Home Chat General Chat

Nutrition for a Noob

Hi Folks !I have been currently training for my first sprint triathlon which is on the 24th September at hever castle and as im happy with my training, i would like some help with my daily Nutrition

Can you possibly share your regular daily meals / snacks so that i can properly get to grips with my diet/nutrition. The ones i have seen in magazines normally takes ages to prepare and have ingredients from waitrose lol so im looking for easy, cheap, quality meals that even a novice in the kitchen could prepare.....

I know its asking alot but any help would be Fab

Cheers /\/\IKE


  • This is a really difficult one to answer but I hope that some of my ideas might help get things started.

    The first point is that I use VidaOne a diet and training software programme to track my diet, it is about £40 to download, and can take my data from my Polar HR monitors which is something I like as this tracks roughly how much I burn in training.

    My diet is based on steady weight loss and providing me with enough energy to get through my training and enough protein so as not to loose too much muscle mass on the way. I aim for about 63% Carbohydrate, 20% Protein and 17% Fat intake. This might be a typical day for me which I find can be repeated with some sort of control. The meals are all easy to prepare so I can get on with other things.

    I start the day with a large bowl of cereal, mixture of cheap supermarket brands (expensive brands not as healthy in my experience) with added dried fruit and low fat milk, 470cal. If I am doing a heavy session ie long bike 4hrs + I will add whomeal toast, banana, orange juice. All mainly carb based food groups.

    Dinner Uncle Ben's express rice, tin tunna drained, small amount of sauce to flavour 550cal, mix carbs and protein.

    Post afternoon session banana and can of regular coke. All carbs 240cal.

    Dinner, 150g chicken breast, 250g stir fry vegetables, 2 eggs. 525 cal mixture but main fat intake.

    Post evening swim session Whey Protein and Creatin mix 125cal mix but protein dominant (Holland & Barret, cheapest).

    I normally do three sessions a day unless it is a long run or long bike down to two. If my session is between 1hr and 2hr 30min I will fuel in the session using carb based energy drink PPS2 or Go, longer than 2hr 30min start taking on one Go energy bar per hour of exercise (Science in Sport products).

    I change my diet if I am doing more strength training or I am taking a recovery week in which I cut back a bit. Like I said this is based on steady weight loss for me, I know I have a low metabolic rate so there will not be enough calories for many, but I find it works for me and I can do 20 to 30 hours per week training on it. This might not be appropriate for you but I think it highlights how a disciplined approach can work for someone as long as you know what you are taking in and monitor it carefully, dont snack, dont eat in the evening, and focus on carbs early in the day. Remeber hydration is also key and I do take a few supplements first thing to make sure I stay healthy.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to help me regarding Nutrition


  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    LS's response is good and it is pretty much there

    However - bear in mind what works for him may not work directly for you. LS's training/ goals/ ability etc will be different to you and the nutrition is dialled in to that.

    I'm not a nutritionist, and tbh I know the square root of nothing about it, however you are doing a sprint and thats not a put down. If you were doing IM then nutrition/ diet would be important especially post training.

    In terms of driving forward, the best you can do is ensure that the diet is balanced and healthy with not too much processed foods. Get fresh fruit into and not tinned stuff etc. Same with veg, fresh veg and not frozen.
  • Thinking this through whilst I was swimming to some more salient points.

    Graze durring the day rather than have large meals over 700 cal.
    Eat carbohydrates at the begining of the day to fuel you up.
    Avoid starchy carbs such as pasta / rice / potatoes later in the day rely on vegetables as a better source of carb based calories.
    Protein at dinner tends to fill you up and stops you from overeating at night.
    Find a balance which works over a week or so matched to your overall training rather than eating a lot less on the light or no training days and then pigging out if you have done a hard session. Like all things with triathlon consistency is the key, and good habits developed now will help you later on as I suspect your triathlon goals develop.

    Good luck.
  • True Legend !

  • Paleo diet is very good. But not for everyone. Its personal preference but healthy balanced is the best for everyone.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    +1 for what hussler said.

    Keep it balanced and healthy.

