Category Archives: Team Ribble

Team Ribble: Ailbhe goes top 10 in European Cup Triathlon

Since my last tri race in Malmo, Sweden, I’ve raced in both Denmark and France. If only fitness was gained at the same rate as air miles, hey!

The European Cup round in Denmark coincided with the Nordic Championships and had only a small number of starters. I went into it wearing no. 9 on my arm and was ever so hopeful of ‘beating’ my race number. My original goal was a top 10 and my edited goal, closer to the race with the excitement building, was a top 5. On the day I managed ninth place and achieved my original goal and my first European Cup top 10 in a senior field. First international top 10… I will take it.

Bike1

I forgot my biking legs

Was I disappointed? Yeah. Why? Well… a trending pattern this year is that I seem to forget to pack at least one of my three abilities be it swim, bike or run. This race it was my biking legs! Will I ever pack them all for the same event? I do hope so!

The race went as follows: a sea swim with approximately 300 metres to the first buoy which meant not so much hustling and bustling to get to the front as soon as possible. I appreciated this and made it to the first buoy in fourth place sitting on the hip of Amanda Bohlin, who is currently ranked 64th on the World WTS rankings. I had her marked before the race as she also raced in Sweden and I knew how much faster she was in the water than me there. I got to the first buoy and was happy. I had a hip to swim on and I felt good.

BikeinTransition

Right hand turn around the buoy and it seems I maybe stepped out of the race for a few seconds… where did that hip go?! I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I put in a big effort to try and get back on feet, but it seemed I was swimming in a ‘30 mile an hour zone’ when the rest of the girls were cruising along the motorway… the feet were gone. Exiting the water in sixth place with an 11 second gap to the front pack, I was faced with the most difficult of T1’s I have yet to endure. There was a man made scaffolding structure put in place to get us from sea level to the road… it was steep! The picture below doesn’t lie!

Prerace montage

I suffered… a lot! Anyway, onto the bike and I thought – with my biking usually being my strongest discipline – that I could get on to the back of the front pack. Rich shouted the time gap to me and I could see the girls just there. ‘Just there’ became a little more with every wincing glance. Legs – shot. Engine – empty… Uh oh, this is gonna be a hard day!

I chased as hard as I could, for as long as I could, before hearing the group from behind coming up behind me… Okay Ailbhe, settle yourself because your now in the main chase pack with three girls up the road (such a dream number for a breakaway group, but anyway, next time!). I knew two of the girls in the break, one had beaten me in Sweden (Bohlin) and the other I had beaten so I was hoping that I could stay in the chase pack – sit quietly – and catch that girl on the run… dream world – BANG – back to reality.

Sitting in the back of the chase pack when I was already suffering was silly because the course had corners and a lot of them. I didn’t like having to get up and sprint every few seconds and in no time at all, after yoyo-ing for a little while, that elastic went pop and I was in no man’s land… oh god Ailbhe, what have you done?

Bike2

After a couple of more corners two other girls from that chase pack had the same experience as I had earlier. They came back to me and we had a group of three. In the blink of an eye, I had lost them too. You are kidding me! Looking down at my legs wondering if they were actually still attached, I just closed my eyes and pedalled as hard as I could and I eventually got back on to the two girls. A second wind maybe? Who knew? I was ready to work though.

We rolled through on 20 second efforts until the last lap where for some reason the two girls wanted to play tactics and decided they didn’t want to roll through… ok, great. I flicked my elbow numerous times, but there was no sign of anyone pulling through. I looked back – I had a small gap. Ah! That explains that. I moved right over to the side and ushered the girls through. I couldn’t trust that my run legs were packed based on my bike legs being a no show. I needed them to pull their turns. Up the final hill and into T2… the girl in front of me came crashing down.

Thankfully I had a bit of trouble getting my feet out of my shoes and a gap bigger than I would usually like had grown between us ended up being a blessing as she fell and took up a considerable width of the road! Thank god for my god knows what number mistake of the race so far!

Bike3 crash

On to the run and I flew out of transition – faster than usual… uh oh, was I going to suffer?! We hit the hill on the run which we would do twice and wow oh wow were my legs on fire. Oh god Ailbhe please, please, please come on! Crested the hill and suddenly started to feel ok – ish… The girl just ahead of me was a different girl who I had beaten in Sweden but we ran very similar run splits so I was aware of how level pegging it might be. She had a gap out of T2 and it stayed that way. Although I feel like my legs came back a little bit, they were just not really in the mood to race. I hurt a lot during the race but I wasn’t hurting because I was breaking speed limits, I was simply hurting because my body was just not feeling race day! It happens.

