3 Essential Sports Nutrition tips when preparing for a Triathlon

Published: 11 Oct 2016

3 Essential Sports Nutrition tips when preparing for a Triathlon

Triathlon season. The warmer spring weather is well suited to this sport that involves swimming, cycling & running.

For locals of the Nepean Blue mountains area, you may have heard about the Nepean Triathlon. This historic race has been running for over 35 years and is held over the weekend each year in late October.  The main race involves a 1km swim, 30km cycle and 10km run. It is an extremely popular event that attracts a huge number of competitors.

Triathlon Nutrition

NSWCCC Triathlon 2016 – Sydney International Regatta Centre

Competing in a triathlon requires many hours of training as you need to develop proficiency across 3 sporting disciplines. Even though race day is the main event, the training phase where all of the hard work is done. This is where nutrition is an essential ingredient!

Smart nutrition choices help to:

  1. Supply the energy needed for a demanding training schedule
  2. Replenish depleted energy stores and encourage the body to recover

Here are 3 essential sport nutrition tips to include in your preparation for your next triathlon.

1. Match fuel to your training sessions

  • Use a weekly planner to write down training sessions then match up your foods and drinks, “fuel”, to support those sessions.
  • Consider how long each session goes for? Will you need fuel before, during or after the session? You may not need any added fuel for those sessions that are close to your usual main meal or snack time.
  • Shop weekly to ensure you have your supplies ready and perhaps use weekends or days off to prepare meals or snack foods in advance for the week ahead.

2. Focus on fluids

  • Essential to make sure you are well hydrated. The majority of your daily fluid should be water.
  • Focus is not just during and after training, but also throughout the day.
  • Use water bottles as a guide for how much you are actually drinking.
  • Sports drinks can be helpful if training session last longer than 90 minutes.

3. Trial race day nutrition

  • Never try anything new on race day!
  • Training is not just for building endurance and fitness, it is an opportunity to allow your digestive system to train for the race too!
  • Test out your pre-race meal & what you plan to use during the race.
  • Trial different fuel types, textures and flavours. Do you prefer energy gels, bars, solid food, sports drinks or a combination of any of these?
  • Find out what time of day your race is being held, then each week schedule a longer training session at that time of day. This will help you work out what pre-race meal to choose to allow you to race at your best.

Hopefully these tips will have you reaping the benefits on race day. For more information on sports nutrition for triathlon, click here Triathlon Factsheet.

References: Food for your sport, Triathlon Factsheet  Sports Dietitians Australia