There’s no doubt you’re familiar with the three disciplines of a triathlon: Swimming, cycling, and running. But there’s a fourth discipline that athletes often overlook, and it’s nutrition. An optimal triathlon nutrition plan can be the difference between a PR and an upsetting finish. Build your endurance nutrition IQ with the tips below and get ready for your best tri season yet.
Your Daily Triathlon Diet
While race day nutrition is important, it’s what you eat outside of events that generally makes the biggest difference in health and performance. By focusing on a wholesome daily diet, you help your body maximize training adaptations and recovery throughout your season.
A nutritious triathlete diet doesn’t vary much from standard healthy eating recommendations. But you should anticipate eating more during the season and less during the off season to account for changes in energy output.
You can break your triathlon diet plan into three essential pillars. These concepts may sound easier in theory than in practice, but sticking with them will serve you well.
Eat high-quality meals and snacks made up of mostly whole foods.
Enjoy treats occasionally, but don’t overcompensate for your workouts. (In other words, avoid rationalizing eating an entire sleeve of cookies because you pounded the pavement—but it’s certainly okay to grab one or two cookies.)
Maintain a healthy weight while molding your body and exercises to meet the needs for swimming, cycling, and running.