Nutrition plays a huge role in our health and fitness goals, but especially so when it comes to the training aspect. Whether you’re training to gain muscle, lose weight, compete in a physical competition or complete a marathon, the training doesn’t end when you’ve left the track. Take it straight to the kitchen!
It’s important to think about your diet when training for a triathlon, which is pretty much why you’re here. As you’ll be burning more calories than eating when you train, make sure you’re putting enough calories back in to keep you energised and ready to go. As everybody is different, there’s no set amount of calories you should or shouldn’t be eating each day, but fitness and nutrition apps will help you keep track of your burnt calories and your intake. These apps will ask you to provide your height and weight to make sure you get an accurate idea of how much you should be eating whilst training.
Triathlon Training Meal Plan
Depending on when you train, your meals should reflect this. For example, if you train in the morning, be sure to have a full breakfast. Some great things to eat would be porridge oats to keep you energized and full until lunch, and fruit to encourage energy release like bananas. For lunch, think about proteins to replenish muscles after training, such as chicken and fish. Try and eat similarly for dinner too. If you train in the evening, be sure to have a big dinner to give your body back the energy and calories it’s going to lose when you train.
Without doing the hard work, your body will naturally burn approximately 1800 calories per day. For men and women, the natural intake of calories will slightly vary. For men, it’s roughly 2000-3000 and for women, it’s 1600 to 2400. A good figure to work towards for each meal would be 500 for breakfast, and 700-800 for lunch and dinner.
Triathlon training meals
If you need a bit of inspiration for your meal plans, think about the below foods when deciding what you should eat during your triathlon training...
- Protein shakes/supplements
- Sweet Potato
What to eat on Triathlon race day
The standard (Olympic) distance for a triathlon race is 1500m swim, 40km bike, and 10km run. You’ve eaten well and stayed on top of your nutrition up to this point, but what are we eating on the big day? Like any other day, breakfast will be the most important way to start. Opt for proteins for strength and carbohydrates for energy; porridge oats, eggs, flatbreads/pita, granola, nuts etc. Alongside this, keep hydrated! Aim for 16-20oz of fluid.
You’re probably planning on feeling as pumped and energised as possible, but without overloading in carbs. Typically, racers will eat a substantial meal 2-3 hours before the race, with a smaller boost snack 1-2 hours before.
On your marks, get set, GO!