Reviewing The Numbers: Calories, Watts, and Pace at Rev3 Cedar Point Full Rev Ironman

Earlier I wrote a race report on my experiences at Rev3 Cedar Point. Today I wanted to dive a little further into the numbers.  First things first -- my nutrition plan. 

Race Morning Nutrition: ~1350 calories

The majority of the calories were consumed at the time I woke up or ~2.5 hours before my wave went off.

- Nutrition Shake (250 calories)
- Motts Natural Fruit Snacks (600 calories)
- Quaker Rice Cakes - Chocolate Crunch (300)
- Carbo Pro 1200 (200 calories worth) (sipped on this throughout the morning)
- Crystal Light Packet (Wild Berry Energy) (10 calories)

Bike Nutrition: ~2000 calories or about 400 calories an hour

I started the bike with the following bottles:

- 1 pre-mixed bottle (2x salt stick pills, 300 calories of Carbo Pro 1200 + H20, 1 Crystal Light packet)
- 1 pre-mixed bottle (2x salt stick pills, 1600 calories of Carbo Pro 1200, 1 Crystal Light packet)

Once I finished the first 300 cal bottle I switched to sipping the concentrated bottle and washing it down with water.  I did grab one Gatorade on the course and had roughly 80 calories of it. I also had 4 salt stick pills on the bike.

Run Nutrition: ~820 calories or about 270 calories per hour

At first I went thru aid stations grabbing one or two cups of cola, but I was finding around mile 17 or so that it wasn't enough so I started grabbing Gatorade as well.  I estimate that I had:

720 Calories of Cola (30x 2 oz cups)
100 Calories of Gatorade (8x 2 oz cups)

The Ironman Marathon Miracle Maker
That's it.  I didn't take anything else on the run - no gels, no gummies, and no salt. I will say that one specific goal of the race was to put down a lot of food.  And I spent a lot of time eating junk on rides and runs in hopes that my stomach could learn to turn it until fuel for the body. Overall the low output on the swim and bike definitely aided in proper digestion.  I had little to no bloating or gas the entire day.

Swim Speed:

Although there are no numbers for swim speed I will reiterate that I swam well below my ability. I did have a few moments of pressure throughout the swim which resulted in a couple of micro-surges, but overall I was not concerned about getting dropped and I had no reason to forge ahead on my own.

Bike Watts:

The goal of the bike was to bike extremely conservatively for the first hour and then dial it up every so slightly. Lucky for me my Garmin Edge 500 ran out of space mid-way thru the ride so I only have half of it.

1st Hour - 220 watts @ 136 BPM
2nd Hour - 230 watts @ 133 BPM

Trainingpeaks Powerfile 2011 Rev 3 Cedar Point Full Rev Ironman

In training I biked most of rides at roughly 75% of 330 watts FTP or roughly 250 watts.  Although I had no problems in training I wanted to take an even more conservative approach on race day and I believe the conservative pace on the bike set me up for a good run.

Run Pace:

The goal of the run was to keep a comfortable relaxed pace and see where it took me.  The following shows my run pace and average heart rate over the course of the marathon.  As you can see the run pace was fairly consistent throughout the race.  This is a testament to my bike pacing.

Putting It All Together:  Although I didn't have the fastest swim, bike, or run splits, I did manage to put together a solid race with no weaknesses in any of the disciplines.  I have worked hard on my swim and it shows - maybe not in the time but certainly in the level of effort. The bike was easy but that is how it is supposed to be, and my run was inline with my expectations.

So what was the key to my race? I would say the conservative approached that I was actually able to follow.  Most people - myself included - have a significant "knowing-doing" gap when it comes to the Ironman distance.  We know we should take it conservative but it is so easy to get caught up in the moment and in the process throw the plan right out the window.  Unless there is an absolute tactical reason why you have to race a certain way it is simply faster to race your own race.  Happy IMing!!!


  1. Good race dude!

    Question: When downing all that grub at the aid stations on the run, did you walk them? Or trot...? Or just keep blazing on?

  2. Unfortunately, no luxury in walking in this one. Just came to a controlled speed, grabbed cup, bent it in half, poured it down the hatch and soldered on.