Episode 128 - Nutrition Game Changers: Success Secrets from TNA Alumni

Nutrition Game Changers: Success Secrets from TNA Alumni

In this episode, I’m joined by Chris Tubbs, Gail Jindrich and Erin Byrge, all 2023 graduates of the TNA program. They have officially entered the 'big kids' league and are thriving in our Supercharged Squad alumni program.

We take a closer look at their 2023 triathlon journeys and find out what game changing strategies they’ve been working on with their nutrition.

Plus set our sights on 2024 and what goals they’re hoping to achieve now they have 9 months of evidence-based nutrition education under their fuel belt. 

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If you’re looking to level up your nutrition like these three, join us inside the TRIATHLON NUTRITION ACADEMY program!

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Start working on your nutrition now with my Triathlon Nutrition Kickstart course: dietitianapproved.com/kickstart

It’s for you if you’re a triathlete and you feel like you’ve got your training under control and you’re ready to layer in your nutrition. It's your warmup on the path to becoming a SUPERCHARGED triathlete – woohoo!

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Episode Transcription

Episode 128: Nutrition Game Changers: Success Secrets from TNA Alumni

Taryn Richardson  00:00

Joining me today on the podcast is not one, not two, but three triathletes who are all actually Alumni of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program. They've all had a massive year in 2023 and done some pretty epic things. And what I wanted them to do is share with you what they've been up to, like insight into what they've personally been working on with their nutrition to level up their performance. Now before we dive in, doors to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy are currently open for the first time this year. They do close on Monday, the 22nd of Jan in Australia. If you're in the US like these guys, it'll be Sunday afternoon, the 21st of January. So head to dietitianapproved.com/academy if you want to come and join us and if 2024 is the year that you want to focus on your nutrition and really dial in the fourth leg.

Taryn Richardson  00:56

Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. The show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy-to-digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.

Taryn Richardson  01:34

Joining me today we have Gail from Illinois, Erin from North Carolina, and Chris from Pearland Texas. Now I honestly like didn't realise that we did this, but you're all from Team USA. So welcome, guys.

Chris Tubbs  01:48

That's right. Hey there Taryn. 

Taryn Richardson  01:51

Oh, I missed you, Chris. So you guys have all completed the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program back in 2023 so you're officially, officially the big kids and have graduated. And you're actually at the other side in our Alumni program, the Supercharged Squad. So I wanted to get you some thoughts from you around sort of what you've been doing with your nutrition over the last 12 months or more and then what you're kind of working on as we head into 2024. Because it's not something that you kind of just set and forget with nutrition. It's something that is always evolving and we're always learning. Like God, I'm always learning and I've done, you know, six years of university level studying nutrition. And the more I know, the more I realised I don't know. So Erin, you've had a huge year, what have you achieved in 2023 and what sort of things have you been working on with your nutrition?

Erin Byrge  02:44

Well, if I look back to about a year ago, and that's actually when I jumped in to the Academy. So 2023 really was my year of figuring out the fourth leg, the nutrition part of it. And probably the first time that it all came together was at Eagleman in June. So I was about 6 months into the program at that point. The puzzle pieces are really starting to fall together and the timing of it was just kind of perfect that I was able to get a really huge PR there. And then still continue. Like you always say, N equals one, we are a little experiments of ourselves. So still continuing to tweak that and work on it through my races throughout the rest of the year.

Taryn Richardson  03:24

And what about you, Chris? You just did something crazy - you did like an 8 day ride and then backed that up with a 70.3. Like, you had a huge year. What sort of things have you been up to?

Chris Tubbs  03:37

I had a huge year. So I finished earlier in 2023 and it was good timing because the beginning of the year I had a Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, which was a specialised deal. And then I did Ironman Chattanooga which was a little too hot. And then finished out the year, like you said, with this long, 8 day, 500 mile ride where I rode from San Francisco to Los Angeles. And then the next weekend, did 70.3 Waco and punished myself horribly. It wasn't the wisest decision, I'll admit, but I wanted to do it so I figured out, you know, I made it happen.

Chris Tubbs  04:15

But the nutrition went really well. So I was able to really be clear on how to approach fuelling during this long ride and then preparing to go to Waco even though my body was tired. I went and did Waco, it hurt but I had the energy for days. I was like a supercharged animal. The Academy was fantastic and the methodology that you taught us to prepare. So it's great.

Taryn Richardson  04:46

I wouldn't recommend backing up 8 days with a 70.3. But like you DNF'd that race last year so you didn't have a great lead in and then you still smashed it and like redeemed yourself on that course despite having shattered legs.

