Nutrition is tough. But it becomes even more difficult when you're training for a triathlon and have to fuel your body for three sports and for hours of practice. In this week's Segment of "Tri it Again," our Katie Gibas tells us the best nutrition to maximize performance during triathlon training and races.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Fueling your body for a triathlon can be tough.
"It's taken a lot of getting used to. I've been writing down everything I eat and when I eat it. And then chronicling my workout and how I feel," said Laura Currey, a Cicero resident.
Everything you eat has the potential to either make or break your performance.
"It definitely makes a difference on the workout. Whether it's something you’re eating or not drinking enough water, the next day you can definitely feel that in a bike or a run or a swim with cramps, stitches in your side, calf cramps," said Currey.
During training athletes need to eat consistently and consume the right kind of calories, especially fruits and vegetables.
"You need fuel. You need to keep those muscles fueled. You need to not be burning muscle when you're out there doing longer workouts. So constant, healthy eating is my advice," said Brendan Jackson, the Fleet Feet Triathlon Training Program Director.
But race day nutrition can be a bit intimidating. From Gels to Sport Beans to Chews, there are a lot of sports nutrition products out there. Experts say for a sprint distance, athletes really only need a sports drink and maybe a gel or a powerbar.
"I think the biggest myth is how much that you have to take. I think that sometimes in race day excitement, either people don't take enough or they take way too much. Especially for the shorter races, you don't want to be overeating. You don't want to feel bloated going into the race," said Jackson.
"Shotblocks are my favorite things pre-workout. I'm not a fan of the gels," said Currey. "I use the Nuun tablets. The nice thing about the Nuun is they're only four calories. So you're not drinking a lot of sugar but it gives you the electrolytes and helps you stay hydrated. Following up the workout with protein in some form. I love chocolate milk when I'm done with a workout.”
But their biggest piece of advice is in the week leading up to a race, experts say stick to what you're used to. If you haven't trained with it, don't try it on race day.
The key to tri nutrition is training with products before race day. Athletes can do that at the CNY Tri Club Wednesday night series either at Gillie Lake, Oneida Shores or Jamesville Beach.
Next week, we'll check in on our athletes just before the Iron Girl Triathlon at Oneida Shores County Park August 5th. Our Katie Gibas is one of those athletes competing.
If you want to check in on Katie and her teammates' training progress, check out her blog "Tri it Again".