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Exercise and nutrition

(4 Posts)
RhubarbCrumbled Wed 06-May-15 09:34:34

I'm feeling pretty clueless about this part of the training and need advice. I posted yesterday about starting to train for a triathlon and I've done cycling, swimming and running in the past but I've never looked at my nutrition. I'm starting with a sprint triathlon in about 4 weeks (ha ha hahahahahah) Here's the training schedule I'm following....

Mon: Cycle 20k with child in seat!
Tues: AM Swim PM Run (5-10k)
Weds: Rest (splash about with kids at the pool)
Thurs: AM Swim PM Run (5-10k)
Fri: AM Cycle 20k
Sat: AM Cycle/Run (transition)
Sun: Rest (chasing kids about at rugby)

Now, nutritionally what should I be doing? I'm great at following diet plans but less great at counting calories. I'm currently following a low carb diet and am feeling better for not eating bread / potatoes / cakes / sugar. I need to lose roughly 7lbs but am assuming this will come off with the extra exercise and eating less rubbish if I start to include more carbs again.

What sort of balance should I have between carbs:protein:fat and what sort of carbs:protein:fat will be best? I'm currently eating lots of 'good' fats (butter, oil, cream), protein is meat and eggs (lots of eggs), carbs are mainly all coming from vegetables. What should I be eating after training? After cycling last night I had a big wodge of pate and that seemed to do the trick!

Also what should I be doing about eating before and during the race? Any meal suggestions? Any snacks for the transitions? And post race eating?

Thanks for any help you can give me at all!

Knittingnoodles Wed 06-May-15 15:45:26

Post training I eat a tin of rice pudding. I'm not sure I have any facts to back up that choice.

The rest of the time I eat (or try too) eat a balanced diet: porridge for breakfast, wholemeal sandwiches for lunch, apples, bananas. I don't eat much meat. Typical evening meal would be quiche and salad; new potatoes, fish and green beana: veg curry and brown rice; sunday roast.

I don't think you need to get too hung up on diet, just cut out the bad things, like processded food and be more aware of portion size.

The NHS website has some really good, easy to follow nutritional advice.

AggressiveBunting Thu 07-May-15 08:45:04

Agree- I wouldn't get too hung up on it. Just eat good quality unprocessed food. Re low carbing, it probably won't give you your best result in the race as you'll have low glycogen levels so mainly dependent on fat burning. I know there's evidence to suggest that people who are used to a low carb diet burn fat more effectively than carb munchers, but I believe the advice is still "Train low, race high" for optimal race performance, so you might want to carb load pre-race. However, tbh, there are so few large scale credible studies in sports nutrition that most athletes still test out various things till something works grin

sleepwhenidie Thu 07-May-15 09:31:45

Agree with pp's - don't get obsessive about it - avoid processed stuff. My personal experience is that aiming for roughly a third protein/carb/fat with a target of 80-100g of protein a day and avoiding sugar, booze and processed carbs is a good way to lose weight while exercising and preserve muscle (ie lose mainly fat) - but I'm not an endurance athlete, I do more HIIT and weight training so its a good idea to experiment with what works for you in terms not just of weight but how you feel with training and recovery.

As Aggressive says, it appears that only committed long-term low carbers can perform well in endurance events without 'normal' carbs, the majority of people seem to need the carbs! If you are feeling good off the starchy carbs then I'd say definitely stay off the wheat and sugar. But have wholefood, unprocessed carbs such as chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, beans, sweet potato. Experiment with white potato and rice (brown or white) and see how you feel in terms of energy, digestion, how quickly you get hungry afterwards and any cravings you might get - some people find the quick hit of energy and subsequent drop leads to sugar cravings. With regard to before and after training - eat something carby within two hours prior to training and some protein and carbs shortly afterwards - chocolate milk is the general recommendation for a post-workout snack.

Don't get too carried away with your notions of 'good fats' by the way. 'Good' fats are EFA's, found in cold pressed oils, oily fish, nuts and seeds, olives and avocado. Saturated fat in meat and dairy I would class as 'probably not nearly as bad as we were led to believe fats' grin, so don't ban them but don't go crazy either - prioritise the EFA sources smile.

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