What Triathletes Need to Know About Nutrition Planning
Whether you’re training for your first triathlon or you’ve been among the elite club of triathlon participants for decades, nutrition planning has to be an important part of your life to ensure success across the miles. Just like the race itself is always on your mind, the proper nutrition to help you plan for that race must always be on your mind, as well. Otherwise, you risk having setbacks that could render you unable to reach your goal. To help you increase your focus, here are a few things that triathletes need to know about nutrition planning.
Don’t Overdo It
Training for a triathlon can be a grueling process. Especially if you’ve never competed in a triathlon, the physical exertion you feel during training can be quite overwhelming. As a result, after your more intense workouts, you may be tempted to overload on calories to try and make up for what your body has lost. Typically, though, this leads to eating calories in excess of what you burned during your workout. This can cause unwanted weight gain and a crash in blood sugar, later on, that will lead to more unhealthy snacking. Therefore, it’s important to carefully track your post-workout calories so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
The road to your first triathlon doesn’t end after a day or a week of training. In most cases, proper training can take months or even years, depending on your personal motivation. When you’re at the starting line of this training, then, it’s crucial that you plan ahead to achieve success. Nutrition plansare a big part of this formula, as they provide guidance on different nutrients your body needs as well as guidelines for your daily caloric intake. If you stick to a solid nutrition plan alongside your other training goals, you will be ready when race day comes.
Avoid Celebrating the Wrong Way
When you reach various milestones along the path to race day, it can be tempting to go all-out in celebration. While celebrating success is certainly okay and can actually lead to further success, you must be sure to celebrate without backtracking on the progress you’ve made. Specifically, this means avoiding excess sweets such as cake, soda, candy, and a whole host of other bad-for-you treats. While sweets are okay in limited moderation, too many can cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, which is not only bad for your health but also can lead to further sweet-eating that will cause a huge delay in progress.
Don’t Forget Water
In the midst of your careful nutrition planning, it can be easy to overlook one of the most essential elements of a good training plan: adequate hydration. Without enough water, your body won’t be able to properly digest the foods you intake, and you’re likely to eat too much food since water can help you feel full by occupying room in your stomach. On top of that, your circulatory, musculoskeletal, digestive, and other body systems rely on adequate water intake to function properly.
Don’t Give Up
Training for a triathlon is a long process. As such, there will be days when you won’t meet your goals or you’ll make a mistake that causes you to backtrack. When that happens, though, the most important thing is that you pick back up tomorrow and continue your progress. This is ultimately what will help you achieve your overarching goal of participating in and completing a triathlon.