I had a client who came in for her Race Day Nutrition Strategy Package so we could focus on proper fueling and managing hydration for her upcoming Syracuse 70.3 triathlon. The point of coming in for the 3-4 sessions, is to optimize the every day eating to help with recovery, and also work on race day nutrition strategies including pre-race meals, what to eat the day and evening before, and what to do the day of the race. What should I have in my bottles? What should I eat? Should I eat or just stick with liquids and gels? How can I tell if i am dehydrating or lacking fuel? How do I manage hydration? These questions are all addressed in the Race Day Nutrition Package.
From one of my clients a few weeks before the race:
“I thought that I had [managed my hydration] ok on Saturday in prep for Sunday. I drank fizz throughout the day and took 3-4 endurolytes with each meal (and took 4 before the swim Saturday). On Sunday I took 4 with breakfast, 3 right before the swim, 2 on the bike and 2 before the run. Well….my legs were crampy and heavy feeling in the swim! I also swan faster than usual (yay) The water temp was 73 and I did not wear a wetsuit. On the bike I felt ok for a lttle bit, but then legs got heavy. My speed was about 3-4 mph slower than a race on the same course, similar conditions as last year. On the run, I got a bad cramp in the left calf and walked for about 2 minutes. I ran pretty slow. Overall, I had a BAD race. I know I did not drink enough on the bike. I had about 1/2 bottle in about 38 minutes. While I am dealing with hamstring and calf issues on the left, I feel a big part of my bad race was hydration.”
And I would agree, that although she had managed her hydration by taking in electrolytes the day before and the morning of the race, it was still not quite enough given the symptoms of dehydration. See below for the ones I highlighted as HER signs of dehydration. You need to go with how you feel. If you have a sign of dehydration, by all means, take more electrolytes as needed to control that symptom. In this case, this race was a learning race in how to manage her hydration.
legs were crampy on the swim
but then legs got heavy and
got a bad cramp in the left calf
I was able to help my client optimize her race day nutrition and manage hydration so that her Syracuse 70.3 race was a complete success with nothing left to chance. She had a really great race even in a really hot and humid conditions! There was no time to acclimate to heat and humidity (usually takes 10 days, she had 1-2) so our hydration strategy worked perfectly 🙂
Another client did Syracuse 70.s as well, and in her race report she wrote this about the run (note: Syracuse 70.3 was about 90+ degrees) :
‘I was walking.
It wasn’t so much my legs that didn’t work, rather my heart rate was felt extremely high and my respiratory rate was labored.’ and
“I’m hot, but I’m also a little cold. What is that?”
These look like they could be HER signs of dehydration.
These are her symptoms of dehydration and can be corrected. If you experience these issues in a race or training, it may be time to come in for your Race Day Nutrition Strategy Session or a follow up session, so you can address how to manage your hydration and learn how to correct/avoid the symptoms.
Joanna Chodorowska, BA, NC, TPTH is a sports nutrition coach at Nutrition In Motion, helping her athletes perform better using real foods. Real athletes, Real food, Real results. She offers a Race Day Nutrition Strategy session to help athletes identify their signs of dehydration, and help them use the right combination or real food and sports supplements to ameliorate their success in racing. To schedule your Race Day Nutrition session, contact joanna at http://www.n-im.net or firstname.lastname@example.org