me lots of times. The first time was before my first 200km ride. I was so nervous because it was a group ride and I didn't want to let the group down. I ended up getting enough sleep to perform well. Next next time was before my first ever 300km ride and it did affect my performance. Most recently (because of work) I only got 3 hours sleep the night before a tough 300km ride and was so tired that I only (barely) made it 170km. For a lot of the ride all I felt like doing was going to sleep.

If you want something to help you sleep, I have had some success with valerian and passiflora. I found that I went to sleep quicker and slept deeper so I would feel more refreshed with less sleep. However, occasionally I would go to sleep and sleep deeply for a couple of hours, then wake up and not be able to go back to sleep. http://www.aussievitamin.com/herb-valley-valerian.html
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