What Fills My Belly

What Fills My Belly

I’m totally going to steal an idea from my friend Sarah Jarvis!  She wrote a blog post regarding what she eats during a race……..Eureka!  Publish it and never ask yourself again, “Exactly what was it that I ate during that AMAZING race?” 🙂  I just have to do the same.  I also get SO MANY questions from clients and other athletes regarding my nutrition strategies.  What better time to put it all down on “paper” than my taper week for Ironman 70.3 World Championships!

Here is my typical HALF IRONMAN nutrition plan…..


HUGE bowl of oatmeal
2 cups water
1 cup dry oats
1 scoop of Whey Protein Isolate (Vanilla)

I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast for over 12 years….Yup! Almost EVERY day!

Really.  It is a HUGE bowl.  Sometimes on a nervous stomach I can’t get it all the way down, but I do my best.  I eat this about 2 to 2 1/2 hours before race start.

30-45 minutes Before Race Start

1 GU Roctane
2 SportQuest Metasalt salt pills.

Thermolyte METASALT

Heaven is paved with salt pills! These little babies can turn a very bad day right-side up!


Cages are filled with:
1) 2 bottles of 300 calories each of SportQuest CarboPro (just calories and nothing else….even flavor) and 1 Gu Brew Electrolyte Tablet (so 600 total calories and 640 mg of total sodium)
2) 42 ounces of plain water in my rear Showers Pass Hydration System

GU Brew Tablets

Love these! Just a little bit of flavor and fizz with 320 mg of sodium per tablet!

Carbo-Pro Pure Complex Carbs

Just calories! Very light, almost non-existent sweet flavor. Can be added to anything and can use at different concentrations!

I sip off of the water and the CarboPro every few minutes, taking in between 200-250 calories per hour and a steady stream of electrolytes.

Depending on the conditions, I will take 1-2 additional salt pills every hour.  If it’s HOT, I will take more with PLENTY of plain water.

1 GU Roctane
Make sure electrolytes are topped off for the run

GU  Roctane Gel

Blueberry Pomegranate. Cherry Lime. Island Nectar. Chocolate Raspberry. LOVE THEM!

I take 2-4 salt pills every hour depending on conditions
Starting at Mile 4ish……1 GU Roctane continuing every 3-5 miles.

Never underestimate the power of plain water, Coke and salt pills.  It works wonders to settle everything in my stomach.  If you have never tried it before………I HIGHLY recommend it 🙂

If a volunteer ever asks you if you want some……JUST SAY “YES!” Hot or ice cold this stuff is MAGIC!

1-  PLENTY of plain water!  I make sure to be ALWAYS sipping on plenty of water.  I prefer to carry all my own and only supplement with what is on the course as I need it.  Especially when supplementing with sodium, I HAVE TO keep up on my water.  The one time I took too much salt was ONLY because I had run out of water for a 15 mile stretch on the bike.  I WILL NOT let that happen again.

2-  Keep a steady stream!  On the bike I am constantly sipping on calories or plain water.  This keeps my energy up.  I also keep a steady stream of electrolytes and fight off imbalances from the beginning of the race.  I NEVER wait for electrolytes to get low (and try my best not to make that happen).

3-  Well timed caffeine!  I do not as a rule use caffeine outside of racing and training.  That means when I take it, it is effective.  Nothing clears my head better during a long, hot bike leg then a Roctane or some Coke.  I use to always avoid caffeine for fear that it would cause stomach issues (if it gets me moving….won’t it get “other” things moving?), but I have not found that to be the case in the amounts that I use it.

4-  Keep it Simple!  I love liquid calories.  I get plenty of fluids and plenty of calories at the same time.  This works GREAT for me.  Since honing in on this plan, I have had great success and felt VERY strong finishing and after racing.

5-  Remember, THIS WORKS FOR ME not everyone!  The key to building your own nutrition strategies is trial and error.  Don’t give up.  Once you find the right combination of things YOU WILL FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS!

*As a side-note, I am not sponsored by any of these companies.  I just really like their products.  My nutrition is an ever evolving process.