How to really get race day nutrition right
Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Every year pre-Kona I’m inundated with enquiries about race day nutrition, often sparked by articles of ex-athletes giving out advice they didn’t use themselves when they were at the top of their game.
This is not an article to get into the pros and cons of different nutrition strategies, but rather a directive to Trisutto athletes on behalf of your dismayed coaches. Hold the line! Stick with the plan you have worked out with your coach and practiced in the run up to what should be a celebration of your ultimate day in multisport.
The temptation to try something new, or take on tips and advice from people that don’t know you in the misguided belief that it could help you on the big day, when the nerves and insecurities are already starting to bubble, is to invite disaster. You have planned your feeding, you have practiced the plan in qualification. Now on race day work that plan! If you’re under pressure aid stations should be looked at as islands from heaven.
I can tell you there are more theories, opinions and half cocked research about race day nutrition than you can count. The majority of which would be a compliment to refer to as ‘pseudoscience’. But whatever the potential merits, positive or negative, so close to the race are irrelevant. At this point in time, the advice of sticking with what you have practiced is the only good advice you’re going to get.
Similarly, changing sessions after hitting the Kona highway or pool because a 55 year old male or female blows past you while you’re on your easy ride is as ridiculous as one can imagine. Yet every year it will happen. They maybe having the best session of their lives, only problem is it’s on the wrong day. Leave them to it.
We open every Trisutto camp with a lecture about the sport. What is Ironman triathlon really? I make very clear that at Trisutto we believe swim, bike and run come a bad 3rd, 4th and 5th in priority. To me the most important disciplines of Ironman are: 1. Hydration 2. Calorie intake!
No athlete on the second Saturday of October at Kona will be celebrating a great race performance unless you have nailed these two features.
Having a few extra calories will be far more preferable than having too little! You can bet on it.