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Nutrition Recap: Success at Timberman 70.3

The time had finally come: Timberman 70.3, one of my first real opportunities to put my “new” nutrition plan in place. My first endurance event without the infamous “carbo” load. WHAT? No pasta dinner? No oatmeal for breakfast? Oh boy, this was going to be interesting.

Leading up to the race, I stuck to my usual diet: lean protein, lots of leafy greens and “real” carbs in the form of fruits and vegetables before and after exercise. The day before was no exception: eggs and protein for breakfast, fish and greens for dinner.

Race morning? This is where things were really different.

My breakfast:

  • Baked sweet potato with almond butter
  • Smoothie made from strawberries, almond butter, coconut water and “real” whey protein

Nutrition during the race:

  • Same fruit smoothie I had for breakfast on the bike
  • Homemade gel I made that morning for both the bike and run

I know you’re skeptical about the homemade gel, but it’s amazing. Here’s how I make it:

Mix together equal portions of cashew butter (make sure the only ingredient is cashews) and pure maple syrup. I typically use 1 tbsp of each, although the amount depends on how many calories you need (1 tbsp of raw cashews contains about 50 calories, and 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup is also 50 calories). Add a dash of sea salt to taste.

Note: you can use any nut butter. Pick your favorite, just make sure there are no artificial ingredients. And pure organic honey is good substitute for maple syrup.

After you mix the ingredients together, put it into a ziplock bag and use twist tie to condense the size (I make mine the size of a normal Gu packet).

The result? Success! I had zero GI issues throughout the race and no bonking. My calories were sufficient as I never felt hungry, and the taste was unbelievable. No more forcing down sugary Gu packets! In addition to my nutrition, I obviously stayed well hydrated with water throughout the race – also key.

It’s important to note that I didn’t implement this plan overnight (and I wouldn’t suggest that anyone do that!). I eased into it, figured out what worked through trial and error in training and tweaked as necessary. What works for me might not work for you, and not everyone will want to stray from what they know works. Understandable. Only you know your body.

With the nutrition piece worked out, now I just need to put in more training on the bike… Tailwind anyone?

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