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The distances and sports nutrition
Please note ... the tips and advice below must first have been tried during a training before you apply this in a competition!
The Sprint triathlon
The sprint triathlon is a strange distance with regard to sports nutrition. The tricky thing is that you act on the tops of your heartbeats, the switches have to happen super fast, and every second counts. The toppers take just under 60 minutes, but many of us will take between 1: 10 am and 1: 45 pm.
In high intensity, the body only has 1: 10 hours and 1: 20 hours of carbohydrates that are stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. This differs per person, so how many carbohydrates you have will have to be determined experimentally by simulating a match in a training session.
A sprint distance is therefore a competition that takes place at maximum intersity. Theoretically, the body stops absorbing nutrients in the physiological area at this intensity. According to this theory, you don't have to take anything with you, but there is also such a thing as the mental factor.
Having nothing with you can cause unrest .. "what if I do get hungry" , "there is a chance that I will get an energy dip" etc. and have a small water sports bottle on your bike.
At this distance, the period before and after the race is very important. If you start a sprint triathlon, it is advisable to have your moisture management in order and to have your carbohydrate supply as large as possible.
Proper moisture management can be achieved by taking 1 to 2 water bottles (a 500ml) with a 100% hydration drink. This drink supplements the necessary salts and minerals (electrolytes) in the body without this having an effect on the fast carbohydrates in your body. These drinks therefore only contain electrolytes.
You can also drink a bottle of this on the day of the competition.
In the 5 days for a triathlon you will decrease the intensity of your workouts in length and intensity. This is to give the muscles the necessary rest. If you take extra slow carbohydrates during this period, the body will store these carbohydrates in muscles and liver. This provides an extra buffer (carbohydrate stacking). There are 2 ways to do this ... 1. Extra carbohydrate intake through normal food (pasta, rice, couscous, etc.) or 2. Using a carboloader.
On the day of the triathlon, the intake of electrolytes is therefore recommended. Furthermore, you can eat a carbohydrate-rich, but low-fiber meal for 1.5 to 2 hours (and also try this out at a training pace).
About 10 to 15 minutes before the start you can take another gel together with a few good sips of sports drink. This gives you the energy you need for cycling. We always recommend to have a water bottle at the switch so that you can still drink it during the switch.
On the bike we always have 1 gel with us and a small sports drink bottle. In warm weather, we recommend using a thirst quencher over an energy drink.
At the last change you can take a few more sips from your water bottle and then directly towards the finish.
Good recovery after such an effort is nice. You have pushed your body to the limit in a short time. Try to take a recovery drink within 30 minutes of exertion. Such a recovery drink is a combination of proteins (building material for the muscles), electrolytes and carbohydrates. These elements are the basis for a good recovery. As soon as it is possible, you can easily switch back to normal food (not too fat and preferably no alcohol). Optionally, you can also take a protein bar.
Try to drink 1 or 2 bottles of electrolytes in the hours after the match and preferably the day after. Raising your moisture levels will promote your recovery in the hours that follow. This is certainly recommended in warm weather.