Stomach Sloshing

With the Cardinal Harbour Half-Ironman a week away, I’m finally (a little late) getting around to reviewing what I did well and what I need to improve on from the Taylorsville Lake Half leading into next week’s race.

Nutrition is a huge part of a race this long. I did some research leading up to the Taylorsville Race, but since it was my first at this distance, I really had no idea how my body would handle what I was feeding it. On the bike, I ended up taking in:

3 Clif Shot gels (300 calories, 75g Carbs, 120mg of Sodium, 0g Protein)
One Powerbar (240 calories, 45g Carbs, 200mg Sodium, 8g Protein)
One 24oz. bottle of Gatorade (146 calories, 36g Carbs, 30mg Sodium, .12g Protein)
One 20oz. bottle of water (—)

So during the 3 hours on the bike, I had 686 calories (228 cal/hr), 156g carbs (52g/hr), 350mg Sodium (117mg/hr) and 8.12g Protein (2.7g/hr).

Everything that I’ve read states that you need 300-350 calories/hr, 300-350mg Sodium/hr and 25-30oz/hr of water on the bike. I was close on the calories, but low on the water and sodium. This may have contributed to my slow run off of the bike.

So the simple solution for next week’s race would be to add some calories and maybe take some salt tablets to get the extra sodium I need….however…

I also dealt with some stomach sloshing during the run portion of the Taylorsville race. Sloshing occurs when you are consuming fluids–and perhaps solids–but rather than moving to your intestines the mix just sits in your stomach. It’s really hard to run when you can hear and feel liquids sloshing around in your stomach while trying to run. I had some gels for the run, but just ended up drinking water and HEED, no solids and very little calories because my stomach felt like crap. So how am I supposed to take in more liquids on the bike this time if what I did last time lead to the washing machine in my stomach?

From what I can gather, stomach sloshing is caused by a few different things. The obvious one is drinking too much water. I really can’t afford to take in less, especially in the heat. Another cause could be too much fat/carbs/proteins. I’ve never had a problem with this…and I need the carbs. I also found that intestinal fluid absorption can be increased by sodium.

So the plan is to add some sodium tablets to my bike nutrition and to not take in any liquids or calories the last 15-20 minutes on the bike to give what I have in there time to digest before I get on the run. We’ll see if it helps!



1h30m on the indoor bike
Did some good ladder intervals after a 20 minute warm-up
30s on (sprint), 30s off (easy pace)
1m on, 1m off
2m on, 2m off
3m on, 3m off
4m on, 4m off
3m on, 3m off
2m on, 2m off
1m on, 1m off
30s on
These ladders took about 33 minutes
I finished up with 25 minutes of hill work and then a 10 minute cool-down
Avg HR = 134 bpm with spikes in the 154-156 range (Zone 5a -Threshold) during the intervals.


30 minutes of chest, arms and abs

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