Go on any social media platform dedicated to triathlon and you will find post after post asking about nutrition. High carb, low carb, high fat, low fat, how much protein, how do I fuel a race……you name it, people ask about it. So what is the right way to fuel your training and racing? Well guess what. It depends! 

Fuelling training and racing are two huge topics that I could write book after book about. The variables are huge. What distance race are you doing, what is your normal diet like, what size are you, what are the weather conditions likely to be, how do your genetics affect how your body uses the fuel you give it. All these can be worked out for you giving a highly personalised guide. But there are the basics that we can all get right in ever day life first but a lot don’t. Life is busy and often food is a last minute thought. So here are a few simple things to do for starters: 

  • Drop the processed food. You may be fed up of hearing it, but it is an unavoidable truth. The cliched analogy of you wouldn’t run a car on the wrong fuel applies to you. A real meal made from fresh ingredients does not take hours to cook, it can take as little as 5 minutes, so that excuse is out of the window. 
  • Plan ahead. Just as you have a training plan (I hope!) plan your meals and shop ahead. Of course the week’s menu isn’t written in stone and you can just swap about if you really don’t feel like eating what is on that day’s menu. 

  • Be time efficient. Work, families, life, sleep and training sessions all eat up most of our time. So batch cook. A freezer is your best friend for this one, but most things will last for a week in the fridge in an airtight container. Don’t just cook one portion, cook four or more. 
  • Food on the move. Go for a swim or the gym then straight to work? Egg muffins are great for refuelling. These can also be batch cooked, keep in the fridge for a week and you can just grab a few and take them with you. Or soak overnight oats or chia pots. Late night training sessions can be refuelled the same. Or if you really can’t face solid fuel after a late training session try chocolate milk or a good quality recovery drink. 
  • Don’t live on carbohydrates. Just because you are training it doesn’t mean you eat vats full of rice or pasta or potato at every meal. You only need extra carbs before a high intensity or very long training session. And they need to be quality carbs. Not cake….. 
  • Drop the processed food. Have I said that before? Yes. And I will say it again. Drop the processed food. Get the basics of everyday nutrition right first, then move onto your endurance fuelling. 

So there you have it. A few basics that need to be got right so that everyday fuelling is as good as it can be. Then we can move onto fuelling training and racing more specifically. But that is another post.

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