I passed girls from the chase pack and finished up in ninth place. Upon analysis of the race it actually looks that had I just stayed in the chase pack, never mind the front pack I was actually running to battle for a podium spot. That’s an encouraging outlook on a very topsy turvy performance but people don’t always see the ifs and buts of racing because it doesn’t really matter most of the time. You judge a race on the result not on the ‘if’.

On to a French tri

I had a week before my next race which was with my French Grand Prix team Brive Limousin Triathlon in Quiberon. Quiberon is the fourth race of five in the grand prix Divison 1 league. I was very excited to get over there and race in France again as I hadn’t raced with the team since Dunkerque in May – which was my first race of the season. I was all set and ready to rock and in the days before the race I was feeling very springy and everything was looking food. Bike legs felt like they were present on the bike warm up. Run legs felt like they were present on the warm up. Shoulders and arms didn’t feel heavy and I felt happy in my nappy and ready for what was to come.

Down to the beach start and one look at the starting pens had my jaw dropping! It was such a long run-in that the race format all of a sudden had changed. It was now a run-swim-run-bike-run race. There was a lot of beach running to be done in Quiberon with entry and exit in and out of the sea. My run-in left a lot to be desired and its sad to say that that was actually the best of what was to come in the next ten minutes.

My swim – pffffft – just didn’t happen. No reason behind it – it just wasn’t there. I would have been quicker aqua jogging through the 750m than swimming it like I did! Absolute no, no. Out on to the bike and the chase was on. There were single bodies all over the place and I knew the chase had to be hard or this was really going to be an awful day. I could see two groups of two girls up the road and I absolutely drilled it as hard as I could on my Ribble Aero 883 and I bridged that gap by myself and we were now a group of five. Ok, time to work. We could see the chase pack up the road. They were just there.

Drilling it

We had one really strong girl in our group who was organising the turns and drilling it as hard as she could. I did my bit and kept on her good side. With two laps to go she decided she wanted to go and see who would go with her on the technical bit of the lap coming into the transition area. I had just taken my turn on the front and had slotted in at the back when she went. The girl behind her went with her but the girl third in line didn’t want any of it. I came from fifth wheel back and chased it down and got on their wheels again.

My legs were feeling strong but that gap wasn’t closing. 45 seconds was the call. As a group of three we rode the last two laps and came into T2 only to hear the group from behind hot on our heels. All of that work for just six or seven seconds advantage? Oh no!

Run

Out of T2 I went in third position and the legs didn’t feel half bad. Ok Ailbhe – run with these girls, just run with them! I was passed by four girls, I think, on the run and I passed three girls but at that stage it was a little too late. It turned out that the front pack was huge and it was a case of running for a spot from around 45th onwards… yikes what had happened? Bad day at the office… what on earth? One day all three will go smoothly and I won’t know what to do with myself – I dream of that day!

Anyway, next up for me was a race in Ireland. Maybe all three disciplines will go to plan there… who knows? The suspense is a killer! The season is drawing to a close now so better make the most of the evenings and weekends.

Stay safe and happy pedalling,
Ailbhe

 

 

Team Ribble: Tri victory and top 10 performances for our Ribble racers

Three members of the Ribble Cycles staff were in racing action last weekend – and there was one gold winning victory. Here’s how they got on…

In triathlon…

Dionne Allen from Ribble’s Customer Service team won the Monster Middle Triathlon in Ely, Cambridgeshire on Sunday and finished tenth overall in a field of 170 finishers.

She contested the longest event on the day which was over a 1.9km swim, 92.8km bike leg and a 21km run.

Team Ribble
Dionne speeds past Ely Cathedral on her way to victory. Photo: Ian Green Photography

On her Ribble Aero TT bike, Dee rode the near 100km bike leg in 2 hours 47 minutes and recorded an overall finishing time of 4 hours 43 minutes 47 seconds.

The impressive victory sets Dee up for a good race in the gruelling Helvellyn Triathlon in September which is considered to be one of the toughest races in the world. The open water swim is in Ullswater, the tough cycle leg includes Kirkstone Pass and the run is to the summit of Helvellyn and back down!

In road racing…

Graham Payne finished seventh in TLI Cycling National Road Race Championships, held last weekend at Audlem in North Staffordshire.

Graham described it as a frustrating race but has to be pleased with a top ten finish at championship level.

