Gatorade’s Triathlon tips
Know the course. Pay attention to any areas with hills or difficult terrain. Familiarise yourself with each element of the course and the transition areas. Also make sure you locate all the fluid stations along the course.
Leave enough time. Avoid stress before the start of a triathlon by getting to the start line in plenty of time. Mental preparation is as important as all the training you have done, leave yourself time to prepare mentally at the start too.
Eat wisely to power you through the triathlon. Eat at least an hour before a triathlon to leave enough time for the food to settle before you swim. Bagels, bananas, energy bars, sports drinks, pasta, rice and cereal are all great pre-race foods.
Fuel up before you race. It is important that even before you start a triathlon you are sufficiently hydrated. Drink sports drinks over water as a properly formulated sports drink, like Gatorade, goes further than water alone because it provides carbohydrate energy and helps you replace the sodium you lose through sweat. It is also important that for a few weeks before the race you keep well hydrated, carry a drink wherever you go to ensure you are drinking enough.
Choose your sports drink wisely. Try out your chosen sports drink in your training to make sure it suits your needs. Choosing a sports drink with the right amount of sodium, magnesium and some carbohydrate is also important. Some sports drinks don’t contain enough electrolytes for tough exercise, years of scientific research have helped Gatorade produce the perfect balance.
Decide well in advance how much fluid you need. You should find this from your training sessions, how much you need to replace the fluid you lose. Consult a sports nutritionist if you need help working out exactly how much you need to consume to replace fluids. Try weighing yourself before and after training sessions to adjust fluid intake to minimize weight loss (dehydration).
During the race make sure you keep hydrated. If it helps, set an alarm to remind yourself to drink perhaps every ten minutes taking little sips. On the bike carry 2 bottles, on the run carry a small bottle and use aid stations wisely. Also take into consideration drinking in transitions.
Cool your engine, not your head. Pouring fluids over your head may feel good, but it will not keep you cool. Sweating is what helps keep the body cool and for it to be an effective process you need to keep adequate fluids on board. If you feel light headed, unusual fatigue, confusion, nausea, vomiting or muscle cramps at any point during the triathlon then stop and seek medical attention, know your limits.
Replenish after the triathlon. Replenishing, rehydrating and carbohydrate intake is important after the race for quick recovery. Consuming a sports drink and foods containing sodium helps to promote rapid and complete rehydration. Divide your body weight by two and consume that many grams of carbohydrate during the first hour after the race. A bagel, energy bar or a piece fruit will get you on the way to carbohydrate recovery.
Mental preparation. Getting through a triathlon has a lot to do with your mental state of mind. If you think you can do it, you will! And most of all enjoy the event!
How much do you sweat? It’s a question Gatorade will be looking to answer at the London Triathlon this weekend, with its Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) offering ‘Hydration Assessment Tests’ along with support and expertise to competitors and spectators alike.
The tests will help all competitors – from newcomers to elite athletes – learn more about the rate at which they sweat and the levels of fluid they need to take on during physical activity in order to perform to their maximum. A GSSI scientist will be on site to administer the tests and provide sports hydration and nutrition advice.
The Hydration Assessment Tests will allow individuals to find out how well they replace the fluids they lose through sweat during exercise, by measuring weight change pre- and post-physical activity. The tests will show how rapidly dehydration occurs.
For over 20 years the GSSI has been a world-renowned sports science centre dedicated to addressing the performance and safety needs of athletes through scientific exploration in the fields of hydration and nutrition science. Its scientists evaluate the impact of various sports hydration and nutritional practices on athletes at both amateur and elite levels.
By testing an athlete’s fluid replacement behaviour live at the event, the GSSI scientists can then prescribe a personal fluid-drinking regime to help individuals stay safely hydrated, to optimise athletic performance and help prevent heat illness. Understanding personal hydration levels and receiving a hydration guide will help athletes step into training or competition fully prepared to help ensure safety and peak performance.
Hydration Assessment Tests are available to competitors, spectators and members of the media at the London Triathlon on the 9th and 10th August 2008.
For more information about Gatorade in the UK visit www.gatorade.co.uk