I'm the type of person who needs everything mapped out for them. Because of this, I've been nervous about my nutrition/fueling for the upcoming 70.3. I don't have a clue how much food and sport drink I should have, when I should have it, the type of food and sport drink I should have, etc. So, I put a call out to Coach Kelly to tell me exactly what to do. She did this last year for the Iron Girl race and it worked perfectly.
So, on Thursday we met at the local Panera Bread to discuss the plan. I brought with me things I've been eating and drinking on my rides and runs and she was able to look at the number of calories in each and decide how much to take. She also mapped out the times I would eat things. This is exactly what I needed!!!
This weekend I put the plan to the test. On Saturday, I went on my long run and I did it on my home treadmill. The plan is to use what is provided on the course and not bring anything from home. Although I won't do this on the actual race, I walked for the first 10 minutes for a warm up. (Race day I will have been on the bike for about 4 hours so I will be PLENTY warmed up!) I then ran for about a mile. Since the course will have aid stations at about every mile, I pretended that I was at the first aid station and started walking at this point. I drank some sport drink (I had Gatorade yesterday, but the course will have something different which I still need to practice with), water, and some GU Chomps. I made sure to walk at least 1 minute then started running again. I continued to run a mile to the next "aid station" then walk while fueling.
Coach Kelly also made the plan for me to have a gel at about the 1 hour mark. I've wanted to try gels, but have been nervous that I wouldn't like the texture and/or taste. The first one I tried was called something like Jet Blackberry...I gagged! I thought good God this isn't going to be fun! I then tried Vanilla which was a little more tolerable. I visited Syracuse Bicycle today and picked up three more flavors to try: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and some Lemon flavor. Hoping I can find a flavor that they'll actually have on course. Otherwise, I'll have to carry it. Not a huge problem, but it is one more thing to think about.
The plan went well except for having some tummy troubles this morning. I suppose if I was a stomach and had all that weird stuff ingested into me that I wouldn't be happy the day after either! Oh well!
Today I practiced the bike plan. I got up two hours early so I could eat my race day breakfast. On race day I'll have a swim before my bike, but this was close enough I suppose. The bike plan is to drink a bottle of sport drink every hour and to eat either an entire Honey Stinger Waffle or 1/2 a Power Bar each hour. I purchased a Bento Box yesterday, so I had my stash of goodies easily accessible and two sport drink bottles ready.
Problem was that I only had 2 bottles and was riding 4 hours. On race day I will ditch my empty bottles for full bottles at aid stations, but I didn't have that luxury today. I did good today with food, but had to cut my ride short and head home to finish on the trainer so I could fill my bottles back up. Otherwise, I think I'll be OK race day.
So, I'm happy to say I'm confident that my hydration and nutrition plan will work on race day. Looking forward to having the race over so I can go back to training for sprint races which are much less stressful. Two weeks from now I will be a happy girl!