Tuesday again. Keeps catching me off guard. Nothing says “Hey it’s link up day!” like 10pm Monday night knowing other people more productive than you will be waiting for your post to go live so they can link up something they had written long before you. Sneaky, sneaky Tuesday. But here I am, along with Cynthia from You Signed Up For What and Miranda from The Cupcake Triathlete for more Tri Talk Tuesday!
Today’s topic is race day fuel. I’ve actually covered this topic before, so since my last post was mostly informational, here’s some tips on picking fuel so you can have the best race possible!
1. Liquid versus Solid- there’s a ton of race fuel options and it can be confusing on where to even start. One good place to start is deciding on whether or not your race merits solid food or if liquid fuel will be enough. Basically for anything short course you can get away with liquid only. I personally can do a 10k road race distance on only liquid and for triathlon I can muscle through a sprint on nothing but liquid. Anything longer you’re going to want to start experimenting with solids.
2. Experiment- Again, there’s a lot out there; gels, GU, chomps, waffles, blocks, sport beans, amillionotherthings. And those are just race specific fuels. A lot of people also use real food like potatoes, Uncrustable sandwiches, dried fruit, etc. Buy a few different kinds of race specific fuels, try a few real foods, and find out what you like, don’t like, what agrees or disagrees with your stomach, etc.
3. Practice Fueling- This is part of what training should entail; practicing your nutrition! Don’t wing it on race day, use your training to experiment with all the different fuel options and find out what works for you. The one and only time I ever used a gel was thankfully on a training run where I was close enough to a public restroom. Lesson learned, and thankfully not mid race.
4. Know What’s Offered- You know that old saying “never try anything new on race day?” This includes what you grab from a volunteer at an aid station on race day. Check the race’s website and know what they’ll be offering on the course so you can practice with it. Last thing you want is to grab a cup of something or a gel or some sort and end up in GI distress because you didn’t try it out prior to race day.
5. Know Your Body- Everybody is different and part of race nutrition is just knowing what you need to be successful. Like I know I can run a 10k with no fuel and no water. But toss me into a half marathon and I’ll down a whole pack of shot blocks. Better runners than I can do a half marathon on just water, but I can’t, and that’s okay.
Favorite race day nutriton?
At what race distance do you start to need some fuel?
Next week’s theme is Support Crew! Who are those amazing people in your life who make your race day worth running for?