Linsey Corbin began competing in triathlons in 2003, and she has since accumulated many victories, including the Ironman Austria twice. She currently holds the Ironman record for fastest time by an American woman—she finished the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in 8 hours, 42 minutes and 42 seconds—and her sights are now set on winning the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.Based on her years of racing experience, Corbin has accumulated some smart “tricks of the trade” concerning nutrition. In the video player above, she shares her favorite tips in CLIF Bar’s “Eat Like an Athlete” video series. Here are 7 key takeaways:
1. Create a Pre-Race Tradition
Before each race, Corbin says a quick prayer for a good and safe run. A pre-race routine focuses your mind before the gun goes off and gives you extra motivation. Whether you listen to a pump-up song, call a friend on the phone, do a short warm-up or say a prayer, a reliable pre-race tradition will help get you in the zone.
2. Keep Your Tank Full
Over the course of a 9-hour race, Corbin consumes an incredible 25 CLIF SHOT Energy Gels to keep herself full of energy. Her favorite CLIF SHOT flavors are Citrus and Double Expresso, and she saves them for the end of a race, when the 100 mg of caffeine in the Double Expresso give her an extra charge of energy. Keeping yourself fueled is what allows you to go the distance in a race that lasts several hours, and having a favorite flavor can help you stay focused and motivated as you push through to the finish line.
3. Get in the Zone
Corbin says the Sierra Trail Mix CLIF Bar is the flavor that best describes her. The combo of chocolate and nuts reflects her personality—the chocolate is her outgoing, friendly, nice self outside of racing, and the nuts represent her serious intensity once the starting gun sounds. Like Corbin, you can get down to business when it’s time to compete, even if you’re super chill when you’re not racing.
4. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to
During each race, Corbin keeps a little treat in her bag—a piece of mint chewing gum, which she pops in her mouth during the second transition of the triathlon, just before the run. Chewing gum reminds her of Sunday mornings when she used to brush her teeth and head out on long runs. The gum serves as a mental escape, allowing her mind to drift to a calmer place so she can relax and finish the race strong. A little treat like that inserted into a long run or ride can help you redouble your motivation when fatigue starts to set in.
5. Reward Yourself with an Epic Post-Race Meal
After finishing a race, Corbin indulges herself with a burger, milkshake and sweet potato fries. Whether your favorite meal is pancakes or paella, go ahead and reward yourself after a race—especially one you’ve spent months preparing for. After all of that effort, you deserve it. Plus, the thought of a delectable dish might be just what you need to keep your feet moving after you hit the wall.
6. Create a Long-Term Goal, With a Time Limit
Corbin’s goal is, before she turns 50, to chow down on a burger, fries and milkshake after winning the Ironman World Championships. Setting a goal for yourself, like winning a huge title, keeps you motivated—and you’ll increase your motivation if you put an expiration date on it. By placing an end date on your goal (Corbin has 17 years to complete hers), you’ll be more likely to achieve it.
7. Be Consistent
Every day Corbin wakes up at 5:30 a.m., eats yogurt with walnuts, berries and granola, and goes for an hour swim. She then eats her second breakfast of three poached eggs, whole wheat toast and avocado slices at 9 a.m. Waking up early is a great way to get your training in without taking up your entire day. Staying consistent with your eating is a smart way to ensure that you’re meeting your nutrition goals each day.