triathlon nutrition

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triathlon nutrition

Postby MikayP » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:08 pm

it's a little late to change up my nutrition really for my race in 5 days, but i just realized that i really dont have a full pro setup on nutrition during a triathlon race. basically when it comes to # of calories per .5-1 hour of racing. im fine with nutrition when it comes to training, but you cant have a camelpack or bike jersey full of bananas. im focusing on olympic distance tris and will do 1-2 70.3s by the end of this season

a big thing for me that i dont have full faith is in my hydration on the bike. i currently only have 1 bottle cage, trying to setup to get 2 rear ones on the back within a few weeks, and i dont like having a full bottle of water to drag around during the 40k. it wont be a 100% water bottle, but a mixture at the start- ill explain that later. the thing is that when i get hot on the bike i like to douse myself with water on my helmet and down my back, but i could see this being really an issue if the bottle is full of the sports drink given at the bike aid stations. maybe i should focus on having gu's w/ water instead of having the sports drink mixture? open to thoughts.

so heres what i'm thinking of for my race - hoping to finish within 2:30 for sundays race. all these foods ive had before in trainining, but not racing

1- swim

2- get on bike
- sip on my homemade sports drink (coconut water, few strips of dulse, and 2-3 dates all blended together as fine as possible) - probably 3/4 liter bottle full
- dump my first bottle at the mile 8 aid station and get handed a water bottle. get a lot of the water out by dousing myself with some of the water so i only have about 1/2 the liter left.
- start hydrating with water and on the rest of the bike consume my homemade gel flash (2-3 dates, dulse, chia seeds, water)
- if needed get more water at the aid stations - miles 12 and 16, most likely just 16

3- get on the run
- dont drink anything in transition due to the empasis on hydration on the bike
- at the first aid station, .8 miles, consume gatorate
- mile 2, gatorate
- then most likely just water (and dousing another cup over my head)

im open for thoughts. things can always go differently and i may do it different, but i guess you gotta have a plan
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:06 pm

good luck!

I do Olympic and sprint distances, so I don't really worry much about nutrition, just some hydration. The key is experimenting. There is no magic formula.
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:02 pm

It might be good to think if the standard tris as nutrition practice for the 1/2s where it will be quite important. It's certainly easiest to do short races with mostly sports drink and one or two gels - you won't need a lot of cals, but in 2.5 hours you will certainly benefit from some, so it is worth thinking about. Are there any aide stations on the bike? You could always grab the water to dump on yourself there, although aide stations are pretty rare in standard tris (oh I see you said there are - get water from them, dump it on yourself and then chuck the bottle). Sounds like you really need another bottle cage. Don't worry about dragging the extra weight of a full bottle (or two) around the course; the weight penalty is almost nothing - even if the course has some hills in, it will be on the order of a few seconds. The penalty of dehydrating yourself (which can happen in 2.5hrs...) or and maybe in your case, overcooking yourself, can be big. You'll be on the bike around 1hr so try and get thru one full bottle and maybe 200-300cals. Or a bit less if you can manage to get down a gel.

Have you tried the dates when the intensity is high? Your stomach may or may not like them. Also, probably don't plan on too many calories on the run as most don't get too many down. As always, there are the strong stomach exceptions to that. So, get down what you can get down. But you're correct, it is wise to have thought about it ahead of time and have a plan. You may not be able to stick to it, but you will learn for next time and for the 1/2s.

good luck!
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby skoptic » Sun May 02, 2010 8:29 pm

Good work Mikay - looks like you have thought hard about what you're going to do!

I'm usually pretty organized about planning all this stuff, but the last olympic I did involved 1 bottle of high 5 on the bike and 1 gel at the start of the run (with sips of their water at stations) .. job done! It was a hot day .. and I managed sub 2:30, so don't worry too much, I'm sure you'll nail it :-)
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby MikayP » Tue May 04, 2010 2:51 am

eh unfortunately it was a rough day, and possibly a lot of it was preventable

i finished my breakfast smoothie like an hour before the start...which looking back was probably too close before the start.

i started to get some stomach cramps 1/2 way through the swim, was bearable and not sure how much it impacted my swim time

on the bike i started sipping on my gel-like coconut drink and realized it was way too much gel and not enough liquid. i was getting too thirsty on the bike for the first 1/3 of that portion. mild stomach cramps last 1/2 of the bike... at least the water+ dumping on body worked well. only needed my gel flask for one little squirt on the bike

run pretty much went according to plan. didnt feel hungry with just the gatorade....just felt like shit, but thats expected on the last 1/2 of the run in a triathlon

each of my splits in each of the disciplines were at least 1 minute slower than i was hoping for. it was a tough course yes, but i went there a week before and did the bike 1 minute faster...and that was without race mentality. couldve been a few reasons why: tougher conditions (wind mostly), shitty sleep, or poor nutrition. but kinda frustrating.

still did the race in a respectable 2:36, which is in the top 1/4, but i still had higher aspirations. oh well i never expected immediate results. i always knew i would probably have rough races, just hoped it never would happen
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby skoptic » Tue May 04, 2010 10:05 pm

Hey Mikay,

Sorry to hear it didn't go totally according to plan - but 2:36 is still a good time and you'll fix all those niggles for the next one I'm sure :-) (the only one I can never get right is the sleep - always have a shitty night before a race!)

I had a really windy ride yesterday too - it really sucks the life out of you doesn't it? So - have you got another tri planned? (bet your itching to get out and do it again!)
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby MikayP » Wed May 05, 2010 2:18 am

ya i never, never sleep well before an event. a part of it is me being paranoid that im not going to wake up to make the race. setting two alarms helped that, but ya i still think about the race a lot and dont sleep well.

ya i got another one lined up in just over a month, if that one doesnt go well i really gotta reflect cause its a lot more flat course
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Re: triathlon nutrition

Postby xrodolfox » Wed May 05, 2010 9:04 am

I find that I do best when I FINISH eating 2 to 3 hours before a race. I also eat relatively little that morning, and focus on eating a lot the night before. I tend to eat those gels about 1/4 hour before race starts.

On the few Olympics I've done, I manage to eat a two gels on the bike, and one on the run. But I'm going to try for less because it slows me down to eat... perhaps more than it helps to eat for such a short distance (especially the third gel on the run). We'll see! I have a race in a month too.
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