Post written by Susan Lacke.
Like most new triathletes — especially those who started out as runners — I had a lot of really strange questions when I first decided to take on a triathlon.
Though I was comfortable as a runner, learning how to add a swim and bike turned me into an inquisitive pain in the ass around my triathlete friends:
“Why do you wear those pointy helmets? Can I wear arm floaties on the swim? Where did all the men’s body hair go?”
One of the questions I had was particularly puzzling:
How the heck does anyone eat at these things?
I know I’m not alone in that bewilderment. As I’ve worked on the upcoming No Meat Athlete Triathlon Roadmap, I’ve encountered a lot of people who once felt the same way. For many runners-turned-triathletes, their fueling routine for running was nailed down, but triathlon was weird.
In a marathon, I knew to fuel early and often, taking in carbohydrates nearly from the start of the race. So in a triathlon, did that mean I was supposed to start eating during the swim?
What? How? Didn’t Grandma say something about waiting an hour?