Brittany Oliver, a former collegiate and now elite triathlete, shares how she prepares for a big race.

Brittany Oliver, a former collegiate and now elite triathlete, shares how she prepares for a big race. 

Ventura, Calif.

Swim, triathlon and nutrition coach

Standout results
Earned USA Triathlon elite license at the Detroit Triathlon Elite Development race in 2015

Oliver started racing triathlon while a sophomore at UCLA in 2008 after deciding the women’s swim team wasn’t for her. In 2009, she finished top five at the USAT Collegiate National Championship and was named a USAT All American in 2009, 2010 and 2013. After earning her elite card last year, she’s stuck to mainly sprint and Olympic distances, especially draft-legal style.

RELATED – How I Fuel: Half-Iron Training

How I Fuel

The days leading up to a race, I like to pay extra attention to staying hydrated throughout the day. I try to keep caffeine to a minimum to set myself up to get some good quality sleep at night and reap the benefits of caffeine on race morning. I sometimes get a bit phlegmy with dairy foods, so if it is a really important race I might steer clear of milk, cheese and ice cream a few days before the race.

At least 2 hours before the race start, I usually either have a bowl of oatmeal (with raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and almond milk) that I have pre-mixed in a mason jar, or a toasted bagel with natural peanut butter and honey.

I typically bring a bag of green tea and drink a cup of that or have a caffeinated sports drink between breakfast and warm-up. I like Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix with green tea and lemons because it is made with quality ingredients and has a natural caffeine boost. Then I have a banana or Honey Stinger Gel Gold about 15 minutes before the start. I like honey because it is easy to digest/absorb and makes me feel like my tank is fully topped off before the start.

RELATED: A Kona Qualifier Shares Her Pre-Ironman Fueling Strategy