It’s time for Tri Talk Tuesday! This week Courtney, Miranda, and Cynthia have selected the theme: Race Day Nutrition. I’m excited about this topic, because I love to talk about race nutrition! Also, I’m a little weak on the pre-race nutrition, so I’ll tell you what I eat, but I need some pointers on that because I don’t feel like it’s been working the last couple of races!
Some of you know, I just raced a 70.3 this past Saturday, so race day nutrition is fresh in my mind! I’m going to tell you what I do, what works for me, and what doesn’t. Then it’s your job to figure out what works for you! Also, keep in mind that not only is each person different, but each race is different. You won’t need the same fueling for a full Ironman as you would for a sprint. The fueling I am going to talk about here is for an Olympic distance race or above since that is what I typically race.
Disclaimer: You’ll notice in this post that I talk about using Hammer Nutrition fuels. I am sponsored by them, and thus use their fuels. However, I applied for sponsorship through them BECAUSE I love their nutrition! I would exclusively use their products regardless of whether they sponsored me or not because they work well for me. I don’t get any digestive issues from their gels like I used to with other gel brands. Also, their sport drinks aren’t pumped with sugars like a lot of other sport drinks are. Again, this company works for me-you need to experiment and find out what works for you!
Pre-Race: As I mentioned, I need some help with this one. Ever since starting triathlons, I’ve had the same pre-race meal the morning of my race. Up until the last two 70.3 races, it has worked perfectly for me. However, the last two races, I’ve been hungry before even making it out of the swim, so I know I need to eat more before the race! Here’s what I eat: One serving of oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter, and a chopped up banana in it. I eat this about 2-2.5 hours from the start of my race. It fills me up, but like I said-then I get hungry while swimming. I’m thinking I’ll add a Hammer Nutrition energy bar in about 1 hour prior to the race. Thoughts?
Swim: Obviously I don’t eat or drink anything while on the swim, but 15 minutes prior to my swim wave start, I eat one Hammer gel and drink water. I find having a gel right before the swim gives me a good burst of energy and keeps me from getting tired before I get to T1.
Bike: As soon as I am on the bike, I consume one serving of Hammer gel. I put my gels for the bike into a handy flask which holds up to 5 servings in it! I take one serving of gel every 45 minutes on the bike.
Along with gels on the bike, I also have two water bottles on my bike. One is an aero bar water bottle which I have a drink called Perpetuem in it. This is a calorie sports drink that contains protein and carbs. I sip it every 15 minutes. In my larger “reservoir” bottle, I have my main source of hydration. In that is water with Endurolytes Fizz added to it. The Fizz caps are just dis-solvable tabs that have electrolytes in them. If you’ve heard of Nuun, that’s exactly what these are. I’ve tried both, but I like Fizz better as they don’t have a sweet taste to them. Lastly, on the bike, I also take one Anti-Fatigue cap every hour. This also has electrolytes in it, and I find it helps me keep my energy up as well.
Run: On the run, I have found it to be quite helpful to carry a hand-held bottle with me. I just started this year, but it seems to work better than just relying on the aid station fuel. As I mentioned, I prefer to use only Hammer nutrition products because they don’t make my stomach upset. So, in my hand-held bottle, I have Perpetuem which I take sips from every mile. Then at the aid stations, I have water. I also usually have coke 2-3 times in the second half of the run if it is a 70.3 or 140.6 race. If you haven’t tried this, you need to! By the second half of the run, my stomach is usually starting to feel funny. That happens when you’ve been racing that many hours with no solid food. Anyway, the coke settles my stomach pretty well. My hand-held bottle also has a lovely pocket on it, so I keep 2 gels, and 2 anti-fatigue caps in there. I have one gel as soon as I begin the run, then I have the second one at the half-way point. Same goes for the anti-fatigue caps. For my next race, I’m thinking of adding a third gel to the pocket. In my last race, I felt like I needed a few more calories in the run. Perhaps it was from starting the race hungry, but I’ll bring that third one as a backup just in case!
Post-race: If you plan on walking the next day, there is fueling to take place post race as well! I try to immediately have my Hammer Recoverite after the race. This is basically a protein/electrolyte drink. It helps keep my muscle soreness at bay. Then, I have the post-race meal. I try and have protein and carbs mostly. Also, again to settle my stomach so that I CAN eat, I drink a coke again. (By the way, I NEVER drink any kind of soda during my regular life, only on race day! For some reason, it works!)
So that’s what my race day nutrition looks like! If you have any questions about your fueling, feel free to let me know! I encourage you to practice your race day nutrition during your training so that you can figure out what products do and don’t work for you BEFORE you get to your race!
Any fueling advice for me?
What does your pre-race breakfast look like?