I have been asked lately a lot about nutrition and I decided to share my approach about this and its relation with this lifestyle called triathlons.
I think everyone knows about how important sleeping time is, resting, hydration and recovery time. But nutrition is more personal than the other ones mentioned before. Nutrition is the pillar of our human body, the foundation and fuel for the everyday training and more important for that special day of the year your A race.
I really never followed a diet but I read about some of them and I respect all of them. I know for some people they work and for other ones just don’t. What I know is that some food, some ingredients and/or some spices react differently in different people’s bodies.
I pretty much eat everything and anything, from proteins, carbohydrates and fats (healthy fats) so what I do is to divide my nutrition year according to my training year; in 4 phases, the first is for base, the second is build and race, the third one is for taper and the fourth is for transition. These phases follow a subdivision as follows (visualize that the 100% is your plate and divide this as indicated):
- First phase: 60% vegetables and fruits and 40% lean protein and healthy fats, very small amount of carbohydrates.
- Second phase: 45% vegetables and fruits, 30% lean protein and healthy fats, 15% whole grains and 10% sport nutrition products
- Third phase: 55% vegetables and fruits, 35% lean protein and healthy fats and 10% whole grains
- Fourth phase: 65% vegetables and fruits, 30% lean protein and healthy fats and 5% whole grains
I adopted this after my USAT coach back in 2006 showed it to me, I keep following it until these days and I learned more about this nutrition periodization when I took the USA Triathlon coach class in August 2012.
I eat about six or seven times per day depending what I do and where I am, many times I carry food and high quality snacks. My trick is not to starve my self and keep it always topped off with calories. I try not to deprive my self from eating, eating is good and a pleasure to the brain.
But this concept goes parallel with the way you train, how metabolic efficient (carbohydrates and fat consumption) your body is, how good you follow the training phases and what your goals in the sport are. Nutrition can be simple, up to a point.
I have a couple rules I follow religiously, never go to do grocery shopping with an empty stomach, buy what is on sale and make it work, no bad fats as much as I can, no boxes, no frozen things, no milk and I try to eat at home about 90% of the time where I know what is in the food and the quality of the ingredients. The body needs everything, sometimes I eat chicken wings, sometimes I eat ice cream, but it has to be in moderation.
I am always open to talk about anything and everything, send me a message and let me what your opinion is about this, join ONEndurance Abu Dhabi where you can post all your questions triathlon related at anytime or post them using the box below.
Thank you so much for reading.