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Ironman Training

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  • Ironman Training

    I am new to the "Primal Diet" After just completing my 5th Ironman with great success and qualifying for the World Championships in Kona I am looking for a competitive edge. I (think) understand the basics of the diet and the goal train my body to burn fat, which there is a great supply, vs glycogen. Which in 10-11 hour race will give me more efficient fueling.

    I am only a week into this and have give up all bread, pasta etc Processed foods were a minor part of my diet so that was not hard to give up.

    I am recovering from my race so have been doing minimal training but my questions lie in how to fuel for longer training.

    Tomorrow I swim for an hour followed by a 2 hour ride- this is still low HR but within weeks I will be logging 5-6 hour rides. I have previously fueled with a lot of carbs so I am curious how to approach tomorrow- I'll start there- ie: what to eat pre/during and post?

    I am excited to take this journey but am not eager to compromise training and start bonking!


  • #2
    Yesterday is History
    Tomorrow's a Mystery ~ Today is a Gift...
    That is why they call it THE PRESENT


    • #3
      ....or if you prefer, a femal IronMan...(Pepper Pots aka Hera)

      For MOTIVATION!!
      Yesterday is History
      Tomorrow's a Mystery ~ Today is a Gift...
      That is why they call it THE PRESENT


      • #4
        idrop, you have probably already searched the main Daily Apple page for related posts, but if you enter "Endurance Training" a few links turn up. One was guest authored by a Primal Blueprint staff person and discusses the PB and endurance traiing. At the bottom of that post is a link to a post by a pro-triathlete; that is good reading as well. I don't have a lot of experience to share with you except that when you get your body to use fat as it's primary fuel, your entire training and race nutrition plan will change.


        • #5
          congrats on the KQ, I know how huge that is! I haven't raced in years for one reason or another, but looking towards a HIM in September. I'll be *virtually* riding along with you.

          Paleo for Athletes is supposed to be a good read. I have it but haven't looked at it yet so I really can't say. You should start a journal so we can follow your training. Good luck with it all!
          Female, 53 y.o. 195 lbs 2/15, 148 lbs 02/16. Goal wt < 140 lbs.
          Journal link:


          • #6
            I am going to make an assumption that you don't need to lose any weight. If I were your nutrition consultant, I would suggest you stick with a higher-carb Primal diet until after Kona and then use the off-season as a time to adapt to training on a low carb diet. So for now, Paleo Diet for Athletes is a good STARTING point as it is NOT low carb but instead a moderate carb diet where all carbs come from paleo sources (fruit and veg). Your focus now should be on learning to eat a moderate carb diet while completing eliminating gluten and all other grains.
            On a long ride, that would mean using lots of dried fruit or something convenient like Lara bars. Also, you can buy dried, powdered yams (Jay Robb) to put in your post workout recovery smoothie so you can lower the fruit content (smoothie contains fruit, coconut milk or water, protein powder, BCAAs, plus yam powder).

            Things to ignore in Paleo Diet for Athletes:
            eat any kind of meat, not just lean meat
            Don't ever use canola oil
            Dairy is fine depending on your tolerance for it, especially butter and heavy cream

            After Kona (congrats, btw!!), you can transition to a low carb training diet that switches you to fat-based fueling. That will mostly mean eliminating the fruit and using more protein and fat in training like almond butter or perhaps something like a coconut oil/nut/fruit/cocoa balls that you see recipes for on here sometimes. But if you do it now, it WILL compromise your training for up to a month. It's up to you, of course, depending on what your goals are. Moderate carb primal might be a good way to transition slowly and not try to do everything at once while still in the summer training months.
            Good luck!


            • #7
              I bow to thee. Doing my first IM in September.

              As for eating, I'll eat slightly more carbs on high volume training days, but always from real primal food. I've noticed that I have more energy, less joint issues, and faster recovery. So go for it, and good luck!!


              • #8
                I have completed 4 IM's at Lousiville, Canada and Coeur d'Alene. The last two I completed while eating gluten free most of the season. I have yet to "race" while totaly primal but have two HIM races planned for next season and will be traiing 100% primal for both of them. Yams will be your friend through October for sure as mentioned above. You want to keep your race and hard training fueling plan intact so don't go on water and electrolytes and reduce the carb drinks now. Wait until after Kona to tweak something that important. Look into supplimentation, particularly for omega 3's, vitamin C, Vitamin D and magnesium. You are creating a lot of free radicals in your training that will be detrimental if you don't have some support there. Watch out for the habitual reaching for recovery drinks, you should try more whole foods rather than muscle mike or other labratory created "nutrition". Have a super time at Kona, I never qualified but everyone I have known who has gone has come back with a vigor and pride that only Kona can offer, congrats on the effort it took to get there.


                • #9

                  I have been training for Ironman Canada and have 10 weeks to go until the big day. In your post you said ""I am going to make an assumption that you don't need to lose any weight,"and gave good advice on what he should do. What would you recommend if I wanted to lose weight (fat weight), and still be able to train my 12-15hours per week?



                  • #10
                    Jonas Colting is a very succesful swedish triatlete, I believe there is an interview with him on MDA as well. He's into primal, not low carb however (primal does not automatically mean low carb, as a number of members of MDA does point out)


                    • #11
                      not exactly diet related (tho the OP does admit she's vegan, which might have caused the whole problem?). Anyway, this has been making the rounds thru my fb friends, thought i would share the hilarity/yuk with y'all.

                      Going to the bathroom on the bike


                      • #12
                        Ironman Training Plans

                        These Ironman training plans are intended for those triathletes who are doing their Ironman in three months time. It is assumed that you currently have a solid fitness base and therefore able to handle the rigors of these Ironman training plans.

                        Ironman is as much a mental battle as it is a physical contest. Proper preparation will boost your confidence on race day and train both your body and mind to stay on task for 10, 12, 14 or more hours. It all comes down to planning and executing that plan.


                        • #13
                          Wow. Great thread, wish I'd seen it a while ago!
                          Life is not a matter of having good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.

                          - Robert Louis Stevenson


                          • #14
                            This training plan is written to prepare you to finish your first Ironman. While it is just a beginnerís plan, the hours per week start at a significant 8 hours and quickly move up to 15-18. You should already be consistently training 8-10 hours per week before beginning and ideally you should have completed some Olympic distance races in the past season and a half Ironman race would be even better.Very little improvement in swimming performance comes from building swim fitness through hours of training. Almost all swimming improvement comes from technique refinements that often occur instantaneously. You should swim-train for an Ironman in a way that encourages and accelerates technique refinements instead of in a way that concentrates on building fitness. Get one-on-one stroke coaching from a qualified swim coach, study freestyle technique ( is a good source of technique videos), fiddle with your stroke, use swim aids that encourage technique development and perform technique drills for body position, rotation, efficient breathing, a strong pull and efficient kicking. Use intervals and sustained swimming primarily to ingrain technique and secondarily to develop fitness.