We can have the best race day plan. We can follow it to a T. The plan may have even worked in the past. Things change each and every race and no two races are the same so expect the unexpected. You need to develop a plan for the unexpected and know the signs of when things may not be working quite right.
If you have ever raced long course you probably have experience the mind starting to wonder, thoughts of “why am I doing this?”; “what were you thinking?”; “stop running, it is okay to walk.” If this begins to occur and you can’t get it under control using your normal methods, it may be a sign that you need immediate nutrition. Next time this happens, trying taking in something that will quickly satisfy the nutrition needs. Something that is quickly absorbed such as a gel, blocks, or even coke, anything that has a high sugar content. I know it is evil but during a long course triathlon I promise you, it is okay.
Maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum and you are having GI issues with a bloated stomach. It could be that you are not absorbing the nutrients that you are consuming. I have been there and, in the moment, I thought I needed more calories. It was the wrong answer. What I really needed was to stop taking in more calories. I was dehydrated and my stomach slowed on breaking down the nutrients I was putting in. What I really needed was to stop taking in calories and slowly add water to help dilute the nutrients which will allow them to absorb into the body quicker. At the next aid station swish some coke around in your mouth and then spit it out and drink water.
If you no longer enjoy the taste of your favorite nutritional product and you stop eating, try drinking some coke at the next aid station. It may help you enjoy the taste of your favorite product again.
Next time you are on the course and things are not going according to plan, it may be time to try one of these methods.
Happy Training Everyone!