Team Ribble Graham

“It was stop, start, stop, start, all day long,” said Graham, “Breaks kept going away, being caught and then there was another long lull. The winning break went towards the end of the race and after missing it I was sprinting for the minor places.”

Over 200 riders competed across a number of age categories and they were the largest fields ever assembled for a TLI National Championships with spectators enjoying a great day of racing.

In time trialling…

Matt Stell was the unluckiest or luckiest Ribble rider of the weekend when he was in a spill with a vehicle during the Association’s 12-hour Time Trial.

Team Ribble Matt Stell
Matt Stell in action. Photo: Ellen Isherwood/Lancs Racing Scene

A car accidentally blocked Matt’s riding line and he could not avoid colliding with it and causing damage to his front wheel. Despite the crash Matt still finished the WCTTCA & LTTCA event and even beat his 12-hour personal best by six miles to cover an amazing 264.81 miles! Matt’s distance over the 12-hour event put him in sixth place.

Matt’s great form continues – earlier in the month he recorded a fast 20 minute 34 sec time trial over the 10 mile Levens course in Cumbria.

Team Ribble: Ailbhe inspired by Rio Games and happy after Euro Cup + Video

Team Ribble-sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll is excited by the Rio Olympics after a good performance in the Malmo European Cup triathlon. Watch her video below…

The Olympics… Where little kids dream of going and where big kids have dreams come true. What a fabulous representation of how sport can bring people together. Anyone following Rio will have come across the picture which was a selfie of the young North and South Korean gymnasts together… how fabulous to see. Another picture which went viral was the beach volleyball picture which included team Egypt playing in full length kit. Brilliant. So many cultural differences put aside for the love of a sport. Brilliant.

Malmo Triathlon

The Olympics, and sport in general of course, have been tainted with doping scandals. It’s horrible to see so many clean athletes being affected by so many doping athletes and nations. It makes you question why they do it. It makes you question if anyone is actually clean. It makes you look at your own rivals and think… are you clean?

My latest European Cup triathlon

I raced in Sweden a week ago and had the most fabulous race experience to date. I travelled with my boyfriend Rich who wasn’t racing, but was there to help me and this proved very beneficial. He was able to do small things like carry my bike box and do some errands which allowed me to rest and conserve my energies.

I also had the pleasure of meeting one of my countrywomen, and now true friends, whilst out there. I somehow dodged meeting Susanna Murphy on many race occasions but when I met her randomly on a cobbled street in Malmo, I knew she was a keeper! What an awesome girl! Susanna went on to finish 14th in Malmo to gain her 3rd top 15 in a row on the international scene – flying that Irish tricolour flag loud and clear. When I grow up I want to be like her!

Ribble inTransition

I went in to the Malmo triathlon ranked number 29 and my realistic goal for this race was a top 25 finish. Unfortunately I didn’t get that and finished 29th but there were so many positives to take from this race. The first major positive was how relaxed and controlled I was before the race start. I have serious issues with eating breakfast on travel day to races and race day morning.

For some reason although my nerves feel fine, my stomach does not allow me to eat and I feel incredibly nauseous before racing. This time round I was able to eat half a bowl of cereal and some white bread with a bit of bacon. I was having weird cravings, but was going to eat whatever I could get down me as something was better than the usual nothing. Big success.

Another success surrounded the build up to the race. I was so calm and collected being around Susanna. Having Rich there as a familiar someone was hugely calming. Race day, although it brought with it some surprises in weather conditions and whether we were allowed wetsuits or not, it went rather smoothly. The water temperature was all over the place. The day before the race it was 18.8 degrees (wetsuit). The morning of the race 17.6 (wetsuit) and then one hour before the race – 20.8 (none wetsuit). Whatever that water was doing I was not a fan! A few issues upon check-in and we were ready to rock.

My Ribble gets me back in touch

During the race itself – I swam main pack which is where I expected to be. But I was at the back of the pack and a trip and meet and greet with the ground upon swim exit meant I was on the back foot. I went from being there to wow – where did she go?! I did all I could and my Ribble Aero 883 which got me back in touch with the group.

Ribble Aero 883 Malmo Triathlon

However at this point the main pack on the swim had split into two and the group I had caught back on to was the second half of that group. Not ideal. The eventual winner who then travelled to Rio for the Olympic triathlon, came from my swim pack so that’s very encouraging in itself. I felt incredibly strong on the bike and my little Ribble rocket was fabulous. Entering T2 I was actually running for a top 20 finish despite the previous events and trips. The top 20 wasn’t there for me this race but it’s all there for the taking once I get myself to stop tripping up over my own feet. The ingredients are there, I just need to get mixing and then baking!

