No, it is not about grabbing a drink after work in a pub next to you. It is about hydration during a race.
That should not be new to any really Bad Triathlete, but if it then here is the harsh truth:
There is no evidence that water helps you perform better. It is still up to debate if there are any advantages in drinking any fluids during a race – be it your local sprint triathlon or Ironman World Championship in Kona. What is not up to debate is the technique you use for drinking, while it is relatively easy to hydrate during a swim leg, you open your mouth and hydrate, it is not so straightforward on the run.
All these fancy running and triathlon websites are happy to deliver thousands of articles telling you what brand to drink and how much. But they won’t tell you the most important thing – how to do it correctly.
The right way to grab a drink in a triathlon during a run leg is this:
Step one – Approaching an Aid Station
When approaching an aid station, start yelling. You should yell WATER or GATORADE. Because those volunteers only have that crap Gatorade and ambrosia in the form of water. By shouting it, you are letting them know what you require.
Step two – Initial Contact
Approach a volunteer, make eye contact so he can establish this emotional connection with you and understand that utterly devastating physical state you are currently in.
Step three – Act of Hydration
Grab a cup with an open palm and drink it with one big gulp!
Easy right? Don’t be afraid about splashing your drink all over your face, because what can be better than sticky Gatorade face for the remainder of the race.
Under no circumstances, you should
- Grab the cup around the top rim.
- Squeeze one side of the of the cup, so it is pointed like your grandma’s sauceboat. Typically people do it by putting their pointing finger in the cup.
- Put that pointed top of the improvised sauceboat in your mouth.
- Drink by doing small sips.
- Reduce your record-breaking pace or stop for drinking convenience
That’s it. Follow these simple advice, and you will master this.