Good Question, I like it and even though I’ve come to the thread late, I’ll put my sport scientist hat on and add my thoughts.
Swim – Phelps has never swum open water before and has commented that he never will, that said, I’d put good money on him exiting the water in around 7.20-7.30. However, even if the other two were only one level above drowning, they’d be out in 22ish…Phelps leads by 14.5mins on to the bike.
Bike – Cancellara would ride a 24min 20k even if he was a bit tired after the swim based on the 30KMTT he did in 36mins in 2009. The real question is what would the others do? I’m inclined to think that Phelps’ untrained, short legs and heavy body, would let him down, he might ride a 36min split, but that puts FC back in it. Bekele’s power to weight and incredible lactate tolerance in his legs might produce a surprise if he got his speed from cadence rather than power. His ability to run hard for 30mins in a 10 would also see him in good stead, I’ll predict a similar time to phelps (may be quicker)…Phelps leads Cancellara by 2mins out of T2 with Bekele 12mins behind FC and 14mins behind MP
Run – Bekele would run sub 14mins even off the bike so it’s a question of whether MP can run 5k in 28mins and FC can run it in 26mins. I suspect that both could so KB is out of it. As far as I am aware, phelps isn’t even allowed to run because of his ankle flexibility, so, assuming that FC does a bit of running and as he uses his legs all the time…Cancellara wins, running 21mins to MP’s 22.
As for the relay – 7.20 + 1.00 T1 + 24 + 0.40 T2 + 13.50 = 46.50(ish!!)
Do the same over an ironman, chucking in Jenson Button, James Cracknell and Emma Snowshill, plus Nutrition and psychology – then you’ve got yourself a debate!!!!!
Just to add a couple of points which I hope that you find helpful.
Quite a few people have mentioned drinking water, if you can stomach it, I would go as far as to say that drinking water is never the best option in a race in hot climate. You have already lost and will be losing elactrolytes as you sweat and these need to be replaced as soon as possible so I think that a drink containing electrolytes (as well as Carbohydrate) would be the best thing.
Also, the advice on kcals per hour is really useful, but I would build on that and suggest that it is slightly more spcific to talk in grams of Carbohydrate per min and you dont want more than around 75g per hour (o just 60g is using single carb gels i.e. just glucose).
Below is a section on IM Nutrition that I wrote recently which I hope helps. Also, (although the site is down at the moment so I cant provide a link, if you want to have a look at the website 'TZero Triathlon', you'll find some other good articles in the 'blog' section.
Hope that that helps
DURING COMPETITIONSwim – Some ironman races will have fuelling stations on the swim course, for top athletes completing the swim in around an hour, there is little need to take onboard any CHO, however, it may be useful to take advantage of fluid offered around the half way point. For competitors taking longer than an hour to complete the 3.8km swim, CHO gels can be stored in the sleeve of a wetsuit, or the leg of a Trisuit and should be taken from 45-60mins into the race and repeated to allow the consumption of around 1g/min.Bike – The bike offers the easiest opportunity to refuel and rehydrate. However, caution must be taken to ensure that triathletes do not take on board too much fluid. Studies now show that weight loss is a poor indicator of hydration levels and that this is particularly marked in Ironman competitors, as fat usage, glycogen and water stored with glycogen have been show to be accountable for much for the 2.5kg average loss in weight observed. Research shows that drinking in the range of 400-800mls/hr is enough to maintain hydration, even in the presence of BW loss. As has been previously stated, CHO expenditure cannot be met by intake, however, by combining types of CHO an athlete has been show to increase the amount of energy that can be stored. The combination of Glucose and Fructose (plus possibly Sucrose), in the form of gels, drinks and food may allow an athlete to oxidise up to 1.2g/min, a 21% improvement on Glucose alone (Many Ironman athletes will achieve this by mixing 18-20 CHO Gels in a drinks bottle with some water). However, this finding was seen to ‘level off’ after around 120mins into the race and so this strategy may only be useful for the first few hours of the race, after which an athlete may wish to change strategy to 60g/hr of a single type of CHO to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal related problems.Run – By 6 hours into the race CHO stores will be almost completely depleted and the body will be utilising Fat as its major energy store, for this reason although, CHO can still be consumed, it may be that that emphasis should again be placed on maintaining hydration by the previously mentioned method.
I was fortunate enough to be one of the sport scientists working at The Eastbourne Tennis Champs pre Wimbledon, have worked at wimbledon in the past and it's fair to say that even at the top level, many players are still unsure of how to impliment nutrition.
As pointed out, the problem is that most players would assume that a match would be over in a maximum of 3-4 hours and might have enough nutrtion of this, but can't carry endless amounts. Another issue is that although players can get a sports drink on court, as Wimbledon doesn't currently have a sports nutrtion partner, things like gels and bars aren't available. Lastly, I was chatting to one of the coaches at Easbourne and he was pointing out that stress in a tennis match may also increase energy expenditure, but that this is almost inpossible to simulate in a lab and therefore measure, leaving nutrtional stratergy hard to perfect.
I also watched surprised at the amount thay consumed and think that for both of them there is work to be done. However, as Triathletes or Runners, we have the luxury of having a speciic length race and so can plan our nutrition more specificlly. If anyone has tried anything that has worked well in races or that didn't work at all, why not put it on this thread?