In my last two IM races I used Carbo-Pro, Thermolyte, water and balance bars. It worked great. The company that sells carbo pro and thermolyte (Sport Quest) even sent me a protocol to use for my weight and type of training and racing I do. Carbo-Pro is a pure complex carbohydrate and does not have any flavor, which I prefer, but you can can add it to any sports drink or juice. You can also mix it real thick and use it like a gel (the instructions on the container quide you on this) or mix it like a drink. It keeps your gut clean. Thus no stomach problems. I use the balance bars for protein and because I like to eat something solid during the race…unless it is real hot. My new coach this past year, MaryEllen Powers, who is a pro, turned me to Carbo-Pro when I had suffered greatly in a few races due to stomach problems.
She also told me not to use any gels until you get to the run. Because once you start using them you need to keep using the gels every twenty minutes to keep up your blood sugar level. And after a while all that gel is going to just sit in your stomach eventually making you sick. And somewhere along my travels I learned that many pros have carbo pro in their bottles even though the outside of their bottle says something else (ie, their nutritional sponsors logo). I have played around with other products like acclerade/endurox, hammer gel, gatorade, and all sorts of gels. I always winded up feeling bloated or actually throwing at some point during or after the race. But with the carbo pro, following the protocol made for me, I felt fine during and after the race. Sounds like I work for the company…I don’t. Just love their product.
So my race day plan is: pre race breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, toast or half a bagel with peanut butter, half a bananna, plain oatmeal and 1 bottle of Carbo-Pro. Sometimes I can’t eat all of this just a bite of this and that. sip water until race time. Bike: I drink only water the first 20 minutes of the bike to let my body adjust. Then I start sipping the carbo pro. I know I need 300 calories per hour and my bottles are mixed with 600 calories. So I drink half a bottle of carbo-pro per hour plus plain water as needed. When I eat the balance bar, usually around 40-50 miles into the bike and then again around 100-05, I just drink more water and less carbo pro during that hour. Depending on how hot it is I take one or two thermolytes per hour.
Run: First aid station: I take gu and water. 2nd aid station: I take coke if I need to…I have been told not to drink coke until halway through the run. But I do and it works for me, so far. Chase the coke with a sip of water. I alternate this plan for the whole run. I do take the thermolytes on the run every so often. I have also used Motivator which is a caffeine type pill. I use that as directed on the bottle and in my protocol. I think it is just before the start of the run. This product is also made by Sport Quest. To order or get more info (they are extremely helpful explaining the whole nutrition thing during racing and training.