This post is rated Ironman.
The difference between a good race result and a PR is simple, yet so hard to execute…
Any ideas? You probably don’t have to think too long or hard about this one… Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!
The importance of nutrition increases with the distance of the race or training session. When racing or training for less than 1 hour, water is all you will need. Beyond 2 hours of constant motion, your body begins to lose its ability to digest. However, what is more relevant with this consideration is that your body CANNOT make up once a deficit has been reached. There is no such thing as “catching-up” on nutrition.
With that in mind, allow me to introduce the concept of the Rolling Restaurant, a.k.a. your bike. An Ironman race will take up most of the day. In order to make it to the finish line you must keep up on your calories as best as you can. Of course, it is not feasible to replace everything you lose along the way but the bike needs to be your primary fueling platform.
It doesn’t matter how great a swim you just had, you are already behind! Unless you have figured our how to take in calories while swimming 2.4 miles, you need to refuel early and often in the rolling restaurant. You may set a timer for continuous beeping at regular intervals. You may have certain landmarks along the course to remind you to eat. DO SOMETHING to plan your nutrition because you will not do eat instinctively.
Remember, you are riding your bike to a marathon…you will need fuel to get there!