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When you’re into the race and the pressure is on, the smallest things can create a disruption many times worse than the cause itself. For example, my biggest issue was heartburn and a build-up of acidity. It took substantial perseverance to find an effective diet that was also bland. Even so, the discomfort reared its ugly head from time to time. Finally, I found that a few antacid tablets like Tums in my pouch, or something even a little more substantial, brought instant relief. It also relaxed me before the race, knowing I had the issue covered, no matter what. So, don’t ignore medical diagnosis that spells out potential race obstacles. Face them head-on and prepare.
Traditionally, more than ninety percent of the athletes complete the course between seven-and-a-half and twelve hours in the Comrades. Fewer than two hundred (of the twenty thousand) finish in under seven hours. If you asked athletes randomly on race day what time they were aiming for, the results showed unrealistic optimism versus the eventual emerging times. So, it’s crucial to come to terms with your capabilities and set your PB as an achievable milestone. What’s my point here? The faster your pace, the higher is your heart’s pump rate, pushing blood to the muscles quicker to carry the needed oxygen supply. On the other side of the coin, there’s less blood around to support digestion.
The bottom line is that an elite or semi-elite athlete’s carb intake priorities shift away from the number of calories you need in a race (versus the average athlete). Faster competitors absorb less but must focus on doing it so their bodies can receive it without sudden side effects. Also, as you get into the triathlon racing culture, you may find you’re improving dramatically. Accept this as a sign to adjust your racing nutrition focus; otherwise, diet may end up as the enemy of further progress. Performance and nutritional adjustment go hand in hand.
Here are tips I’ve gleaned from many of my friends into triathlons:
I find that this is a conversation in its own right. It covers a broad consideration scope.
Triathlon Ironman nutrition is a complex topic. There’s so much to learn from reading on various subsets and from one’s own experience. Sumarpo can assist you immeasurably from their vantage point at the cutting edge of endurance nutrition. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of their resources so that you’re sure to tackle every triathlon event with maximum benefit on your side.