When getting prepared for a triathlon, it is crucial to not forget about nutrition. Triathlons require a competitor to test their level of endurance, strength and stamina. Simply working out without making changes to one’s diet may not result in the improvements a competitor is looking for. A trainer is happy to meet with you, to talk more about what your diet should look like overall. While every person is different, there are certain foods and rules that you may want to abide by, in order to reach your fitness goals.
Eat a Diet of Quality
Triathletes may use energy bars, gels and tablets to increase their energy as they go for long bike rides or runs. But when a competitor is not doing a workout, they may want to eat foods that are high-quality yet take into consideration calories. A competitor who eats proper foods should find themselves feeling satisfied, in addition to having that healthy energy to keep them going. Here are just a few nutritional suggestions that can improve your overall fitness in addition to running, swimming and cycling performance:
- Your meals include plenty of vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates and lean protein
- Avoid junk foods, including fatty foods and energy bars that are heavily processed with fake sugars
- Limit the amount of alcohol you ingest on a daily/weekly basis
- Keep caffeine levels to a minimum
Do Not Starve Your Body
A triathlete that also wants to lose weight may be motivated to skip out on meals to save on calories for the day. What can quickly result is a competitor who feels weak during workouts, even to the point where he or she passes out. It is not uncommon for triathletes to end the day with a caloric deficit. Keeping track of how much and what you are eating, is equally as important as your workout regimen. A trainer can answer any questions you have about healthy eating practices. You may need to evaluate your eating habits if you experience any of the following:
- Your workouts do not feel like quality sessions
- You think about food often
- Your hunger intensifies in the evening
- You do not recover quickly from workouts
- Your strength and consistency have not improved
- You crave sweets constantly (could just be a sign that you are hungry!)
Improper Nutrition Has Consequences
Nutrition is so important, as you must provide your body with the energy it needs to get through workouts. Those who do not factor in nutrition to their triathlon training may end up getting injured or sick. If you push yourself too hard without giving your body what it requires, you could just break down and then need to take more time for recovery.
Triathlon and Ironman training Washington, DC offers can help people achieve their triathlon goals with a training plan that factors in who you are as an individual.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Team Z for their insight into triathlon and Ironman training.