Are you practicing your race nutrition plan?
It’s often said that the fourth discipline in a long-course race is nutrition, and it’s true. Those of us who have suffered in an Ironman have learned this lesson the hard way. “You look at age groupers who have had difficulty in long-course racing and at least 60 percent of the time it’s related to fueling and stomach issues,” says Kropelnicki. “So all of that training volume that you’ve put in, all of that time you’ve spent away from the family, is useless. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 15-minute 5K runner if you’re walking on the Queen K [Highway] and throwing up.” Once you’ve developed your fueling plan, Kropelnicki believes it’s critical to practice it in training. His long-course athletes do it daily, no matter how long or short their workout. “Really practice fueling on a daily basis,” he advises. “It doesn’t matter if you have an amazing fueling plan. If you don’t practice it, your body is not going to be able to handle it [on race day]. It needs to be practiced every day, day in and day out, without exception.”