Nutrition is Key

Building a Healthy Body

Lessons Learnt: Season Review by Suzie Richards

Saturday 15th October saw me race the Challenge Paguera Mallorca 70.3 Triathlon.

A stunning race venue; nice warm sea, palm trees in transition, smooth Mallorca roads. It was a great end of season hit out.

This was my 3rd 70.3 race this year, and my aim was to put what I had learnt from the other two into practice, especially the nutrition lessons.

So, what had I learnt?

Race 1: The Freaky Events Equalizer 70.3 Triathlon took place on July 3rd 2016, based at Roadford lake in Devon. A two lap lake swim, a 2 lap 90km cycle on rolling Devon roads and finishing up with a 13.1mile (half marathon) off road run.

The key learning’s from this race:

1) I should have removed my front areo water bottle from the bike before turning it upside down to fix a mechanical. The OTE energy drink disappeared down the road.

2) If I finish the bike and start the run feeling very very thirsty and thinking “give me water, coke, energy drink, anything, now!” I have not taken on enough liquid during the bike.

3) It is very hard to recover from not taking on enough liquid and electrolytes during the early stages of a race, especially in warm weather.


Thankfully the run route had a good number of aid stations, handing out energy drink, water and coke. I took full advantage of this and somehow recovered from my lack of liquid on the bike.


Race 2: Weymouth Ironman 70.3 on September 11th 2016. My first 70.3 pro race and a 4th place finish. A great day at the seaside, culminating in some very sore legs.

I had the fear in me after the painful experience of The Devon Equalizer. I knew i needed to drink more on the bike than i had in that race.

It was great having the company of my friend and training buddy Eleanor Haresign, who had won the full distance race, 2 years previously. She showed me how to properly plan race nutrition

1) Sitting down the day before, with a course map and marking on where and what nutrition to take is invaluable. Knowing what aid stations on the bike route I would collect another drinks bottle from, where I would eat my OTE duo bar (you don’t want to plan to eat it at 45minutes in, only to find your on a big hill then, eat it before you hit the hill!) and by which point i should have finished my first bottle of OTE energy drink.

2) I filled a small 150ml bottle with OTE orange energy drink and placed it in my Run Transition bag, so when i put my trainers on and headed out on to the run, i grabbed it and sipped it over the first few minutes of running. This meant i wasn’t waiting for the first aid station before i took on board any liquid.

3) “Wow you are salty” Eleanor said ads she met me at the finish and helped me walk/stagger back to the car. She was right, my Raceskin Tri Suit was covered in white, Salt i had sweated out. Something to ask OTE nutritionist Annie about before the next race.


Race 3: Challenge Paguera Mallorca 70.3. My first challenge branded event and I was thoroughly impressive. A stacked Pro field of 20 lined up the beach to crash through the waves. I finished 15th, a tough day out, but one i am proud of for digging through the pain barrier on several occasions.

1) The salty question. Following Weymouth, I had gone down to the OTE performance centre and picked the brains of Annie to see if I could prevent this form happening. She explained that some people will always sweat more than others, and some are salty sweaters. It just means I need to be aware of taking on board liquid before an event, not just the morning of it but days before, keeping fully hydrating. Using OTE hyrdo tabs really helps hydration. So in the days leading up to the race, i deliberately always had a water bottle with a hydro tab by my side, sipping away on it.

2) This was going to be a hot race and with a rough sea swim and hilly bike I needed to fuel sufficiently. On visiting OTE the week before, nutritionist Annie had told me ” You triathletes always under fuel” so I was determined to take on enough liquid and gels.

I had found carrying water bottles in the bottle cage behind my seat awkward in terms of reaching behind and getting them out, I realised it wasn’t reaching them that was the issue but the bottles were super snug in the cage so needed a very forceful tug. So i experimented with different bottles and found a thinner one worked a lot better, slipping out without to much issue. This meant i was confident to carry 2x 750ml bottles on my bike, one on the front in between my aerobars and one behind my seat, which i squirted into my front bottle once that one was empty. I then replaced the empty back bottle with a full one at an aid station.

3) For some reason, my body did not want to take on any food, I may have been pushing it too hard in the heat, but every time i took a gel, it promptly reemerged on my top tube, nice! After a bit of experimenting I realised it would stay down if i combined gel with water.

The hot weather and hilly nature of the course, showed me that your nutrition has to vary slightly for each race, to take account of the different conditions.


Each race brings good lessons and each race allows you to build of that learning and put it into practice.

 That brings 2016 season to a close for me. 7 races done; 3 wins (Slateman, Leeds WTS and Snowdonia triathlon) 2 podiums (Castle Howard and The Equalizer) and 2 Pro 70.3 races (Weymouth and Mallorca).


Thank you OTE for all the help and advice, I look forward to 2017

Suzie @

Posted in: General, Nutrition Advice, OTE Fuelled Athletes

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