It's funny, for a long time there I was obsessed with race nutrition and trying to get it right. Calculating calories, CHO and fluid intake etc trying to work out everything in detail to make sure I had enough energy to get my through my events. Then I stumbled upon a little secret which has now made everything so easy. I'll tell you about that later...
The field of nutrition seems to be never ending and the research we are presented with always seems to be changing and we never seem to have the one answer. One week its high carb diets, other weeks its low carb/high fat and the next its Paleo. It's always changing and always confusing. When I think about nutrition for triathlon, I look at it in two ways. The first is daily nutritional needs and the second is, in competition nutritional needs.
When we look at daily nutritional needs we're talking about the macro and micro nutrients needed to sustain life. This is a massive area of research where we see people talking about all sorts of diets such as Paleo, hi fat/low carb, Atkins, fasting, anti-cancer and so on. I'm not going to touch on this because there are too many things to cover and in this blog I want to talk more about racing nutrition. If you are looking for more information about daily nutritional needs and in particular for a triathlete then pick up a book (there are many out there) and start reading up and formulating your own plan of attack.
During competition nutrition
What I'm referring to here is the nutrition you are consuming during a race. Now the secret I was referring to earlier I will unveil, however what I've provided below is a simplified outline of how to approach the nutrition dilemma across the standard triathlon distance races.
Now when it comes to the 70.3/Ironman distance doing the math reveals that a number of water bottles, gel packets, bars etc might be required and the ensuing problem of "where do I put all this stuff" becomes evident. I've found after much trial and error that the best option and "secret" I was referring to earlier is to switch to INFINIT nutrition with a sprinkling of solid food.
INFINIT is a very simple to use form of sports nutrition. In powder form you put 1 serve per water bottle works out to be 1hr of nutrition. For 70.3 and Ironman I normally do a concentrated blend (about 1.5-2 serves per water bottle) which combined with a special needs station does me for an Ironman event without the need of strapping gels and bars all over my bike. Couldn't be more simple. 2 water bottles and away I go for 180k. If you want to give it a go head over their website and if you use the code 'MAV' on checkout you'll also receive 10% off.And don't forget to tell me how you go.