From the intensive workouts, acclimating to the gear involved, and maintenance of necessary equipment, training for a triathlon is just as intensive – if not more so – than the event itself. And because training for three different sports simultaneously is both demanding and time-consuming, most athletes think that they don’t have the time to come up with meals that are both healthy and great tasting.
The good news is, you don’t need to deprive yourself from eating something good if you are in training. Done right, these meals will not only bring out your best performance on race day, but reward your taste buds, too! Rest assured, preparing these meals need not be as grueling a process as training for a triathlon.
After your cycling training, it is better to fuel your body with carbohydrate-rich meals 30 minutes to 1 hour after the exercise to immediately replace the glycogen (your body’s fuel) and to repair the muscle tissue used during your long ride.
During workout, regardless of how intense your training that time, don’t forget to hydrate yourself to replace your electrolytes lost through sweat.
As important as your post-cycling training meal, cyclists should also munch on a light carbohydrate snack before their ride. You may go for a serving of chicken salad sandwich an hour before your training.
Who would have thought that pasta and pita could be a runner’s best friend? Just like your cycling training, you need to load your body a full carb meal an hour before hitting a long a run. It wouldn’t hurt if you grab a serving of peanut butter and jam sandwich in whole-wheat bun/ bread. Make it healthier by pairing your meal with milk and cheese.
Unlike in cycling and running, many swimmers struggle to eat carbs before swimming, and with good reason: the horizontal position of their body while in the water makes them prone to gastric influx and nausea.
As it is recommended to eat a meal rich in carbs and protein before a cardio workout, swimmers can actually go right ahead and eat a loaded meal a night before their scheduled training. Grab an energy-boosting granola bar an hour or a two before you train.
Though during training, athletes should avoid eating too fatty and salty foods. Consumption of gas-forming foods like cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower should also be limited.
Being in serious training mode doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself from eating delicious treats. Consider your meal as your post-training reward. After all, who knows, this might be an early celebration of your winning performance!