A Triathlon Nutrition Plan…From Micky D’s?

  • By
  • Published Feb 24, 2011
  • Updated Aug 30, 2011 at 7:10 PM UTC

Get a look at David Thompson’s unconventional way of taking on nutrition in an iron-distance race.

“Find what works for you” is a common piece of nutritional advice for triathletes. Pro triathlete David Thompson took that to the extreme with the less-than-conventional nutrition plan he developed for his first iron-distance race, the 2010 Rev3 Cedar Point. “I get headaches from chewing hard solid food (PowerBars, Clif Bars, etc.), so I started training with gel only,” Thompson says. “But I couldn’t stand eating 14 gels over the course of a 100- to 120-mile ride. I always had to stop for liquid refills anyway, so I started stopping at McDonald’s to refuel on liquid and food. It’s plentiful, cheap and fast.” (By the way, Thompson took third at Cedar Point.)

On training ride:
1 McDouble
1 McChicken (no mayo)
1 Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait
16-ounce Coke or lemonade
1 McDouble or McChicken for the road

Ironman race day plan:


5 gels with extra sodium and caffeine
1 McDouble (frozen overnight) cut in two and left in original wrapping
1 king-size Snickers
1 20-ounce Gatorade Endurance
1 20-ounce water

Bike special-needs bag (served as backup only)
1 high-calorie highly processed gas station blueberry muffin
1 Snickers (King size)

Run special-needs bag
1 McDouble (frozen overnight)
1 high-calorie highly processed gas station blueberry muffin
2 gels with extra sodium and caffeine

Bike aid stations
4 water bottles, 2 energy drinks, 3 gels

Run aid Stations
Ice, Water, Energy drink or soda, Grapes, Gel, Oranges

”My plan worked perfectly for me. I really enjoyed the McDouble halfway through the bike. I was already sick of gel. The Snickers was also tasty. I didn’t have to chew much because it was slightly melted. While I didn’t use my bike special-needs bag, I did eat the blueberry muffin from my run bag. It basically melted in my mouth. Hardly any chewing was needed.”

FILED UNDER: Nutrition TAGS: / / / / /

Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter