Summer is upon us, it’s hot and your triathlon training and races are happening in the heat. Because of this, your recovery needs to be at its best! To ensure you are getting what your body needs, the following is a checklist of things to keep in mind each day you are out there.
- Hydration: this is KEY to your performance and recovery. Your hydration starts the day before a race and continues afterward. Proper hydration will help you get back out there soon.
- Use the proper type and amount of electrolytes to enable ideal absorption. Sodium being the main component of this.
- Get enough fluids per hour and stay hydrated 24/7, not just during training/racing.
- You can hydrate through fresh foods. You will get more water from fruits, veggies, and homemade foods than you will packaged foods that are very dry.
- Carbohydrates: these macros are an important part of before, during and after exercise if you want to perform at your best.
- Choose the type that works for you and then dial in the quantity depending on your needs. You will want to get a small amount before exercise, keep it trickling in during exercise, and ideally get a 4:1 ratio of carb:protein after your harder workouts or longer workouts.
- Protein: this macro is very helpful before exercise with carbs as they will help keep you focused. Especially for longer events, getting protein beforehand will keep you feeling fresh, focused, and motivated.
- Choose lean, good quality proteins. For ease, you may also choose protein powders for recovery shakes. Try to get protein at all meals and even some snacks.
- Post workout, get at least 10-15g protein. For some, even as much as 35g.
- Fat: fat is a very important macronutrient that helps carbohydrates last longer and is the building block of cell membranes.
- Choose optimal fatty acids like omega 3’s, olive oil, nuts/seeds, avocados, and wild fish. Do your best to incorporate more fats/oils at dinner or away from training to allow proper absorption.
- Veggies/Fruits: plan to get fruits in during the day when you are more active and veggies in the evening or whenever you are less active and in recovery mode.
- Sneak them into smoothies, sautees, soups, salads, chop fruit with nut butter, veggies in hummus, low sugar fruit pie with almond flour crust, veggies with tahini, juice veggies for post workout, keep a salad in the fridge at all times for quick snack with crackers and some protein.
I know that it can be hard to plan out your sports nutrition especially for your long ride/brick and then also plan out all of your regular meals. My suggestions are to find places that offer quicker “on the go” options like a rotisserie chicken or salad bar, or give yourself a night or two off from cooking and get to a healthy faster-food restaurant. This way you can better get your feet under you for planning and cooking for the other days of the week. One of my favorites is a large build-your-own salad with avocado, various veggies, olives, roasted sweet potato chopped up with grilled fish on top. You can make this ahead and change it up constantly!
Stay on top of your snacks and hydration too so that you ensure you are always ready to go and you never get in a hole.
Keep up the great training and enjoy your summer racing.
Megan Dopp is D3's go-to nutritionist. She supports athletes beyond D3 too, and we know her expertise is valued to help athletes achieve a breakthrough as they dial in or fine-tune their fueling choices and habits.