The following post is from a Ms. Carolyn K. who, after reading my post on my triathlon experience has offered to write a guest column for my blog. After reading her article I think it is very useful for both those who need to prepare for an up coming extremely physically straining event, as well as any body who works out vigorously daily. Either way, enjoy the article and feel free to comment.
Healthy Meal Plan for Triathletes in Training
Anyone can tell you that the ideal meal to consume pre or post workout is a healthy one with protein, whole grains, and produce. But what if you are a serious athlete and training for an upcoming triathlon? You’ll need a designed to fuel and repair your body through taxing and strenuous training. Here are a few guidelines to follow that will help sustain your body while you undertake one of the most taxing challenges in the realm of athletics.
Post-exercise consumption is important. The glycogen window is the 30 minutes after a workout, when your muscles are starved for nutrition. Easy to digest carbohydrates and quickly absorbed protein (whey for example) will help muscles grow rather than breakdown.
If you’re training 2 times a day, you’ll need to eat a lot to keep up with your energy needs. Depending upon your lifestyle, shoot for 3 meals and 2 snacks per day or 6 smaller meals spaced throughout the day. A good rule of thumb for each of the meals is 25% protein, 25% whole grains, 50% fruits and vegetables comprised of 5 different colors.
An example of this would be:
2 Boiled eggs
½ c. oatmeal with ½ c. blueberries
1 Orange and veggie sticks with peanut butter
Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with veggies
Cup of tomato basil or black bean soup
Spinach salad with strawberries and walnuts
1 grilled chicken quarter
½ cup cooked, whole grain brown rice or quinoa
Slices of grilled vegetables (2 eggplant, 1 onion, 2 zucchini, 2 red bell pepper)
Watermelon for dessert
This is also an easy dinner to cook in larger portions so you can save it for leftovers and not have to cook every night of the week. Skinless chicken and sliced veggies make great bases for just about any marinade too, so get creative with different flavors.
If you find that you’re not getting enough calories, try eating more like nuts, avocado, olives and olive oil. On the flip side if you want to trim down, try low sugar options and using oil sparingly on salads and vegetables. No matter what you do, it’s about getting the right kind of nutrients into your body, not about denying yourself. Filling up on healthy things first will take care of your body, so that when you want to indulge a little at least you already have the building blocks in your nutrition working on your muscles. Try to incorporate a healthy meal plan into your training. It is just as important to reaching your goals as the exercise itself!