Our triathlon coach and contributor just had one of his best results recently at the Austin Longhorn IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon.
The race consisted of a 1.2 mile choppy open water swim, a 56 mile windy and hilly bike ride, and a challenging 13.1 mile run mixed with rough beat up concrete and grass.
He completed the race in 4 hours 30 minutes. The swim was 31 minutes, the bike 2hours 32 minutes, and a run split of 1hour 21 minutes.
To put this into perspective, that means Paul rode 56 miles at around 22mph, and ran at an average pace of under 6:20 per mile for 13 miles! If this were an Army PT test that means on the run he maxed out the points 6+ times in a row after a long ride! This effort earned him 32nd place overall (including the professional field) and 2nd place in the M30-34 age group. This puts him in the top 1% of the finishers. Paul notes that he still has a long way to go before he will be satisfied – in order to qualify for his professional license he’d have needed to race about 5 minutes faster overall.
This sport doesn’t come easy to Paul, but he’s come a long way in the last 4 years. His first race of this distance took over 6 hours and placed him among the bottom 20%. It goes to show that anyone with the right motivation, nutrition, and dedication can achieve great levels of fitness. Paul says his training will average anywhere from 15 hours up to 30 hours (at peak volume) per week. He has been training at that volume for the last 2 years under the guidance of Vinny Johnson of QT2 systems. He trains in Las Vegas with his super star wife and Red Bull athlete Angela Naeth of Canada.
Read below as Paul shares his dietary intake for the day prior to and during the race!
2 eggs over easy
Coffee w cream/sugar
Start eating pretzels. Spread throughout the day. 8oz. Gluten free, finish by 5:30pm
EFS high sodium sport drink (160cal with 24oz water)
EFS sport drink (4 scoops w 24oz water) (160cal)
2:00pm: 1/2 blueberry bagel
6:30: bagel, lean chicken 4oz, EFS high sodium sport drink with 24oz water (4 scoop)
RACE MORNING: (3.5 hours before start)
2cups apple sauce unsweetened
EFS sport drink w 24oz water (4 scoop -160cal)
30:00 BEFORE SWIM:
Bonk breaker Chews (4 chews)
Bonk Breaker High Protein bar followed by treating himself to copious amounts of hot dogs, pizzas, tacos, famous Austin BBQ ribs, donuts, ice cream and soft pretzels with cheese. Basically anything he wanted for 2-3 days. He says “I need to prepare my mind in order to get back to eating clean up until the next race, I love food more than anything and love eating like a pig. The problem with eating like a pig, is if I do it too often, I get fat, and fat doesn’t move very fast.”
Paul wants to note that this fueling plan was designed specifically for him by a registered dietician at “The Core Diet“. Everyone will have different nutritional needs based on the intensity they race at and their level of fitness. Also note this is not his typical day to day diet. Paul’s diet consists of mostly lean meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts/seeds. “If you eat this amount of carbs and sugar on a day to day basis it’s guaranteed you will get fat”, says Paul. Nutritional needs change around race day to avoid stomach digestion issues because stress is so high during race day.
The temperature of the race maxed out at a chilly 65 degrees. Paul notes that during hotter races he will consume up to 9x24oz bottles of sports drink (3+ bottles per hour). Just a bit more than normal.
If you have any questions regarding race fueling, day to day nutrition, or anything triathlon related, Paul is a triathlon coach and would be happy to answer any questions. Visit him on his website and social media.