I recently read a great little article about nutrition as it relates to both training and racing. In the article they say there are three primary factors to consider. Fuel (what you’re consuming), intensity (the level of effort your exerting) and duration (how long your race/workout is). Essentially you fuel differently for a sprint than an Ironman distance and need different strategies. The same goes for training. You obviously don’t need to pound gels for an hour and a half swim session.
…if you are following a one-size-fits-all approach to how you refuel during both training and racing, you may want to consider a more context-specific approach.
Triathletes are notorious for being analytical, sometimes to a fault. However, I think in the world of nutrition, it’s really important. There isn’t one strategy that will work for everyone. It takes time and experience to develop the best method for you. Sometimes, a strategy that worked in the past will completely fail you in a future race.
One of my good friend’s Victor taught me a lot about strategy. With him it wasn’t just what you’re eating, it’s also when. There was always logic behind it for him. For instance, he wouldn’t consume anything within 15 minutes of his bike to run transition simply because he didn’t like the feeling of water swishing in his stomach.
You should test out the types of nutrition you like during training. You need to consider everything from taste and texture to how it affects you physically. Does it keep your energy levels stable or do nothing at all for you? What kind of hydration do you like and works best for you?
Anyway, bottom line like it says in the article you “nutritional needs are highly individual” and what another person does may not work for you.
Check out the original article: Differentiating Between Training and Racing Nutrition Strategies | TrainingPeaks