Triathlon Nutrition Tips for Training and Race Day
It's important to keep yourself fueled properly during training sessions and use food wisely to recover properly. I'm no nutritionist, but learnt a bit about nutrition during my PT course. Below I've made nutrition recommendations based on my experience.
IMPORTANT: NUTRITION DURING TRAINING SHOULD BE REPLICATED DURING YOUR RACE.
I've learnt the hard way eating something differently than I did during my training, during a marathon race. I nearly vommed everywhere at mile 16!
During Training - Think of your body as an engine, if you don't put petrol in the car, it will run out of gas. If you don't put food in (fuel) during your workout your body won't work properly. Your body can use stored carbohydrates in your body up to around 60-90 minutes, so I'd advise if you are training for anytime longer, to keep fuelling from 60 minutes. On the bike I have 1g carbohydrate for every kg of weight I am. So I weigh roughly 58kg so I eat 58g of carb per hour (or half of this every 30 minutes). Trial what works for you! I make peanut butter and jam sandwiches and cut into squares. This worked for me during training and at Ironman Switzerland. I'd advise to eat normal food on the bike and save the gels for the run! Too many gels can upset the tummy.
When you train you put your body into stress so build a strong immune system by eating wholesome meals including plenty of colourful vegetables and fruit which are high in vitamin C.
Hydration - Drink an electrolyte drink to replace your body with salts and minerals that are lost in your sweat.
Recovery: Protein! Protein are the building blocks of your body, they repair and grow your muscles. Grab protein within 30 minutes of finishing your sessions.I grab a protein shake as soon as I finish my training session.
Pre Race: Try to eat 2 hours before your race, with a substantial amount of carbohydrates. Often you won't always get this amount of time before a race, but try to get as close to 2 hours before. I eat a bowl of porridge with honey, peanut butter, banana and nuts.
During Race: See above! I'll have a gel between the swim and bike. Then PB&J sandwiches on the bike, then gels on the run.