Sweden was a special race for me as one of the main sponsors was one of my own sponsors… Newline sport. They are the sponsor of both Swedish and Danish triathlon and so it was nice to see their flag flying high… helped along by the extreme winds as well! The role a sponsor plays in the journey of an athlete is rather huge. I would like to take this time to reinforce how important sponsors are.

Sponsors are so important

No journey is smooth and no journey is cheap. Support, both financially and in equipment, is just massive and allows athletes to grow. Where does the role of sponsor fit in for athletes who don’t start their journey on the podium? It fits in everywhere. There are athletes who started nowhere and are now the best in their field. Their sponsors stood by them when things were looking a little grim. Losing sponsors at a time where races don’t go smoothly is a kick in the teeth athletes don’t need.

We all want to promote the brands as best we can and do our sponsors proud in an effort to thank them but this doesn’t always happen. Sponsors who are there through thick and thin, through the lows and the highs, for the love of trying to help and support – they are the ones who make the difference. Such a huge support. I have been so lucky in having such great support this year.

Malmo Triathlon

I have not had the success just yet that I have been dreaming of but each day is a day building strength and speed I didn’t have the day before and each triathlon shows progress. Having people believe in you is a big boost and I believe I will have the success I dream of one day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and some journeys require more time than others. I have time and I am very motivated to get myself to where I want to be.

 

Thank you as ever to Ribble Cycles, Polaris Bikewear, Newton running, Newline sport and New Running Gear. I’m sorry the podium hasn’t come yet but it will!

I hope everyone is cycling happy and loving doing what they are doing – triathlon or cycling!

Stay safe, stay healthy,
Ailbhe 🙂

Malmo Triathlon

Team Ribble: Ailbhe’s Spanish triathlon adventure

Ribble-sponsored triathlete Ailbhe Carroll updates us on her eventful July at a European Cup triathlon in Spain

Oh my, Oh my, Oh my, my, my, July. Birthday month, kick start my international triathlon season month and fun times in warm places with cool people month… it was all there for the taking, but oh my, my, my, was it not to be!!!

July started off being a month filled with excitement. I was not really looking forward to the whole year older thing, but it was nice to spend time with friends and laugh at myself for being older. Laughter will keep you young they say!

On our way to sunny Spain

Next on the agenda was my first European Cup triathlon of the year and a trip to Spain with one of the funniest girls I know, Emma Sharkey, from the beautiful emerald isle of Ireland. Emma was flying from home and I was flying from the UK and we would meet in Spain and go from there. We would have each other so it would all be easy, breezy, beautiful, cover girl. We wish!

Delayed luggage coupled with our lack of Spanish had us off to a good start, but it had us laughing because there was nothing we could do. All luggage firmly in hand and all train tickets paid for, we were finally on our way to Barcelona and then the beautiful little seaside town of Altafulla. The heat made for a sweaty journey and Emma’s all black everything outfit left her hot, hot, hot! I also learned that jeans are just not meant for travel. Ever.

Carroll Tri Suit 16We found the hotel in Altafulla with little difficulty. We were here finally – straight to the sea for a swim please! We hopped into the sea and all was right in the world again. We did all the usual things after a day of travel with our bikes and then food, food… give us food! We got our bearings with where registration was, where the nicest Italian restaurants were and we even spotted the best Froyo (frozen yoghurt, Ed) shop for a treat after the race. We had it all done! We got this!

The next day we had the bike recce first thing. Altafulla was a really cool course with a nice big hill which intertwined its way through some old Spanish streets. It was super cool but this was as far as the love for the course grew for me. Up the hill for the first time and my bike became very vocal making all sorts of crazy noises. After much deliberation and some fiddling about with what I thought I may have done incorrectly when rebuilding my Ribble Aero 883, she seemed to be running smoothly thank god. A couple of more times up and over the hill and we were good to go.

Swim recce was next and as there is a lot less technical equipment involved for this section, it seemed to go rather swimmingly! Food, food, give us food! Once our hunger was put to bed we were free to relax and chill out, watching the WTS Hamburg race, before having to dash off to our registration and briefing.

Time for dinner…food again! Yay! Dinner done and home to do the last bits and bobs putting number stickers on bikes and helmets and then we were ready to sleep.

Carroll Tri Transition

Triathlon race day

The next morning was a lazyish start as the race wasn’t until midday. A relaxed breakfast and a little nap before heading down. During our warm up my bike seemed to be running smoothly. I left Emma and decided I would do one more hill just to make sure my bike was ‘A OK’. Cue the disaster.

