10 Questions with an Ironman World Champion - Dr. Stuart Porter

Kona Ironman World Championships

We sat down with our founder, Dr. Stuart Porter, to learn more about his experience at the 40th annual Ironman World Championships in Kona this October.

First off, congrats on making it to Kona for the World Championships. Can you tell us how you got into the championships and where you qualified? 

Thank you, I really enjoyed my time there. I qualified at the Ironman Chattanooga race on September 24, 2017 with a first place finish in the 55-59 year old group. My time was 10:27:25. 

What do you love most about competing in Kona at the World Championships?

I just love the environment itself. It's very international. You can't just assume that if you speak English to someone that they'll respond in English. I really love how each athlete is really treated like a pro - it's awesome! 

Kona Ironman World Championships Finishers Age Group

We know this isn't your first time competing at Kona. How did the race this year compare to when you raced the course last time in 2016? 

Compared to 2016 I was more relaxed, but unfortunately I had a fibular stress fracture 6 weeks prior to the race which kept me being able to train for my run. This really impacted me about 10 miles into the 26.2 mile run so I was forced to walk the last 16 miles. 

Which of the three disciplines did you perform best in this year? Sounds like it wasn't the run! 

Due to choppy water and not being well trained in those conditions my swim was not very good. My bike was really solid, and the first 10 miles of the run felt great. 

Ironman World Championships Kona Swimming Finish

So what proved most difficult for you on this race?

The most difficult part was definitely accepting the fact that I couldn't finish strong on the run and was forced to walk. The competitive part of me really wanted to finish strong. Had I kept the same run pace I started with, I would have finished top 15-20 for my age group.

Anything you would have done differently during the race or in preparation building up to the event? 

I would not have competed in the Ironman Canada in Whistler at the end of July. That's where I started to have issues with overtraining and the stress fracture issue.

Moving on to another very important subject - how do you stay hydrated and what role did Flow Core™ play in your race day? 

My hydration and nutrition plan went well, but I had to adjust a bit on the fly during the bike because it was cooler than expected so I simply added more water.  I pre-hydrated with 1 cap of Flow Core in each bottle of water that I drank the day before and morning of.  I use Infinit Nutrition and had it custom formulated and still added 1 cap of Flow in each bottle. On the run I took a Flow cap every 30 minutes and I drank at every mile aid station and alternated Gatorade for 2 aid stations in a row. Every third mile I drank Coke or Red Bull. That part of it went well.

Ironman World Championships Kona Bike Flow Core

Any other insights into your race day prep? (meditation, food you eat, etc.)

I normally eat mostly Keto but in the 2 days leading up to the race I ate a fair amount of carbs such as rice and sweet potatoes.  Even the fat adapted athlete should still carb load for a race like this one.

What do you think has contributed the most to your success at racing?

Just consistency in everything - diet, sleep, work, family time, putting God first, and training and mostly playing hard and having fun!

Will you be competing next year?

Next year I hope to qualify and compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France and I'll aim for Kona again for 2020.