Think you’re tough enough to swim 25 km, cycle for up to 20 hours and run just over 80 km? All in just one week? Well that is the typical training program for anyone wanting to enter the Ironman Contest. The contest takes 3 of the toughest sports and combines them into an incredibly challenging triathlon.
The contest, which culminates in the World Championship, is the toughest one-day endurance race known to man. It covers 140 miles and includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then a full marathon of 26.2 miles. The race is also continuous, toilet breaks are taken on the go! Unusually, the race also sees amateurs and professional competing at the same time.
If that didn’t sound tough enough – the race has to be completed within 16 hours – with each event having specific time limits as well. Athletes will train for around 7 months for each contest in the hope that they qualify for the World Championship. That is a lot of training and so a lot of nutrition!
Lean protein is essential as it aids muscle recovery. Chicken, fish, nuts and beans all fit the bill. Fruits and vegetables are also a must as a great source of fibre and antioxidants. They are also rich in iron which is an essential mineral for athletes. Iron is depleted through sweat so liquid iron supplements might be required. Try Liquid Iron Supplements from Blueiron. It makes sense that an Ironman may need to top up his iron.
As energy is so important for such a long haul event, it is a good idea to load up on carbs. Foods like potatoes, rice and pasta will do the job nicely, however, be sure to balance with protein and vegetables. It is also true that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and a good balance of protein, carbs and fruit will keep you full for longer. Hydration is also vital, whether it be water or sports drinks but best to avoid high sugar energy bars and drinks which are also loaded with saturated fat.
So, if you think you have the grit and determination to train hard and eat right, then maybe you could be a real life Ironman too?