Seemingly my rear derailleur had been knocked in transit and it was spending a lot of time up against the spokes creating the noise I’d heard the day before. It had had enough on race morning though and got caught in the spokes which broke the replaceable derailleur hanger. With 45mins to race start I was without a working bike.

Panic… no, don’t panic. Who can help? Ring Stephen from Triathlon Ireland. He likes bikes. He will know. As expected he told me all the relevant details and what to do, but unless I could find a new hanger, I would be a little screwed.

The bike mechanic on site had an extensive tool kit – one small multi-tool. Great! What next? At this point I was stressing just a little. Everyone had racked their bikes and was down in swim warm-up. I was still in the athlete area with no tri-suit on and no bike to rack. These invaluable experiences in life that seem to be awful at the time, have to make sense at some point in your journey. Don’t panic.

I asked if could borrow a bike and the next minute along comes this bike. God knows what speed, or if any speed at all it was, how old it was and how much heavier than me it weighed but she went into transition and I would hop on later and see what happened.

Lets get it on

What happened next, not a whole lot. I had enough time to run down to swim warm up and take three strokes before we were called out of the water to line up. There was an Irish lady whose accent was more comforting than she knew at the time, who was shouting us on. My head was a ‘little’ frazzled and so the race wasn’t exactly what I had planned.

The swim seemed to just stay as one big group and I was at the back following feet constantly thinking about how this bike was going to be. Out of the swim, onto the bike and I could barely reach the handle bars or change gears! Disaster! One lap of the bike is all I could manage and made the decision to call it a day there. I don’t like giving up. Bike mishaps happen every day and are oh so fixable but this one was out of my control. Big lessons learned however – always carry spare hangers.

Emma went on to get the top 15 place we were both chasing. Go on Emmahuh!!

Race over and once packed we were on our way back to Barcelona where I would be leaving Emma who was staying there with friends for a night whilst I went back to the airport. We hopped onto our train in Altafulla and it was packed. I reminded myself to keep my phone in my hand as with a bag on my back and bike box in front of me, I wouldn’t be so sure that anything from my bag wouldn’t be stolen.

One hour passed on the train and our stop was coming up so I placed my phone in my bag. I strapped my bag and had it under my arm pit until the beeps to tell us the doors were about to open. I then doubled strapped it, grabbed the bike box and exited the train. I checked my bag and the phone was gone. Someone had stolen my phone. Now what?

I was leaving Emma and had no phone, no Spanish and no memory of Rich’s phone number to ring him and let him know the story. We went our separate ways. Emma messaged Rich and he eventually got word to the taxi driver collecting me that I needed a meet and greet at the airport. This was all beknownst to me. I arrived safely in the UK but there was no taxi driver to be seen. After some tears a very kind lady taxi driver who allowed me to use her phone to ring my mother. The taxi driver finally showed up and I was on route back to Loughborough. Just after midnight I arrived home a little worse for wear. All in a day’s work… who knew it could be so exciting.

Lessons learnt for next time

Not the trip I was after but these things happen. I learned more than you could even imagine. I dealt with the world of emotions. I laughed. I cried. It was all going on.

Carroll on Ribble smaller

In light of it all, my poor Aero 883 had an emotional time also. It clearly came across some very rough luggage handlers at the airport. My bike box did extremely well to protect the frame as a whole and not allow the rough handlers to damage the frame itself. The bit that broke off is designed to do exactly that and with only costing a few pounds to fix I am very glad my Polaris bike box did its job and protected the frame which is slightly more expensive than a few pounds to replace!

Good equipment makes a huge difference and that is as simple as it gets really. Spend the dollar on good protective equipment and reap the benefits upon meeting a rough airport handler.

I am off to Sweden this week for another European Cup triathlon this weekend. Let’s hope the luck of the Irish stays with me this time round! Stay safe, stay happy and most importantly, stay healthy.

Happy pedalling!
Ailbhe (Alva…just in case it’s slipped your mind!)  🙂

LPAero883Large
The innovative and versatile Ribble Aero 883.

 

 

 

 

Guide: Tackling an Ironman Triathlon – Nutrition Plan

Tackling an Ironman triathlon: How to get the nutrition you need to succeed

An Ironman is one of the most demanding endurance experiences available, composed of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a full 26.2 mile marathon to finish!  On July 17th, hundreds of people will head to Bolton for this year’s headline British Ironman event.

