First, let me say this forum has convinced me that there IS something useful on the internet. I have gotten a TON of EXCELLENT advice from here. I have some 1/2 Ironman questions regarding hydration and food:
Basically, at what point do I need to start taking in calories and how much? Regarding hydration, is there a formula, say, like "drink 2 oz of water every 6 miles of the bike"? I did one of these before and drank about 24 oz of water during the bike (8 coming out of the swim). I ate 1/2 of a Power Bar about 10 miles into the bike ride with a salt tablet (almost died trying to swallow that mixture without water--I couldn't get my water bottle out of the behind-the-seat rack...won't do that trick again this year :-). On the run, I downed one of those gelatin packets every 2 miles with sips of water in between. We had people collapsing all over--it was around 94 degrees by race end (early August last year)--,but I felt ok. My big concern is that I started at a 7:30/mile pace(my usual is 8:05), dropped to 8:15 by mile 2, then lost about 10 to 15 seconds per mile through the end of the run, swearing to myself that I hadn't slacked my pace, despite what my watch was telling me. I ended up averaging right at 9 minutes per mile. I held a 24.5 mph pace on the bike for the first hour but ended up around 20.8 for the 56 miles(18mph was a MAJOR effort for the last 10 miles), so I'm aiming to bridle the bike back to a level 20.5 throughout with a higher rpm--does this sound like a better strategy? I just don't know why I choked on the run. When I calculate how much time I might cut off by running a mere 30 seconds per mile faster (8:30/mile), it seems that I stand to gain the most this year by NOT trying to be a stud on the bike (emphasis on "trying").
Thanks for any help anyone can give. You've all helped me a great deal. My race is this Sunday.