What is Fueling & Pacing?


June 8th, 2022

The most common reason for failure in a middle or long distance race is wrong food or wrong race timing!

Which athlete doesn't know it: At the beginning I step on the gas so that I'm well on time and everything will go well at the end. Or also: Rationing with rules of thumb will be fine, after all, my body has no individual needs. Even if these two cases seem very contrived at first, they both make clear a central problem of every athlete. Due to a wrong approach (especially at the first competitions), goals remain unachieved and you have to pay a few years' dues. In order to achieve one's goals in a competition - and according to IRONMAN® only every second athlete manages to do so - it is necessary to prepare for the competition in a targeted and structured way. The focus should be on the questions of fueling and pacing.

What is Fueling & Pacing?

Fueling uses training and performance data to determine at which point of the race you need to consume how much fluid, carbohydrates and sodium. This ensures that, for example, there are no problems with nutrition during the race and the race has to be stopped.

Pacing determines how the race should be divided up based on training and performance data. In other words, how many watts should be pedalled on the bike and what average should be chosen for the run. So that, for example, you don't completely sag after an ascent and have to abandon the race.

In a nutshell: Fueling is about nutrition before, during and after the race. Pacing is about choosing the right speed/power during the race.

Who should be involved with Fueling & Pacing?

That's a good question. Basically, every athlete who starts a race longer than 1 hour should think about the right fueling and pacing. The longer the distance, the more important, here are some examples where fueling & pacing plays a central role:

  • Olympic distance
  • Half marathon
  • Marathon
  • Duathlon
  • Triathlon
  • Middle distance / Half distance
  • Long distance
  • IRONMAN / IRONMAN 70.3

Why does race and competition scheduling play such a big role?

Actually quite simple. Especially beginners in the middle and long distances make mistakes with regard to food and race planning. Even though hardly any athlete wants to hear this during preparation, the challenge is often underestimated - due to a lack of experience or preparation. In the worst case, you are the only one from your training group or your own circle of friends who could not complete the race successfully. The scorn and "stupid" comments are therefore pre-programmed.

Actually, it's a pity, when you could have saved yourself from this by simple fueling & pacing, if not by leaving the rest behind with proper fueling & pacing.

Do you also want to finally start with simple fueling & pacing that works for you? Then visit our website to find out how Fueling & Pacing works and finally get the confidence you need for racing success. Learn more about how Fueling & Pacing works for you.

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