The Ironman name alone is enough to underline how this is not a challenge that you can just turn up to – months of preparation are needed. Even if you’re an avid cyclist or a triathlon enthusiast, this mammoth trial requires peak fitness – and one thing that’s crucial to Ironman success is an optimised diet, both before and during race day.

To get the best understanding of the diet needed to succeed, Ribble Cycles spoke to Annie Simpson, an expert nutritionist from OTE Sports, to find out what is needed to take on this all-day feat.

Healthy Breakfast - Oatmeal with dried fruit at blue table
Breakfast

In both training and on the day, Ironman athletes must have a set meal in place, as drastic changes can have different impacts on the body. Simpson explains that the best breakfast is one high in carbohydrates, with a portion of protein to help slow digestion and avoid starting-line hunger.

“By eating two to three hours before the start, food will be given enough time to settle in the stomach,” she adds.

Simpson’s example breakfast includes:
•    One large bowl of porridge made with milk, with chopped banana or dried fruits and nuts (with extra protein from Greek yoghurt);
•    A glass of fresh fruit juice for calories and hydration; and
•    A cup of coffee, to help wake up for an early start.

Before the triathlon
Simpson continues: “In the time between breakfast and the race, focus on hydration. Sipping a hydration tab little and often in the days and hours before the event ensures you start the event fully hydrated.

“As little as 2% loss in body weight as a result of dehydration can affect sporting performance. Don’t start the race on the back foot this way.”

A light snack before the event is also a good idea; options include:
•    An energy bar
•    A jam sandwich
•    A banana

In-race tactics
Simpson was keen to stress how in-race nutrition is by far the most important factor at play – and that 60 to 90g of carbohydrates need to be eaten each hour. Based on a ten-hour Ironman, this means that the average athlete needs 700g+ during the race.

“Our body stores carbohydrates in our muscles and liver, but these are limited and are used up during exercise,” Simpson continues. “Without sufficient carbohydrates stores, the intensity we can perform at decreases dramatically. In Ironman, you need to keep stores topped up.”

Using OTE Sports’ range as a basis, Simpson puts forward a standard plan to follow during Ironman UK, based on the 700g carbohydrate target:

•    6 x energy gels (120g of carbs);
•    5 x caffeine gels (100g);
•    2 x energy bars (80g); and
•    5 x energy drinks (400g)*.

*800ml mixed with 80g of energy drink in the bottle.

Here are Annie’s top tips for the average Ironman race:
Swim    
Required:
•    1 x energy gel

“It is very difficult to fuel during the swim, so aim to have an energy gel ten minutes before the start,” she says.

Athlete in open water

Transition 1
Required:
•    1 x energy gel
•    Water

Before getting on the bike, Simpson recommends a gel and quick mouthful of water; the most part of an athlete’s pannier is consumed while riding.

Staff member Dee on a Ribble Aero TT
Staff member Dee on a Ribble Aero TT

Bike
Required:
•    4 x 800ml of energy drinks
•    2 x energy bars
•    2 x energy gels
•    2 x caffeine gels

“Spread the intake evenly, and don’t go for long periods without sipping your drink,” she asserts. “Aim to consume half an energy bar or gel every 30 minutes, saving caffeine gels for the later part of the ride.”

Staff member Mark on Ribble R872. Photo by Ellen Isherwood - Lancs Racing Scene
Staff member Mark on Ribble R872. Photo by Ellen Isherwood – Lancs Racing Scene

Transition 2
Required:
•    1 x energy gel
•    Water

As with the first transition, the build up to the run requires the same intake.

Run
Required:
•    2 x energy gels
•    3 x caffeine gels
•    1 x energy drink
•    Water

Simpson once again recommends an even split of intake, adding how important it is to have water from feed stations, particularly on hot days.

After the race
After completing an Ironman triathlon, it shouldn’t simply be a case of resting up. The total calories consumed during one such race is in the region of 6,000 to 8,000kcal. Despite the above nutrition, a racer will be left in a calorie deficit.

Special drinks can aide recovery; these contain protein for rebuilding muscles, carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores, and fluid to aid rehydration.

As such, a congratulatory pat on the back for finishing must be swift, Simpson says: “As soon as the event finishes, it is important to go into recovery. Aim to drink this within 30 minutes of finishing – this is the ‘window of opportunity’ to kick-start the recovery process. You may not want to consume this, but it is a case of needs must.”

Your tips
Have you got any experience of Ironman UK or other long-distance trials? Let us know your top tips in the comment section.