> I'm wondering if doing a long course without food is a good idea.
I believe that this is a very bad idea. For me I have to eat something during a
half-ironman race or I will bonk severly. I have done 6 half-ironman races and
I will tell you what works for me.
Race morning I usually eat 2 bagels and a
power bar with a water bottle full of gatroade (I also drink tons of water the
night before, If I don't get up at least 2 times in the night then I have not
drank enough). I usually have two water bottles on my bike at the begining of
the race. One I have plain water and the other I have some sort of high-carbo
drink. I have used Exceed High-Carb, Ultra fuel, Coke, and Dr. Pepper in the
past. Dr. Pepper works the best for me, but some people have trouble with the
surger. I also have two opened power bars in the transition area which I stick
in the back of my suit when I get on the bike. I refuse to stick them on my bike
because one they look gross and two, I have seen friends try to get baked on
power bar off their top tube.
On the bike I will space my power bar eating out so that I eat one in the first
25 miles and one in the second. I find the best way to eat power bars on the
bike is to bite off a big chunk and stick it in the side of your mouth like
chewing tabacco. I chew on it for the next few minutes with some occational sips
of water or gatorade. I have found it imposible to try to chew and swallow it
all at once while trying to ride hard ( you are just breathing too hard). As for
drinking on the bike this really depends on how hot it is. I race mostly in
texas and I drink like a fish. I grab a water bottle and a gatorade bottle at
every aid station. I stick the gatorade ( or whatever the race has) in my cage
and drink most of the water right away and throw the bottle away. Then I drink
the gatorade between aid stations. I try to repeat this at every aid station. I
also space out my drinking of my high carb drink over the whole bike.
Once back in the transition area, I usuall have another small bottle of high carb
drink waiting for me. Depending on how I feel and how the eating went on the
bike, I will either take a few gulps and leave the bottle or I carry and drink
the whole thing in the half mile. I usually try to eat a banana or orange slice
(or whatever food they have a the run aid stations) at the first couple of aid
stations. After that I just eat when I start to feel my stomach roumble. At
every aid station I grab a cup water and gatorade and drink as much as I can
while running. If they have coke I will always gab that to (Coke works really
well for me, the sugar is perfect, and I does not upset my stomach).
One important thing to remember is to practice using whatever you will use in the
race in your training. Don't try new things on race day, you are only asking for
trouble. Take the stuff out on your rides and runs and figure out what works for
Good luck, you will really love the longer races if you eat and hydrate properly;
otherwise, they can be quite painfull.