    It doesnt have to cost the earth just because its healthy.
  • Agree with the comments on it being a Sprint. Due to the length and time of a Sprint, nutrition is not as important, I'm not saying that it should be dismissed in anyway, just that on longer distances nutrition is paramount. Everybody is different and you have to find what suits you best.

    You don't have to spend vast quantities. I dont buy the named brands, just out of prinicpal, a lot of the cheaper option are just as good if not better.

    I essentially eat pasta and rice on a regular basis, ensuring that I also eat meats, chicken, beef etc to ensure I am getting the protien. Plenty of fruit, bananas are good for energy. As stated before, balanced and healthy thats what you want. Again it's what is best for you.

    For race day essentially you want to be eating porridge or a high carb breakfast approx 3 hours before your race.

    I have attached a link which i found really useful leading up to my first sprint, it give tips on nutrition, preparations for the week leading up, the day before, race day and also recovery.

    http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/a ... icleid=360

    Hope this is of some use, the kit listing is also a great help and I use it or a variation the day before to ensure that i have everything in place. Become a bit of a ritual to be honest ;-)

    All the best for your race
  • Thankyou again for all your input !
  • Its also important not to forget to enjoy your food too & not worry all the time about not being allowed to eat certain food or too much/little!
  • Just dont over carb your diet.... your body doesnt need vast amounts of carbs.

    Just doing something as simple as cutting down bread intake and you will be able to control weight better. I dont eat bread anymore, it does take a while to not crave it, you actually become addicted to it as you do many types of food due to the high content of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) its similar to nicotine in cigarettes in such that it gets you hooked.

    I primarily race Ironman and half Ironman events and I dont eat pasta or bread. I get my carbs from Veg, fruit and oats.

    Although people are saying above that nutrition for sprint training isnt important, I would disagree with that. Take these two extremes:

    Person one: diet of crap - fish and chips, burgers, crisps, the odd sunday roast, sandwiches, coke or other carbonated drinks etc

    Person two: Diet of fruit, veg, various meats, nuts, oats, rice (in moderation) and water and fruit juice.

    Who is going to potentially perform better on a nutritional aspect?

    No matter what distance you do 'person 2' will have far better gains over a prolonged period of time than 'person 1'
  • Got to agree with the general sentiments of Hussler here, that race distance is not the issue it is the quality of performance you expect in training as well as durring races which is the key, Jonathon Brownlee doesn't eat crap and go and win the world sprint championships! The post is here because someone is interested, all we can do is offer our opinions.

    The issue here is what is a diet? To me a diet is about a thought out and consistent approach to eating which is fit for purpose in respect to your lifestyle. If you want to go out and train to anywhere near your potential then you need to have a diet which is fit for purpose. Nutrition is the fourth discipline of triathlon. If you do not then you simply havn't got an idea of what you are capable off. If you are not interested in getting anywhere near your potential then diet might not be important for you, that's fine. However I suspect a lot of people who take this line will also be the same individuals spending large amounts of money on the latest gear looking for performance gains, when in reality they simply lack the self discipline to make their food intake an important aspect of their lifestyle choice.

    I know I can reduce the weight of my bike by a few grams by upgrading my groupset for a few hundred quid, or I can take the weight saving into the run by cutting out things such as bread as Hussler suggested even saving me a few quid over the year, I know what makes more sense.
  • I Love my marmite on toast ! or well i did but what could u replace bread with ?

    You folks have been fantastic

    Thankyou soooo Much for your time and Knowledge !
  • Bread is a carbohydrate source and as such it provides fuel for energy. The problem with starchy carbs such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes these are highly refined and so firstly are not as good as their 'brown' partners, wholemeal bread, brown rice etc. They also need some time to break down in the body to be useful in delivering energy. In this respect I find eating a pasta meal, preferably wholemeal pasta at lunch is fine if I know I am going to do a long hard workout a few hours later e.g 2-3 hr bike ride. If not then the body thinks the best idea is to store these carbs for use later, which invariably means for me putting on weight. What Hussler is right in saying that fruit and vegetables are a lot easier to break down, energy there in an hour or so, you know what you are getting i.e. no additives as they are not processed, and I find that I feel fuller on less calories, could never eat three plate fulls of stir fry veggies, but can easily handle a plate of fried rice and a nan bread for example.