Chris Tubbs  05:01

That's right. And they were shattered for real on this course. But yeah, I went in with a great attitude and just like I said, very clear on what to do during the race on how much fuel to take, when to take it, and how much to eat, and what I should feel like. And I did it and it worked. 

Taryn Richardson  05:23

Yeah, and the same as that ride. So what sort of things did you implement? What strategies did you implement for that ride that allowed you to then back up and do a 70.3?

Chris Tubbs  05:32

Well, a couple of things.From our course, I did some sweat testing and found that I'm in the 93rd percentile of sodium loss, heavy sweaters. So I'll sweat two litres an hour on a hard effort and upwards of two and a half grams of sodium. So I made sure to take that. And I pulled back on food. I've been over eating, just thinking I needed more, and I didn't. So through practicing your worksheets and training, I've learned to periodise. And knowing how much effort I was going to put, I can eat appropriately. And so I was never hungry, never ran out of energy but I didn't overeat on any day. It was wonderful.

Taryn Richardson  06:20

That's really good insight because the messaging out there at the moment is like more, more more. You know, let's everyone should be having 120 grams of carbs an hour. But you realised that that wasn't the case for you, it was more of a hydration thing. And so that's really insightful for people to hear when we feel like we're going to miss out almost if we're not like hitting 90, 100, 110 grams of carbs an hour. It's not necessarily the thing that's going to fix us.

Chris Tubbs  06:47

Yes, that's 100% true and it was nerve wracking. But I trusted the method and the expert that was teaching us and they worked!

Taryn Richardson  06:56

Thanks, mate. Appreciate this plug.

Chris Tubbs  06:58

That's right. 

Taryn Richardson  06:59

What about you, Gale? You've had a big year as well and I feel like you're only just getting started because you haven't been on the podcast before. These two guys, they've been there done that. I feel like I definitely know them really well. But you Gale have come to triathlon really late in life. And yeah, you're only just getting started. Tell the good people how long you've been doing triathlon for and how you got into it and what you've been up to in 2023?

Gale Jindrich  07:25

Sure, yeah. I started my triathlons in 2022. My first triathlon was Madison, it was a half Ironman 70.3

Taryn Richardson  07:35

Crazy that your first is a 70.3. Like what is with our mindset, like, yep, straight to that.

Gale Jindrich  07:42

Well, in addition to that, I just learned how to swim not even a year before that, because it was crazy. But you know, I was like, if you're gonna go in, go out.

Chris Tubbs  07:50


Gale Jindrich  07:51

I did. Thank you. But in doing that 70.3, I learned a lot of lessons. And one of them was I had no idea what I was doing with nutrition. I had horrible gut in my run on that triathlon and I knew I needed help. And what I was being taught and what I was listening to, and what I was learning about, obviously weren't the right things. So when I heard about Taryn through another podcast which was Effortless Swimming, I heard her on that podcast, and I followed right over to her, like, this woman knows what she's talking about, let's go join the Academy. And I joined the Academy right away without any question. I'm like this, I know I need this.

Gale Jindrich  08:36

But I've learned so so much. I didn't understand the relationship between body weight and mass and the types of foods you need to eat and when and how much and I had no idea in when I was running, I was suffering really horrible runners gut. And I thought for a long time, it was the type of food I was eating. But it ended up being a combination of that and the nutrients. I was taking the nutrition as the gels, I was taking as I was running. I didn't even think that that would be a problem. I'm thinking, well, everybody's doing this you know, what's the problem? So, in learning a lot from you, Taryn and having talked to you even before my triathlon in June in Iowa, my 70.3 in Iowa, you helped me straighten that nutrition out, you guide me as to what I should be eating before that and during the race. And it was magic. I bettered my time from Madison by half hour. In Iowa, I placed 10th in my age group. I was on cloud nine and I got a slot in worlds.

Taryn Richardson  09:42


Gale Jindrich  09:43

So I ended up going there too, which was a crazy, wonderful experience. But yeah, so yeah, and I'm continuing to evolve. I'm continuing to learn, you know. What I really want to get good at is the periodisation. I'm still not quite there on that. But you know, vegetables have become my best friend. I just opened my fridge the other day and had all these vegetables and like, so excited. So, you know, it's a whole different change in lifestyle, and it's gonna continue for the rest of my life. And I've never felt better. I've never felt like I've had more energy. It's just been, it's been wonderful. So yeah, as you said, continuing evolution going forward. And I'm sure it's going to carry me through 2024.

