Tim Berkel talks us through his Ironman Nutrition Plan

Planning your nutrition for an Ironman triathlon is a difficult science. So many things can go wrong. No matter how many times you have raced it always seems you are starting from scratch each time to try to get it right. One of Australia's top long distance triathletes, Tim Berkel, talks us t

A question I’m asked time and time again in the lead up to Ironman is what I use in terms of nutrition on race day!!! I guess a little plug here for my nutrition partner Science in Sport (SiS), who I have been working closely with all season and have helped me achieve some great results!

Race day is very important but also do not forget the days leading up to the race! Busso at this time of year can be very hot and cramps for me have always been an issue! In preparation for my last few events 3 days out I have been drinking at least 2 litres a day of a new product SiS have recently brought to Australia called ‘SUPER HYDRO’ This is a electrolyte replenishment drink with no calories so is great for making sure I am fully hydrated going into my races! The berry flavour is my fav!!!

On race day I like to get up early and have a good breakfast normally some porridge and toast approx 2-3 hours before the start. An hour before the swim I drink PSP22, this is a great product for carb loading and I find it great for getting some last minute energy into the system before the race! I will drink it literally until I get into the water as it just gets in the system and does not lie heavy on the stomach!

On the bike I have a mix of water, GO ELECTROLYTE and PSP22 this way I get a mix of carbs, electrolytes and water. The main thing I use on the bike are gels. Guys if you haven’t tried these yet go and get some SiS GO GELS they are amazing. If like me in the past you have used gels and have found them really thick and gluggy to get down and got to take lots of water with them, well with these it’s the opposite. It was the world’s first gel that has been designed to take without water, it’s isotonic. So if there is a big queue at an aid station or you are completely out of water you can still safely use this product and avoid those stomach upsets and cramps!!! What I usually do with the gels is put 6 into a flask so I can just use them as I feel. With approx 50km to go on the bike I fire in a Smart 1 gel with caffeine to give me a kick.

Onto the run and I use water from the aid stations at approx 20min intervals, I will continue to use normal gels throughout the run at 40min intervals to avoid hunger flats. At the halfway mark I switch back onto the Smart 1 caffeine gels to get me home.

I hope this helps.