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Lisa Norden's Winning Ironman Fuelling Plan

The two-time Olympian and top-ranked Ironman athlete shares her in-race fuelling and hydration strategy to help you crush your next Ironman.

Lisa Norden knows a thing or two about in-race nutrition. The three-time Olympian and top-ranked Ironman athlete has been competing at the highest level in triathlon for more than 15 years. During her incredible career, Lisa has compiled a massive number of wins and podiums while being one of the most consistent performers in professional triathlon. As she has moved up in distance from Olympic Distance to Half Ironman - and now to full Ironman - Lisa has continuously honed and perfected her fuelling and hydration to perform at her peak. We asked Lisa to tell us how she fuels and hydrates for her Ironman races - and in typical Lisa Norden style - she was happy to share!

 

Pre-Swim

"I consume 1 x C30+ caffeinated energy gel about 10 minutes before the swim start with a few sips of water. This tops off both my hydration and my glycogen levels to ensure I am well-fuelled through the swim and into the early portion of the bike. The added sodium in the gel also helps to deliver and retain fluids. I generally also respond very well to caffeine. It gives me a nice boost through the swim."

Intake

  • 30g Carbohydrate
  • Top Off fluids
  • 75mg Caffeine
  • 200mg Sodium

Neversecond Products
- 1 x C30+ Caffeinated Energy Gel

 

Transition 1 [T1]

"I keep a C30+ caffeinated gel near my shoes or in my transition bag. The Neversecond caffeine gels contain 75mg of caffeine which is just right for me."

Intake

  • 30g Carbohydrate
  • 75mg Caffeine
  • 200mg Sodium

Neversecond Products
- 1 x C30+ Caffeinated Energy Gel

 

Bike

"I have two (2). scenarios that I use-both of which are really effective. Option 1 uses energy gels exclusively. Option 2 combines the C90 High Carb Mix with energy gels. It is important to manage both carbohydrate and fluid intake on the bike since this is the best and easiest chance to manage your intake. With Option 1, I use my second bottle (two 750ml bottles on the bike) exclusively for water. With Option 2, it is critical to be aware of your on-course water availability since you are using both for fuel. It is also important to consider your sodium intake as well especially since Ironman's are multi-hour. Little problems can become big problems! I am not a heavy sodium sweater, so 400 - 600mg of sodium per hour is fine for me. For heavier sodium sweaters, Option 1 may be the better choice since each gel contains 200mg of sodium. This translates into 600mg of sodium per hour based on 90g/hour carbohydrate intake using exclusively gels where Option 2 delivers 200mg of sodium per hour from the C90 based on 90g intake per hour. "

Intake

  • 420g Total Carbohydrate Intake (90g/hour)
  • 500ml - 1.5L Fluid Intake per hour (depending on conditions)
  • 75mg Caffeine intake every other hour
  • 600mg Sodium intake per hour

Neversecond Products (Option 1)
- 10 x C30 Energy Gels in a 750ml Bottle diluted with 150ml water
- Alternate C30 Energy Gels and C30+ Energy Gels every hour

Neversecond Products (Option 2)
4 x C90 High Carb Drink Mix (2 Servings per Bottle x 2 Bottles)
1 x C30 Energy Gel
1 x C30+ Energy Gel

 

Transition 2 [T2]

"I take another C30+ caffeinated gel at this transition zone."

Intake

  • 30g Carbohydrate
  • 75mg Caffeine
  • 200mg Sodium

Neversecond Products
- 1 x C30+ Caffeinated Energy Gel

 

Run

"This is an area where I see a lot of age group athletes under-fuel, at least from what I have seen among my age grouper friends. With my intake at 70g of carbohydrate per hour during the run, plus what I consume in the transition, I land just above 70g per hour. This requires specific gut training to optimise as it is much harder to take in fuel and fluid after racing for 6 hours than it is when you start fresh. I find that a lot of runners also avoid running nutrition because it's difficult to carry. I use the 500ml soft flask as they are easy to carry and take up such little space when empty."

Intake

  • 210g Total Carbohydrate Intake (70g/hour)
  • 400ml - 500ml Fluid Intake per hour (depending on conditions)
  • 75mg Caffeine Intake per hour in first and second hour
  • 500mg Sodium Intake per hour

Neversecond Products
- 1 C30 Energy Gel every 20 minutes
- Substitute 1 x C30 Energy Gel with 1 x C30+ Caffeine Gel at 40 minutes and at 80 minutes

 

A Word on Recovery

"I fuel all the way to the end of my training sessions which is important to kickstart recovery early. Straight after, I take a recovery shake. I mix 2 scoops of P30 with some milk or water, then add ice and coffee - delicious!

 

 

3 Key Takeaways From Lisa

  1. Train your gut! You should use your in-race nutrition in training in the amounts you intend to use on race day for 6-8 weeks before your event. Do not try anything new on race day!
  2. Stay consistent with your fuelling. If you are taking in 90g of carbs per hour, you need to take in 30g of carbs every 20 minutes. I use an alarm to remind myself to fuel.
  3. Keep track of your fluids as they are largely weather-dependent. In cold weather, I only sweat maybe 1/2 litre. In warmer weather, I lose closer to 1.5 litres.

 

Lisa's Favorites

C30 Energy Gel: "Passion Fruit and Citrus for sure!"
C30+ Energy Gel: "I'm an Espresso gal. Cola is great too!"
C30 Fuel Bar: "I love these. Berry!!!"
C90 High Carb Drink Mix: "The citrus flavour is super mild and easy to get down"
P30 Recovery Drink Mix: " I mix mine with some ice and coffee for a delicious recovery shake."

 

What's Next for Lisa?

Lisa has a full schedule for Summer/Fall 2023! On August 6, she will be racing the European 70.3 Championship in Tallinn, followed by Ironman Kalmar in Sweden (Home turf!) on August 19. Then after a short break, Lisa will be heading off to Kona for the Ironman World Championships on October 14.

 

Follow Lisa

Follow Lisa on Instagram
Visit Lisa's Athlete Page

 

Lisa Norden Ironman Fueling

 

Have any questions for us? We have answers! Please drop us an email at hello@never2.com.

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