Taryn Richardson  10:34

Yeah, and you are only just getting started, like it is crazy. Like you've literally just learned to swim, you've literally just entered the sport, you start smacking out 70.3s and then doing massive PBs. Like I'm so excited to see where you go. And like thank you for entrusting me to educate you with your nutrition really early on. Because that's one of the things that people really struggle with for years before they actually seek advice from a dietitian, like we find our advice from everywhere else first. And then ike actually invest some time and money in a professional in that space. So thank you for entrusting me really early on, like just diving in the deep end. I really appreciate that.So in the last, like 12 months or so what's been the best lesson that you've learned with your nutrition? 

Gale Jindrich  11:21

It is all about what you eat and the types of food you're eating. And to eat more fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, mostly fresh vegetables, and just the right amount of protein. I mean, I was under that impression with with the keto diet and all that stuff coming through that more protein was better, more protein was better. And to have you talked to us about okay, you need to balance or you need to have, you know, like a fistful of protein kind of, and you have to base it on your body mass. And that to me, it was like mind blowing. And don't be afraid of carbs. That's a huge message.

Taryn Richardson  12:00

That's a big one, isn't it? I can't believe we're still so carb phobic. We'll get there. I'm just going to change triathletes one person at a time. But it's undoing like 30 years of like, diet culture mindset around carbohydrate. We'll get there. What about you, Erin?

Erin Byrge  12:16

I think the biggest thing for me throughout the year has been, we say, well, this works for so and so. And this works for them. And even saying something that works for me, may be amazing for me, but it's not necessarily gonna be amazing for somebody else. So unlike Gail, I came with 11 years of trying other people's plans, things that had worked for them and I made it through a lot of races that way. But it's just finding and taking the time to find what works best for me using the math that you teach us to use and then tweaking it until it's right. Honestly that's been the biggest thing for me is to kind of zone out everybody else, stop watching my Instagram ads and actually figure out what I need for the workout I'm doing tomorrow, the race I'm doing today, you know, periodising it and paying attention to what I'm actually doing and making sure I'm fuelling for that activity.

Taryn Richardson  12:16

Yeah, it's really hard. Like we get so sidetracked, don't we, by everything that gets shoved in our face. And particularly endurance sport, there are so many noisy marketing messages. And our personality type, we're like, you know, give me more, tell me more and I don't want to miss out by not doing this thing. And then we end up you know, like Chris wasting a shit tone of money on stuff that we don't actually need and doesn't serve us because we are worried that we will not perform to the best of our ability without all this stuff. What about you, Chris? Segway into how much money I'm saving you?

Chris Tubbs  13:48

That's right. Yeah, the $300-$400 a month I saved.

Taryn Richardson  13:53


Chris Tubbs  13:54

US, yeah. It's a combination of what both Erin and Gail said, The periodisation was huge for me and adding variety into the periodisation. So looking at my training calendar, my schedule and looking in assessing the intensity and the duration of the workout, it's kind of the easy, moderate hard. And then eating appropriately for those made a huge difference. But then adding variety, let me get the proper nutrients so I could cut back on the supplements and still feel good. Because I don't want to think about all those things so I found something to eat and I would just eat that all the time. I eat a bowl of oatmeal every day for two years because that's what I ate. And after going through the class and I got lots of things to eat now. You know, you got the recipes. But it made me pay attention to how I felt after I ate because I would eat something different, I was worried so I'd pay attention. And I realised feeling meh was not normal. I had accepted it as normal or the runner's gut during a race when I would be so tired, I just want to go to sleep. That wasn't normal. I shouldn't feel like that. But it wasn't until doing, you know, the periodisation and adding whole foods and more variety of foods on a regular basis that I learned what really proper nutrition feels like?.Although there was a lot in that answer but it all ties together.

Taryn Richardson  15:24

Yeah. And sometimes you don't know how good you can feel until you feel that and you're like, ah, that wasn't normal. We do wear that with a bit of a badge of honour. I think as triathletes, we're like I'm meant to feel tired. Like, I'm training for an Ironman here. Like, I'm meant to be sleeping all day on the weekends. But no, yeah, there's no yardstick and not a badge that we want to wear with honour. I actually, like want to feel supercharged. 

Chris Tubbs  15:47


Taryn Richardson  15:48

I remember really clearly, like it was yesterday talking to you before you jumped into the program in September 2022 and you're like, Taryn, can you help me understand how to eat with all the supplements and things that I'm taking? Like, I'm really afraid to stop taking them because I'm, like, so reliant on this stuff. Is it possible to do this?

Chris Tubbs  16:14

Yeah. Yeah, I still haven't. I do remember the conversation. I was really wanting to join and learn, but I was scared that I was going to crash and burn, that's gonna be another gimmick, and somebody's got to lead me down a path that I was gonna have to figure out how to recover and get back on track. So didn't happen of course. 

