Nutrition is an important part of your triathlon training schedule. It ensures that your body has the strength and perseverance that it so badly needs during the triathlon. A diet is easy to put together and has a huge impact on your end result. In this article I share several tips for a triathlon diet and describe my eating habits before and during the race.
My daily triathlon diet
It is not necessary for triathletes to integrate a special diet into your training schedule. Of course, it does is important to eat healthy and stay hydrated. I prefer to eat (and almost always) fresh, so no packages, microwave meals etc. Furthermore (very) much vegetables (stir fry or steaming), some fish or meat (rarely), eggs or vegetarian. In terms of carbohydrates: especially in the morning in the form of oatmeal (overnight oats … 😉) supplemented with linseed, fruit and cinnamon, during lunch in the form of legumes or (vegetarian) pasta and at dinner only vegetables and a protein source. Furthermore, some raw (unsalted) nuts and/or bananas spread throughout the day.
Before and during the triathlon
I always make sure that I get up some hours in advance of the race. I eat my breakfast 2.5 to 3 hours before the triathlon. Depending on the length of the race (1/8, ¼ or longer) I eat another banana about 30 minutes before the start and 10 minutes in advance a Hammereurope gel. On the bike I use Hammer Perpetuem, again depending on the match. At shorter distances more diluted than at the longer distances. In T2 I often eat 1 or 2 morsels of banana and then during the walk up to 10k nothing more. Then I only take water at the service stations. At the longer distances I take a Hammer gel every 20 minutes.
Make sure that you test the food you use during your (long)triatlons, so that you know how your body reacts to it. Start at an early stage already so that you are able to switch brands, if necessary. Furthermore, food/drink is personal in terms of quantities. We can test all of this during your training program and from there make a nutrition plan for “race day”.
Tips for your triathlon diet
Make sure you have enough food and drinks with you during the triathlon. Water is distributed in the care posts, but you really need food (bananas, gels) during a long traitlon. Also make sure that you know what kind of food works for you. Do not forget to eat during T2. Logically this is the easiest part to eat, make use of it!
It can also be useful to eat a meal with lots of carbohydrates two nights before the game. This ensures that the carbohydrates are slowly broken down and continue to give energy for a long time. In addition, you will have no trouble falling asleep the night before the race.
Finally, it is important to make a diet plan for your triathlon diet and to stick to it. This means that it is not only the weeks before the triathlon, but that you pay attention to your diet throughout the year. General health is the basis of endurance sport!
A triatlon coach for your diet
Curious how far you can go? Do you think you can do half a triathlon or maybe even a whole triathlon, but you don’t know where to start? Find more information on the triathlon coaching page.