Kona Bound: A Prolete’s nutrition and tips

Interview with Prolete Age Grouper Tyler Phillips who will be racing in Kona on October 10th 2015.

How long have you been a triathlete?
I first ‘dabbled’ in triathlon when I was 17, I found Dad’s old 8 speed with down tube shifters and took it up and down the street and thought it was the best fun. Jumped into an Olympic distance first up and the following summer raced at Geelong 70.3. I was still playing footy and Triathlons were just a bit of fun over the summers. I first started focussing some energy into the sport in 2012 when I entered Busso Ironman and from then I’ve been hooked.

What made you become a triathlete?
I knew Dad had raced a few Tri’s in the 90’s so had always been aware of the sport. I swam competitively as a kid and loved to run and then discovered road bikes so it just made sense to me to give it a go.

What are your main goals as a triathlete?
For the past 6 months I have been focussing solely on prep for Kona, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, II just want to have the best race I can possibly have and get everything out of myself and see what that produces on the day. I will be spending some time on 70.3 and long course racing after Kona. The training required for full Ironman distance racing is very draining, especially around full time work. Long term, I just want to see how far I can go and how fast I can get across the half and full distance races, and see where that ends up.

In regards to Kona, what are you eating in the lead up?
My main focus with my nutrition focusses on common sense. I don’t cut anything completely out of my diet, and just try to limit some things such as refined sugars and fried foods. The other aspect I give a bit of thought to is timing of meals and snacks and ensure I’m getting adequate fuel before and after big sessions.

What does your nutrition plan for race day consist of?
Breakfast is the same as any other day for me – I’ll have porridge with sultanas and a banana and a coffee.
During the race I’ll aim to consume 90g of CHO per hour while on the bike, made up of a combination of Gels, Produrance and maybe some solids such as a banana and/or Nutella sandwich. This varies depending on conditions, heat, fluid requirement and the course. On the run I’ll aim for one gel every 30 minutes with water. Towards the second half of the marathon I’ll look for cola and will usually take Red Bull from my special needs.

What is your top race preparation tip?
Be organised and relax. I like to have everything ready as early as possible, dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s and then relax, enjoy the experience and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Favourite thing/meal to eat before a big training session or race?
I’m pretty flexible, I don’t want to get to a race and not be able to get ‘my meal’ and be thrown into a spin. My go to meal night before is Spag Bol, or a butter chicken, I’m pretty happy if I can get a rice or pasta dish of any sort. My favourite pick me up at the end of a day at work before a big session is a banana and Nutella sandwich. And Coffee, always up for Coffee.

Do you have a secret tip & what is it?
I don’t think they’re secret but the three things I focus on in my training and race day are:
1. Consistency is better than random acts of greatness. I think this goes past training and is a good focus for day to day living, but I’ve learnt in my training that smashing a big weekend session, only to not be able to train properly for the next week is counterproductive.
2. If you haven’t done it in training, you won’t be able to do it on race day. Just because it’s race day doesn’t mean you’re ability/fitness is going to increase, you do not get 10% fitter just because it’s a race so don’t go 10% harder.
3. Race your own race. As I’m often out of the water near the front, a lot of super strong bikers will come past me during the ride, it can be hard but is vital not to get sucked into other people’s races.

Favourite Pro4mance product & why?
My favourite thing about the Pro4mance range is the way all the products work together as a complete system. If I had to pick one it would probably be Chocolate Procover, although I have been loving Prodrate since I’ve been in Kona – It’s hot here!

Favourite thing/meal to eat after a big session or race?
Straight after the race I’m looking for the ice cream, fruit salad and a cold soft drink. First meal I’d pick either pizza or a big burger with the lot, and a cold brew.

What is your top recovery tip?
Replace what you have lost, calories, electrolytes, fluids, as quickly as possible post hard session. Allow yourself to recover, this is when you will adapt and achieve the gains you are after, so be sensible and listen to your body.

Do you have any plans for after Kona and what are they?
I have a week in Hawaii after the race so I’m looking forward to that. Race wise I’m entered in Ballarat and Geelong 70.3 races over summer and may do a couple of other local races, all depending on how I recover.

Good Luck to Tyler and all our Proletes competing in this years Kona Ironman! Make sure you follow Tyler’s journey on Instagram @tylerpro4mance and wish him all the best for his race this upcoming Saturday.

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