Don’t let chaotic fuel stops slow you down or blow your nutrition plan…
1. PLAN WHAT YOU NEED
Write your nutrition plan out before you race so when you reach an aid station on the bike and run course, you don’t have to think about it. You can waste time looking at what’s on offer, but if you have a strategy, such as two cups of water and a gel at every station, then it is far less likely something will go wrong. For warmer conditions plan for additional supplements which may not be available on the course such as salt sticks or electrolyte tablets.
2. KNOW WHAT’S ON OFFER
Most races will list what products its aid stations will offer either on the website or in the athlete race pack. If you know exactly where they are and what they’ll have, you can plan your nutrition strategy accordingly. Knowing the order of the items will prevent you having to double back or throwing coke in your face instead of water (not recommended).
3. FUEL ON THE MOVE
One of the key skills for any triathlete is being able to drink a cup of water while moving. Many people walk through the aid stations but if you plan to run, make sure you can take on a gel, banana or some liquid while running – it can be more challenging than you think. It may take less time for you to stop and fuel properly while walking than to try and consume food on the move and compromise on liquid intake.
Aid stations, while not as complicated as transitions, can still save you time if they are managed properly but like anything, it takes practise whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned athlete. Some people find pinching the cup helps while others prefer to grab them from the top. Find out what works for you and before you know it, it will be second nature wherever you race.
WORDS: Amy Kilpin IMAGES: Becca Phillips
You can find more nutrition advice in our triathlon training section.