5 Triathlon Nutrition Tips for Race Day

4. Eat on the bike.

Obviously it's pretty hard and time consuming to eat during the swim portion of a triathlon. It can also be a bit tricky, and too late, to eat on the run.

This means that the highest portion of your caloric intake during the race should take place on the bike. A good tip that many pros use is to set their watch to beep at set intervals. This is handy reminder to eat or drink regularly.

Every time the watch beeps (say, every 20 minutes) it's time to eat or drink.

At this point you maybe asking yourself what and how much should you eat. That really depends on a number of factors, including the distance of the race, your body tolerance for certain food, and of course, what you like to eat.

In general you should never try anything new during a race, and you should stick with high-caloric, easy-to-digest foods. Many amateurs and pros alike eat energy bars and gels. However, during longer races, don't rule out high-calorie, easy-to-eat snacks as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or your favorite protein- and sugar-packed treats like Fig Newtons.

More: Should You Eat or Drink Your Calories?

5. Don't bonk.

Like leg cramps on the run and shortness of breath during the swim, gastrointestinal distress, otherwise known as an upset stomach, is part of the sport of triathlon.

Just because your stomach might be upset during a race doesn't mean you should stop eating. In fact, chances are that while you are racing you won't be hungry, and the last thing you'll want to do is eat.

But not eating, especially during a longer race, means a real possibility of bonking, or hitting a wall.

To avoid bonking, remember to carbohydrate-load two nights before the big race, have a triathlon nutrition plan and stick with it, eat on the bike, and set your watch as a regular reminder.

Above all, don't fret if your stomach gets upset. That's just part of the natural rhythm of a triathlon. Remember just because you feel lousy on the bike, doesn't mean you won't feel better by the time you get to the run.

More: What You Need to Know About the Dreaded Bonk

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About the Author

Roman Mica is an amateur Clydesdale triathlete who lives and races in Boulder, Colorado. He is the managing editor of www.EverymanTri.com and author of My Training Begins Tomorrow: The Everyman's Guide to IRONFIT Swimming, Cycling & Running.

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