Taryn Richardson  16:35

Thank you for entrusting me.

Chris Tubbs  16:36

Yeah. And I still have this cabinet full of bottles. And I've got to figure out what to do with them because I don't take them anymore. 

Taryn Richardson  16:44

I don't know. I've got no suggestions for you either. Becauselike I'm like super frugal and you can't bend them. But what do you do with them? I don't know. I don't know. 

Chris Tubbs  16:53

I don't know.

Taryn Richardson  16:55

Some good lessons there from all of you. I think like a good resounding theme for most people is that periodisation piece. And that as a triathlete that trains for three sports in a week, like we have very different types of training days. You will feel so much more energy and you know, less tiredness, fatigue, if you do understand how to eat on those different days. While it is a big rock, it is probably one of the hardest things to do in practice. You know, like for Chris, I know that you were eating out a lot and you weren't sure how to do that with eating out at restaurants and things. Like what sort of strategies have you been working on to get periodisation happening for you in your life? 

Chris Tubbs  17:34

So when I'm traveling, I will eat more simple foods like, just the basic pasta with some chicken on it, or a salad with some salmon on it. And I find that to be more satisfying and just as filling. It's fulfilling enough. I really liked the rich, tasty, spicy foods that I was eating but it left me feeling bad. My mouth was happy, but my body wasn't. Yeah, so I'll use that strategy. But at home, I just have healthy snacks. I buy a lot more fruit now. So the emotional habit I have of just going to grab something, I'll grab a grapefruit or an apple, or some granola bars, not bars, but little granola nuggets, a couple of those and that will satisfy what's going on with me mentally or emotionally for the moment without eating the candy and over eating something. So the fruit is much more satisfying. That's what I'll do. I just make bigger plates if I've got big days coming up or eat smaller amounts. And I talked to my wife because she tends to do most of the meal prep. She doesn't like me in the kitchen, other than cutting up fruit. I have to communicate with her what's coming up and what kind of food. And she likes to prepare that for me.

Taryn Richardson  18:46

What a legend. Yeah, can I borrow her? I need a wife.

Erin Byrge  18:51

Me, too. I hate cooking.

Taryn Richardson  18:54

What about you, Erin? Because yeah, you don't cook a lot. But what have you done to implement periodisation with the type of way that you like to eat?

Erin Byrge  19:03

Yeah, so I am not a great cook. I get very frustrated when I cook. But I use a meal delivery service. I won't plug which one it is but they send me food and it's all pre measured. So I'm still cooking, it's just the thoughts done for me. And so what I'll do as soon as that comes, it was on Tuesdays, and I will write on the top of it how much because you have to look it up online, but how much of each macro that they claim is that each one. And then so I will choose which ones I'm going to eat on which day based on which workout I'm doing. And I have to do a lot of adding. Usually I'll add a sweet potato or a baked potato because they tend to be a little lower carb meals. But I have found a way sometimes rice, sometimes potatoes, sometimes sweet potatoes to make up have enough carbs for whether it's a hard plate or a moderate plate.

Taryn Richardson  19:54

Yeah. And you know what you need to hit which is kind of refreshing too because you don't have to second guess whether you have enough or don't have enough, and then, you know, feel crap in a few days time and go, what did I do that made me feel like that?

Erin Byrge  20:09

Right. Exactly. So.

Taryn Richardson  20:11

Yeah, amazing.

Erin Byrge  20:12

Even as a non cook, I have managed to figure out.

Taryn Richardson  20:15

I think that's really awesome because there are plenty of people that don't cook. And so you still need to eat, you need to put the right fuel in your engine. No matter how you do that, it doesn't have to be complicated. We have the entire Recipe Database at your disposal. But if you hate being in the kitchen and it's not something that you enjoy doing, then there are plenty other ways to layer in periodisation without having to slave away for hours. What about you, Gail? I know that's something that you're working on still, but what sort of things have you changed in that space to make sure you're eating a bit better to support training demands?

Gale Jindrich  20:51

I started out simple and basically just took your meal plans and just went with it. I absolutely despise grocery shopping. So I went online and I found a food delivery service. And I would open up your recipe and I'd just tick off everything and have them delivered to my house and went from there. And just, you know, like Erin was saying I would look at the macros in there and figure out which ones would be the best ones to have on the day because that necessarily were your days lining up with my workouts. But I mean, it was fabulous. I absolutely did not think I could cook good food until I was using your recipes. They're so simple. They're so amazing. I could not even cut vegetables, I was so horrible with a knife. And I've gotten so much better and efficient. And absolutely I love it.

