Iron Distance races are long. depending on your ability and fitness anywhere from 8hours to 17hours. Most people reading this site won’t really be thinking of getting down towards the 8 hour mark so we are going to be out there for 10-17hours no imagine doing nothing for that amount of time. Sitting at work or a very long flight. Imagine if you didn’t eat…you would be very very hungry right? So its very clear that during an Ironman you are going to need to eat something, even if we ignore the massive calorie expenditure (approx. 10,000 calories! or 20 McDonalds Big Macs!). But while swimming biking and running this can be difficult.
But there are numerous ways we can get food down while on the move. See my Ironman Nutrition post for more info.
During the Training phase some workouts become very long. when exercising over 1.5-2 hrs the body needs fresh supply of calories otherwise it runs low and performance greatly diminishes. But these long workouts are the perfect place to practice your fuelling strategies for the race. To try new foods and products to see if they suit YOU. Not all foods and products will suit all stomachs. Its imperative you try them first.
There is a life outside Ironman training, even during it. What you eat as your overall diet can have a great effect on you training and racing.
See my Ironman Triathlon Diet Plan for what to eat while ironman training.