Preparing for a triathlon is much more than checking off workouts to improve fitness and booking travel accommodations. Nutrition plays an important role in race day readiness. Whether you are training for an Ironman distance triathlon, half marathon or a local sprint triathlon, nutritional preparation is key.
How you fuel during a race primarily depends on the duration of the event and your racing intensity (which is based on your fitness level). Proper fueling will help you maximize recovery, fuel your workouts appropriately, boost your immune system and to maintain a healthy body composition, alongside building confidence for race day.
While you may be able to get away with a haphazard sport nutrition strategies (or not fueling at all) during short workouts, competing at your best requires you to constantly fine-tune sport nutrition strategies to help minimize the fluid, electrolyte and fuel depletion that will occur throughout the event.
Because proper sport nutrition should be part of your ongoing training - and not something you only do during your long workouts or in the three weeks before your race - here are a few common race day nutrition mistakes that could compromise your performance and health on race day.
As a reminder - endurance racing is unpredictable and requires a lot of training, trial and error and a process-driven mindset. Nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle (yet a very important puzzle piece - without it, you can't complete the puzzle).
Accept that not every race is going to be great, a PR or a showcase of previous training. Remind yourself that racing is a test of your current fitness but it's also a day (or a few hours) of self-exploration, body appreciation and to overcome obstacles.