After 10years racing triathlons, the World Championship 70.3 race in Las Vegas was the best “nutritional” race that I had done. I did not have any problems at all and felt even with regards to my energy levels throughout the race. I was really happy with this, especially as in the past this has often been a problem of mine and I was especially as it was a super hot day (about 39 degrees) and a very tough course, which increases the demand on your GI system.
As a result, I thought I would document how and what I did on the day and in the lead up in training.
One of the things which is vital with nutrition is getting used to the exact nutrition you are going to use on race day before hand. The article I wrote recently is on this topic and is a vital element of performance in long distance racing. See Here
The keys for me with getting my nutrition right going into the Las Vegas world championships were:
Using the exact nutrition in training that I would in the race by mimicking;
- Race like intensity
- Duration – this would involve eating the same breakfast that I would on race day, at the same time of day, followed by the same duration of ride and run, mimicking my race intensity in the most part
- Trying to mimic the same temperature/conditions – this was difficult, as the race was going to be very hot, and I didn’t want to over expose myself to the heat (as it greatly slows recovery). This is a vital component, as temperature greatly affects sweat rates, electrolyte loss, calorie burning (higher in hot weather) and the body’s ability to absorb all of the above.
I trained every day using either Dextro Carbo Mineral Drink, or a mix between this and Dextro After Sports Drink. The reason I would use the After Sports drink in long training sessions and in the race was because of the protein in the mix. This helps to keep insulin levels low, at low intensity levels, which helps to promote the use of fat as a source of fuel. This is a vital element of long distance performance. I found in longer sessions (4+ hours), this really helps me to keep even energy level throughout the session and race.
The use Dextro Gels in training and then racing was a huge help for me. I was lucky enough to train with them while I was living in Spain, which I was concerned about prior to moving over there. I would use 1-2 every hour in training and then 2-3 in the race, as the energy comsumption is obviously higher in a race situation. The beauty of the Dextro gels is:
- They have very low viscosity and therefore are very easy to swallow and digest, especially in a race situation
- Their taste is awesome
- The variety between having B vitamins and caffeine gels is great and you can alter their intake for different sessions and at different situations in a race
During the race I used 1 caffeine gel just prior to the swim start, then 3 B Vitamin Gels in the first hour of the bike and 4 caffeine gels in the second hour and 15min of the bike. I also used 3 caffeine gels in the run, which helped to keep my energy high and very mentally alert. This is very important late in a race when everything, including your mind is getting fatigued!
After every ‘longer session’ I would use the After Sports Drink. This is key to put back electrolytes, carbohydrates and provide protein to my body to replace muscle tissue that was broken down during training.
Dextro energy does everything that it says it is going to and on race day, Dextro, along with some careful planning, helped me have one of the best races I have ever had, placing 16th in the world and the best nutritional race I have ever had!
Race Day Nutrition:
- Peanut butter on toast x 2
- Banana x 2
- Dextro Carb bar
1 x Blood Orange Carbo Mineral Drink leading into race
1 x Dextro Caffeine gel
3 x bottles of Dextro Carbo Mineral Drink
7 x Gels
3 x Gels
After Sports Drink
Thank you for your support Dextro Australia, it is greatly appreciated and I am looking forward to a great Australian triathlon season working together!