Tip #1: Start fueling for the race 48 hours prior. To set yourself up for a good race you have to start fueling your body at least 48 hours prior to race start. This doesn’t mean you change your diet, it is too late for that. You should go light on pasta and include protein in allmeals. Protein should outweigh refined grains, sweets and sugary drinks. In fact you should avoid sugary drinks all together, save it for race day. Try to eat your pre-race dinner 10 hours prior to your pre-race breakfast. Drink water when you are thirsty, do not try and “hydrate” drinking too much water.
Tip #2: Finish pre-race breakfast 2.5 to 3 hours before race start. Breakfast should consist of protein, carbs and some fats, focus on a ratio of 1:2 for protein to carbs. If you have a sensitive GI system you still need to consume some calories. Your body is low on fuel after sleeping and you need to get some food particularly some sugars into your system.
Tip #3: Don’t over hydrate prior to start.Leading up to the race start, sip water to quench off thirst, don’t drink to hydrate. Once you are within 10 minutes of the race, sip on fuel replacement drink or eat a gel. If you are a heavy sweater you may need a full bottle of fluids within 10 minutes of race start.
Tip #4: Don’t eat in transition. After coming out of the water focus on the task at hand and get through transition as quickly as possible. Your heart rate is high coming out of the water and running through transition. Avoid an extra stress and just get through transition fast and smooth. Wait until you are on the bike and your heart rate begins to settle before you eat anything. This doesn’t mean you can’t drink water as soon as you are on the bike. Allow your system to settle before adding food and upsetting the GI system. This applies to both T1 and T2.
Tip #5: Don’t try anything new. You should have a solid nutrition plan for the race. Follow the plan that you and your coach have developed. If you decide to try on course nutrition, make sure it is something that you have tried during training. The only exception to this is if your nutrition plan isn’t working. If your nutrition plan isn’t working try a few of the recommendations from “Long Course Nutrition: What’s Going Wrong”.
You have trained long and hard. Use the knowledge you have gained through training and these tips to help you be successful on race day.