    Though not a marmite fan I know what you mean about enjoying things like toast, after a hard training session I could do half a loaf and a lot of margarine no problem, but why throw away some of the hard won gains of the last hour or so. To stop snacking I find it is easier to have a lot of smaller meals spread out through the first two thirds of the day. The issue is not then what is a good snack rather when is my next well balanced meal coming, which is just around the corner.

    To be honest I am in a very fortunate position in that I train on average for over 20hrs per week and have retired. In so many ways it is harder for the majority of triathletes who have less time to train, have to build it around work, family etc.. For you guys each session is far more important and has to be high quality to see real benefits. As such you need to fuel it well and don't throw away hard won gains. I have just taken a few weeks totally off training as my family was at home over the summer holidays. I have put on a three or four kilos, but know that now I am back in training this will come off easily as the workload is done during my base period. It would be easy to think that I take things too seriously in respect to diet, but if anything is true, I am the type of triathlete who could get away more with a poor diet than many other individuals. If you take or want to take triathlon seriously, and to be honest why wouldn't the average person want to be healthy, fitter and take part in a sport as dynamic and progressive as this, then consistency is key.

    Nutrition is like everything else in this complex jigsaw of what is our sport, its just a case of putting in a piece at a time , finding out what works for you. Doing a bit of research and more often than not common sense prevails. If I need to find a good example of a balanced diet taken in moderation then I only need to look at what my 97 year old grandmother eats for the answers. She enjoys her food, takes time out to get the best quality she can find on her budget over quantity every time. Her diet is seasonal, she doesn't cook the living daylights out of food but prepares it simply. She eats a bit more when she knows she needs it in winter and hasn't the faintest idea that she has the nutritional foundation to be an excelent triathlete in place already. Come to think of it she might not have any competition in her age group for Hawaii only problem is that though she lives by the sea, she has never learnt to swim.
  • Replace bread with simple fruit and veg!

    Just have a look at all the food labels of stuff you buy... Most things have a massive amount of sugar.... I looked at a label on some chicken breasts the other day and they had X grams of Sugar???? How does a chicken contain any sugar??

    I eat loads of protein - Chicken, bacon, eggs, steak, Gluten free sausages.... I get my carbs from Fruit and veg. Or if im training hard (anything over 2 hours at race pace or anything over 3hours at a moderate pace - I do Ironman) Ill get my energy from gels...

    My advice is look at the food labels, if its heavy in sugar content on the carb front ditch it and buy an alternative with less sugar....

    Im not saying avoid bread but cut down your intake.

    I follow the paleo diet for athletes - slightly different to the proper paleo diet. google 'paleo diet for athletes' I have so much more energy and I can honestly say my training is improving more and more....

    Even with wholemeal bread or wholemeal anything... its still likely to be laden with sugar. Bread is bread in my eyes be it granary, white, wholemeal, half and half, pitta, wraps, naan.... its all means the same thing.. eat it regularly and you will struggle to control your weight.

    Same applies to pasta and rice.... Rice is better than pasta, as it expands etc but again dont eat too much of it. Now you can replace Rice and Pasta with Quinoa, and you can now buy that at your normal supermarkets such as asda and tesco.... opposed to a couple of years ago when it was waitrose and health shops that sold it at ridiculus prices.

    Oh and I forgot to add earlier.... Im at Personal Trainer/Tri Coach and also have a Level 3 qualification in Nutrition.

    PM me if you want to know about the services I can offer you on the coaching or nutritional side of things...
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    hussler. wrote:
    Just have a look at all the food labels of stuff you buy... Most things have a massive amount of sugar.... I looked at a label on some chicken breasts the other day and they had X grams of Sugar???? How does a chicken contain any sugar??

    PM me if you want to know about the services I can offer you on the coaching or nutritional side of things...
    That advice has opened my eyes!
    Went thru my cupboards n its a wonder I,m not diabetic!
    Oxo cubes......sugar added (albeit in small quanities as its down the list of ingredients)
  • balanced and healthy is the way forward - try using vit c, zinc, and iron if you are training hard as this will really help you keep fresh for training. I used lean msucle protein after eery session as well.
    thanks, nick
Sign In or Register to comment.