Letters to the Coaches: Triathlon Running Power Plans and Electrolytes

Hi David,

I hope you are well. I was excited to receive your email about the addition of 80/20 ironman plans with running power targets. I’m currently using the level 3 Pace and Power ironman plan, but would love to try the power and power plan. Is there a way to get access to this without having to pay the full price of the new plan? Perhaps I could pay half, for the addition of the running power structured workouts?

Also I was wondering if you had any guidelines/advice in regards to electrolyte supplementation during an ironman (e.g. an hourly electrolyte target during)? I’m 62kg, 174cm, I think an average to high sweater, and my exercise clothes do generally have white salt marks after a session, particular when it is hot. Any advice/guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Warm regards,


Dear LH,

Great to hear from you. I’m really pleased that we have these triathlon Run Power and Bike Power plans available. All of your 80/20 plans allow for a complimentary switches between levels and intensity types, so you can have this one for free. Please use coupon code [redacted] for a 100% discount off of the IM L3 Power and Power plan.

Regarding electrolytes, I have a short answer and a longer answer. Short answer: 300-500mg per hour on the bike is a safe dose. The electrolytes in your nutrition probably already have something close to this and additional supplementation may not be necessary.

Longer answer: There is no empirical evidence that electrolyte supplementation is helpful for endurance athletes, and no evidence that it reduces the risk of cramps or improves performance (see http://tri-talk.com/74/). There is also no evidence electrolytes in moderate doses are detrimental, so feel free to try it.

To illustrate, attached is an example of electrolyte concentrations and IM performance. In this particular study, there was no statistically significant difference in electrolyte concentrations between Ironman crampers and non-crampers (controls). Also consider Tim Noakes phenomenal book, Waterlogged for more on the subject.


Matt and I periodically publish anonymously your inquiries to us, particularly when the answer may benefit the community. Have a question about 80/20 training or training in general? Feel free to e-mail me. David W.