Nerves and Nutrition – Get Them Right For Race Day

Preparing for an A race in triathlon can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. Nerves can sabotage your performance by causing you to doubt yourself, become anxious, and lose focus. While getting your nutrition wrong can cause you to run out of energy or feel bloated and heavy, causing you to have to slow down or even stop. So getting these things sorted can lead to a much better overall performance.

Here are some strategies that we feel at Challenge Tri Camp can help you to manage nervesand get the best from your nutrition; helping to get that best race day performance we are all looking for.

So how do we manage the Nerves:

  1. Visualize success: Visualize yourself successfully completing the race and performing at your best. This can help build confidence and reduce pre-race nerves.
  2. Positive self-talk: Use positive self-talk to build confidence and counteract negative thoughts. Tell yourself that you are capable, strong, and prepared.
  3. Breathing exercises: Breathing exercises can help calm nerves and reduce anxiety. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on your breathing, letting go of any tension or stress.
  4. Stick to your routine: Stick to your pre-race routine as much as possible, from the meals you eat to the gear you pack. This will help reduce any anxiety and keep you focused on the task at hand. This is something we do and practise with athletes we coach so come race day no stone is left unturned.
  5. Focus on the process: Instead of worrying about the outcome, focus on the process. Break the race down into smaller, manageable tasks and focus on executing each one to the best of your ability.
  6. Have a support system: Surround yourself with supportive people who believe in you and can help calm your nerves. This can be family, friends, or of course a coach.


Remember, nerves are a normal part of the race day experience, and it’s okay to feel nervous. The key is to manage nerves and use them to your advantage, rather than letting them effect your performance. With the right mindset and strategies, you will perform at your best.

And then its nutrition. We put all that effort into training, but if we don’t think about the nutrition side of things it can all be wasted time.   So what’s the best way to get that nutrition right:

Nutrition plays a critical role in triathlon performance, and poor nutrition can as we said above cause chaos to your race day experience. Here are some strategies we like to use with our coached athletes to ensure that your nutrition supports your performance:

  1. Develop a nutrition plan: Work with a sports nutritionist to develop a nutrition plan that is tailored to your needs and the demands of your race. Your plan should include specific recommendations for the types and amounts of food and fluids you should consume before, during, and after the race.
  2. Practice your nutrition plan: Use your training sessions to practice your nutrition plan, including the timing, types, and amounts of food and fluids you plan to consume during the race. This will help you identify any issues or challenges and adjust your plan as needed.
  3. Don’t try anything new on race day: Stick to the foods and fluids that you have trained with and know work well for you. Trying new foods or supplements on race day can lead to stomach upset, nausea, or other digestive issues that can negatively impact your performance.
  4. Plan your pre-race meal: Your pre-race meal should be high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat and fiber. Eat your pre-race meal 2-3 hours before the race to allow enough time for digestion.
  5. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for optimal performance. Drink plenty of fluids in the days leading up to the race and during the race itself. Aim to consume 16-20 ounces of fluid per hour during the race.
  6. Plan for post-race recovery: Your nutrition plan should also include recommendations for post-race recovery, including the types and amounts of food and fluids you should consume to replenish glycogen stores, repair muscle tissue, and rehydrate.

By developing a solid nutrition plan, practicing it during training, and sticking to it on race day, you can ensure that your nutrition supports your performance and helps you achieve your goals for that big ‘A’ race.

We hope you found this useful and you can implement some of the above into the prep for your next big race. Any questions or to discuss any of the above in more detail, please drop us a message here.