My nutrition plan for this year involved a gel 30 minutes prior to the swim then, once settled in on the bike, three Clif bloks every thirty minutes and then two Clif shots over the course of the run. The reason I decided to go with Clif bloks is that warm Gatorade isn't very appealing on a 56 mile ride nor is it enough calories, and the citric acid in some gels burn my throat making it hard to breathe. I also had a plan to go easier this year in anticipation of the run.
The Swim Goal 38:00 actual 37:16
The swim felt absolutely amazing. While it was long, I never felt tired, I felt strong the entire time and could have easily gone harder.... maybe next time.
T1 Goal 2:30 actual 2:31
Came out of the water feeling good and had a smooth transition.
Bike Goal 2:33:00 actual 2:36:42
I was pretty sure I could average 22 mph on the bike. The first lap went well and I was keeping it around 80% effort, I averaged 21.84 mph. On the second lap I started to feel a little nauseous from all the Clif bloks and was worried about cramping so I backed off a little bit averaging 21.06 mph on the second lap, averaging 21.4 mph over the entire course.
T2 Goal 1:00 actual 1:00
Another smooth transition, now time for the run...
Run Goal 1:51:00 actual 1:48:37
I really tried to hold back the first few miles, I passed the first marker at 7:45 and then settled in to a comfortable pace. The first 10k flew by, I kept telling myself ,"This is too easy.", but was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I did the first lap in 54:51, a little ahead of pace and I was feeling great, no cramps, no fatigue... I could do this all day. On the second lap I picked up the pace a little and was waiting for the magic 10 mile mark to really kick it in. I passed mile 10 and said, "Just a 5k... no sweat!" I began picking up the pace and at mile 11 my hands, arms, face, and head started tingling... I was bonking and I was nearly out of gel, a repeat of last year. I squeezed what was left into my mouth and hoped it would be enough to get me to the finish line. It was, but just barely.
Overall Goal 5:06:00 actual 5:06:06
As race distances go up nutrition becomes more and more important, and unfortunately there is no one nutrition plan that works for everyone. Every person's body is unique and handles nutrition in a different way and despite the fact that you may have practiced your nutrition plan during training, you race at a higher intensity and what worked on a long training ride may cause issues during your run. At the end of the day what I took from this race is that if I want to improve at the 70.3 distance I will need to race it more than once a year in order to really dial in my personal nutrition plan. Yesterday I learned that I need to find something else for the ride and that an extra gel pack would come in mighty handy on the run. In the end, however, I was very happy with the days results.