Ironman training blog week 3: Hannah

So training for an Ironman means you can eat loads of chips yeah? Well, you could, but Hannah has a few more tips for fueling your training.

Name: Hannah

Age: 23

The race: Ironman UK, Bolton, 20 July

Ironman history: The first of hopefully many (and, so far, my first ever triathlon!)

Goal: Finish in 12-13 hours

After my half marathon on Sunday, I felt things had to get back on track this week especially with my diet. While I may not have the local Chinese takeaway menu’s memorised, I have been a little bad of late; I sat down for a meal in a restaurant the other night at midnight. Not ideal.

People often say to me ‘with the amount of exercise you do, you must be able to eat whatever you want’. There’s an element of truth in that, I can consume more calories than the average person because I am burning them off. However I cannot eat whatever I want, not if I want to fuel my training properly.

Would you take nutritional advice from these women? Tess, left, and Hannah

Would you take nutritional advice from these women? Tess, left, and Hannah

Thankfully one of my best friends, Tess, is a sport nutritionist ( and any slip ups don’t go unnoticed by her, which meant my Sunday evening was spent re-evaluating my diet and I thought I would share some of the advice with you. Tess’s top tips for anyone doing high volumes of training are:


  • Keep your antioxidant levels high by eating lots of fruit and vegetables, as this will help with all those pesky illnesses that stop us obsessed lot from training!
  • Make healthy snacks and carry them with you at all times in (this one I  excel at as the stray almonds kicking about in my handbag will testify). This prevents the temptation of a chocolate bar when you fill up for fuel at a service station or loading up your trolley with goodies at the supermarket because you attempted to do the weekly shop on an empty stomach.
  • If like me you hate the artificial taste of protein shakes, not to mention the smell of a protein shaker if you forget to wash it straight away after use, then getting good quality protein into your body after an intense or high resistance training session is vital. Good sources of protein include eggs, almonds, Greek yoghurt, quinoa, any lean meat such as chicken or turkey, milk, beans and lentils.
  • Carbs are NOT the devil! Replacing the glycogen that your body uses up during intense exercise is vital. Try to replace them at a ratio of 3:1 (carbs:protein) post workout. Make sure you choose wholemeal carbs where possible.
  • Try and stay away from anything processed. If you look on the back of a packet and see 20 ingredients in your food, many of which you can’t pronounce, then there’s a very high chance you shouldn’t be eating it. Yes, that includes the maltesers hidden at the back of the kitchen cupboard.

Ultimately it comes down to consistency and if you have the odd slip up/eat half a Toblerone in one go (three mentions of chocolate in 500 words… yup I have an addiction) don’t worry about it, that’s when you pull out the old gem of a phrase ‘nobody’s perfect’.


Weekly training stats:

This is where Hannah trains! Looks rubbish eh?

This is where Hannah trains! Looks rubbish eh?


  • 1000m swim (my rule of ‘it’s not worth getting your hair wet for anything less that 2000m’ failed me as I got slow swimmer/pool rage. It’s like road rage but with the added risk of drowning)
  • 2hr turbo trainer session


  • Cardio rest day as I had a bit of DOMS from my half marathon so took the dogs for a 3-hour walk up in the hills.
  • 1hr Vinyasa flow yoga


  • 2000m swim
  • 30 mile cycle with some good sprinting sections thrown in to the mix


  • 40 mile cycle
  • 5 mile run


  • 10 mile run
  • 1hr circuit training


  • 2.5hr turbo trainer session
  • 4hrs of hill walking (not technically training but quads burned at one point so at least I was working something)
  • 1hr circuit training


  • 8 mile run
  • 1hr Vinyasa flow yoga

Follow Hannah’s progress on Twitter here @hannahmelv20

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