We triathletes are planners, right? We can’t go into a race without a list or ten of things that we need to do, need to take, or need to consume. Over the next couple of days, I’ll share with you my preparations for this upcoming weekend’s Rev3 Florida race.
Today, I’ll be sharing my “going-in” nutrition plan. Tomorrow, I’ll share my packing list.
This race is a “Half-Rev” – a half “iron” distance race. 1.2 mile swim. 56 mile bike. 13.1 mile run. Weather conditions look to be about what I’ve been used to here in Northeast Florida. Moderate humidity. Highs reaching into the mid 80’s (maybe 30 degrees Celsius). Additionally, the forecast is calling for moderate chop on the water and fairly breezy conditions, with winds in the 15-20mph range coming from the northwest (which could significantly impact the last half of the bike).
I am a moderate sweater. You might say that I’m even more than moderate when the humidity is high.
My plan is that I’ll wake up around 5am for breakfast. I’ll very likely go back to bed for an hour or so to continue resting, but I doubt I’ll sleep. Breakfast for me on race days – especially races of this distance – always consists of a peanut butter and strawberry jelly bagel, a Powerbar (I personally like the Harvest Double Chocolate Crisp) and a bottle of water. That’s around 760 calories, depending upon the size of the bagel I bring and how much peanut butter I put on.
When I arrive at the venue and begin setting up my transition area, I’ll be sipping on a bottle of water non-stop. My plan all week has been to super-hydrate, and I’d like to go into the race as hydrated as possible. I’ve been drinking in excess of two liters of water daily, not counting what I take in when working out. About 10 minutes prior to the start, I’ll take a Powerbar Gel. My current favorite is the Kona Punch flavor. It is sweet, but not too sweet. The consistency is great, and I have tolerated the gel really well during my training.
When I hit T1 after my swim, I’ll grab another gel, and may or may not take it while I’m still in transition. More likely, I’ll take it pretty much as soon as I get up to speed on the bike.
My plan is to take the bulk of my calories for the day while I’m on the bike. During my training, I have taken a gel every 45 to 50 minutes, and I have generally been averaging 18 to 19 mph, meaning I’ll be on the bike for roughly 3 hours. That means in addition to the one I take right at the start of the bike leg, I’ll take three additional gels during the ride…at 45 minutes, 90 minutes, and 2 hours 15 minutes. To facilitate my consumption of gels (and to eliminate waste), I’ll put my gels into a flask that I can easily carry in my tri top. My strategy for consuming liquid is that I strive to take in quite a bit. I set my Garmin to beep every 10 minutes to remind me to drink, and I’ll go through at least three bottles. Two will be straight water, and I’ll go through one bottle of Ironman Perform (lemon-lime flavor). In all, I’ll take in about 540 calories on the bike.
I’ll take the same approach in T2 that I did in T1. I’ll grab another gel, and most likely take it as soon as I’m running. Again – Kona Punch. Although I might take a Vanilla down with me, as I like that flavor as well.
Finally….the run. I’m not the fastest runner normally, and when it comes to running after biking and swimming, I’m pretty slow by comparison. I’m expecting to do the run in about 2 hours 15 minutes, give or take. Again, my plan will be to take a gel every 45 minutes (planning on two gels during the run, not including the one I take coming out of T2). If needed, I’ll graze the aid stations for salty stuff. I will absolutely take water and perhaps Gatorade at every aid station. If the weather is in fact as warm as it looks like it might be, I’ll probably take more than just one of each. I’ll also soak myself down with ice sponges or cold water poured on my head. Florida gets hot, and I don’t want to overheat.
All-in-all, my plan is to take in just under 2000 total calories on Sunday (including breakfast). I’ve followed this plan previously in my other half-iron distance races, and this approach seems to work really well for me.
So that’s my plan. It’s worked for me – but don’t infer that this type of plan will necessarily work for you. As they always say, make sure that you’ve tried your nutrition plan during your training and don’t experiment with something new on race day.