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I'm doing an Ironman in about 4 weeks. Having just completed a half Ironman a couple of days ago, I'm feeling upbeat after performing well. However, I have a question about nutrition for my forthcoming race. For my half Ironman, I ate mostly protein the night before, porridge in the morning, then structured my gels throughout the race accordingly;

  • One half an hour before the swim I ate a gel, and sipped at a bottle of Hi5 upto the race start
  • Once on the bike drank two further bottles of Hi5 and four gels during my 50 odd miles
  • On the run I drank several small plastic cups of water/Hi5 from the aid stations, and a gel at miles 6

I use thicker un-caffienated gels, as the ones with a thinner viscosity ones are repulsive. I've heard from friends and have read that some people put gels (up to 26!) into a bike bottle, and consume this during the ride. However, this needs to be done with caution as it can adversely affect your constitution! Is gel choice a personal choice, as in what agrees with you, or should I avoid specific types?

I do have Ankylosing Spondalytis so I'm also worried about the hot weather, and my genetic inclination towards hyponatremia.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

4 weeks before an Iron man - I wouldn't try anything new.

You are probably going in a taper in 2 weeks, and you should already be at the peak and ready for the race.

Yes, Gels are a personal (and some medical) choices, but just continue with what got you through the half, and you'll do just great.

There are Gels, Gums, powders, pills (and probably 20 other types), bars, etc. It's a choice, I wouldn't make 4 weeks before my peak race.

Oh, and Good Luck!!

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