With less than 2 weeks to go until race day for Ironman Australia and Port Macquarie 70.3 competitors, hopefully you’ve identified how you’d prefer to fuel your race, have developed a race nutrition plan and practised it over and over again in training (if not, get in touch with me NOW!!). So what else do you need to think about from a nutrition point of view to ensure you have a great race? Well whenever you are travelling to another destination for a race, there are a few logistical considerations...
Buy your race nutrition now – Don’t leave this till the final days before and be hunting around at the event expo or popping into every bike shop within cooee! You don’t need that extra stress and you definitely don’t want to have to break the golden rule of sports nutrition, which is to never try anything new on race day!
Study the course – Know what nutrition is provided on course and when. How frequent are the aid stations? What order will the drinks be in at the aid stations? Where is special needs? Are there any technical parts of the course that may limit opportunity to fuel per your intended plan?
Check out your accommodation – Are you staying in a self-catered apartment or a hotel, or perhaps a hostel or even camping? Know what options you have available for food storage (Is there a fridge? Or a freezer?), food preparation (bench space, knives, cutting boards, pots & pans, any other utensils you may need) and cooking facilities (Microwave? Oven or stovetop? BBQ? Toaster? Only tea & coffee making facilities?). These things will impact upon your food choices in the days leading up to and after the event – will you be able to prepare all your meals and snacks (including your ideal pre-race dinner) with the options available to you, will you have to bring some things with you, or should you be considering alternative options?
Suss out the local shops – Do you know where the supermarkets and other options for groceries are? Are they likely to have what you need? Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest to find - banana shortages are common during Ironman week! Will you need to eat out on occasion? If so, try and make any restaurant reservations early as with so many athletes in town, your choices may be limited if you just wing it, and no-one wants to deal with a stressed out, hungry, tapering athlete!
Taking the time to consider these things now, before you travel, will help you have a hassle-free race week, and allow you to focus on relaxing and conserving your energy for race day.
All the best!