Are you about to participate in a triathlon? That is amazing and you should already be proud of yourself.
After all of that time you’ve spent training for the big day, you probably already have a good idea of what you should or should not be eating to train. You likely already also have an idea of how many calories you should eat in a day while remaining active.
What should you eat the morning of the event so that you’ll ensure you stay in the best shape possible and can finish your triathlon strong? Read this article for the answer to the’ question of what to eat before a triathlon.
Don’t Think of Your Triathlon as a Short-Term Training Event
Before you train, you might have something quick to eat, especially something loaded with calories and is dense with nutrition. Most of the time, however, you’ll only need something that keeps you going for a few hours at most. With a triathlon, you’ll need something that will keep you going for hours and hours at a time. This is why you’ll need to plan your meal for in advance to ensure you have the very best day ahead of you.
Create a Meal Plan Before You Start to Train, And as You Create Your Training Schedule
Training for a triathlon is no joke, but you do need to know what to eat and when as you get ready for the race. You should consult a nutritionist if this is your first time attempting the race, and come up with a meal plan for exactly how many calories you will exert that day.
Your meal plan should coincide with your training so that you have enough fuel to keep you going through everything you’ll be doing that day. A meal plan will help you decide what to eat on the day of the race, and you should stick to it to ensure that your body gets the adequate nutrition it needs.
Don’t Carb-Load the Day Of or Night Before
Some people erroneously believe you should eat a huge amount of carbs the night before or the morning of a race. This simply isn’t the case.
Eating too many carbs the night before or the day of can make it difficult for your body to process them. It can also lead to a sleepless night before the race, and having a restful night’s sleep is almost as important as the nutritional aspect.
What to Eat Before a Triathlon: Eat a Small Meal in the Morning, with the Expectation You’ll Continue to Eat Through the Day
Before the race, don’t decide to eat a huge breakfast and think it will sustain you through the entire triathlon. Instead, you should eat a small breakfast, which you know won’t upset your stomach. Many people get “runner’s poo” or feel sick if they exercise immediately after a big meal. Instead, you’ll strategically eat through the race to keep you going.
It is recommended that you eat a small meal loaded with carbohydrates on the morning of the race. This can be a bagel with cream cheese or a peanut butter sandwich. You should also have something with caffeine in it, as this can help kickstart your body for the race.
Eat During the Race, But Do It Strategically
You’ll need to ensure you stay fueled up and you’ll typically do this by eating during the race. Most people eat during the biking portion of the triathlon, to give them a little bit more energy. It is also more practical to eat and/or drink while on a bike than swimming or running.
You should have the most calories when you’re on the bike, but continue to eat and drink if possible while running. It is suggested that you set your watch to go off every twenty minutes. This way, you’ll know its time to eat or drink.
It isn’t clear as to how many calories you should eat during each portion of the race. However, you can get an idea of how much you should be eating by working with a nutritionist or working out a meal plan. Knowing what snacks to eat when the alarm goes off helps keep your energy at its maximum.
Don’t Eat Something You’ve Never Had Before
If someone hands you a snack you’ve never tried or you see a new type of supplement or nutrition bar you’d like to try, the race day isn’t the day to be adventurous. Save trying these new items for another day, like a training session or a day off. This is because you don’t know how your body will react to new foods, and eating something you’ve never had before can throw your body off completely.
Instead, stick to what you know. Additionally, you should stay away from foods that can hurt your stomach. If you know peanut butter sometimes makes you feel queasy, but not other times, the day of the race isn’t the day to take the chance.
Immediately After the Race
You’ll need to refuel after the race, as even though you’ll be eating while competing, it will undoubtedly not be enough to sustain you. For recovery, you should eat a gram of carbohydrates for every kilogram of your body weight. You should also ensure that the food you’re eating post workout is high in protein. Your meal should contain somewhere between 6 and 20 grams of protein in order to help your body recover.
Triathlon Training: Eating and Drinking is Paramount
What you put in your body is just as important as how much you train for the race. To answer the question simply of what to eat before a triathlon is that you should be ensuring that your body gets adequate nutrition to carry you through the day.
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