Gale Jindrich  21:45

I feel lost on the weeks that I can't use your recipes for whatever reason if I'm traveling or whatever. So I appreciate those recipes very much. And I want to start getting into a little bit more my own meal planning with surrounding your recipes. And I want to start using some of like your shakes that you have and things like that. I haven't quite delved into those. But yeah, smoothies, I would love to try those. Those are on my list of things to do. And hopefully I'll get to those this winter and start playing around with those. And it's a fabulous database. I think I would recommend it to anybody at least try to get in there and use some of those recipes. They're delicious. I never even thought I'd like lamb and so, I was like, lamb, oh, my! I mean, that's not a thing here in the States, at least for me. And it's delicious. It's fabulous. So yeah, thank you. Thank you for expanding my food horrendously.

Taryn Richardson  22:43

Welcome. You're welcome. I guess yeah, maybe it is more of an Australian meat choice. I didn't think about that in the US. We get a lot of it from kind of New Zealand as well. So Gail was talking about the Weekly Menu Planning service that Academy athletes get as part of the program. And that's where I map out your dinners for the week, give you the shopping list to get everything that you need, as well as the recipe to follow to do that. And people either do it or don't like it's definitely a tool that you've got at your disposal, because one of my goals is to make eating like super easy and efficient for you. And yeah, some people are riding straight away and other people don't find out about it until like they're through and they're like, oh, this has been here the whole time. But particularly for people that hate shopping and hate cooking and don't want to think about it, like it's my happy place, like that is my love language, like planning someone's meals for the week and making sure all the protein sources are variable. 

Taryn Richardson  23:07

And we've got like easy cook options on those busy nights where maybe you've got a late swim session and you've got to come home and you know dinner's leftovers, or it's in the freezer or something like that, like that is like that is my jam. So you have that tool in your tool belt if you need help in that department. But then you know, all three of you eat really differently. So it's good to hear that whatever way that you like to eat or whatever fits in with your lifestyle, you can still make sure you're matching your fueling to training demands which is so pivotal as a triathlete. So moving forwards to 2024, what are you guys working on this year? Like what events have you got coming up? And like we said right in the beginning, nutrition is not set and forget. So what's kind of your goals for 2024 to level up your nutrition this year?

Erin Byrge  24:29

Even before I started the Academy so actually about six months before that, I have basically been in race prep mode because I race a lot. And so I had some winter races and I basically have been in race prep mode from middle of 2022 all through 2023. So I am stepping back just a little from the not necessarily the amount of races but the length of races and going to work a little bit more on theme year. But in doing that, making sure I have more of a development phase. And in that development phase, working hard on bringing periodisation to include the light plates. Because I've been in race prep mode for so long, it's always been moderate and high for me. So working on bringing that light plate in, perhaps maybe having some body composition changes wouldn't be terrible at the beginning of this year just so I can be faster when races do start. So that's what 2024 is going to be working on for me is we keep talking about it but more on periodisation and learning how to do the light plates every once in a while.

Taryn Richardson  25:37

Yeah, yeah, cool, because you do race a lot. You race like most weekends and will often do a double header on that same weekend like race Saturday and Sunday. You just love it.

Erin Byrge  25:47

Yeah, I do.

Taryn Richardson  25:49

And your goal is to qualify for Worlds in Townsville in August?

Erin Byrge  25:51

So that was originally the goal but having done Spain this past fall, and the travel that went along with that and back pedaling a little bit on Australia. That is a long flight from here.

Taryn Richardson  26:11

Come on, gotta come and do Sunny Coast 70.3 with us.

Erin Byrge  26:17

It's not off the plate completely yet, but definitely giving it some more thought.

Taryn Richardson  26:21

We'll get you. Chris is coming here. We got the FOMO into Chris and he's coming now.

Erin Byrge  26:26

FOMO so real, but trying to be logical and smart.

Erin Byrge  26:30

It is a long way I'm not gonna lie, like it's 24 hours on a plane. It's crazy. But you know, you just come for a few weeks, you don't come for a weekend.

Erin Byrge  26:39

Right? So. Maybe.

Taryn Richardson  26:43

I got you. What about you, Chris?

Chris Tubbs  26:45

My last race of the year was Ironman Cozumel in November so I decided I don't have anything on the calendar until Sunny Coast in September of 2024. And my goal is to lean out, really spend the time leaning out and change in body composition, like Erin. I carry a little too much body fat and I want to get lighter so that I can develop some strength also work on strength for better running. And then come down to Sunny Coast and have a great race, spend time with the TNA group, you know, the FOMO and so Erin just feel really jealous. And you'll be there, hopefully you'll be there. You won't feel like, you'll join us. But the group, we had such a good bond that I think a lot of us signed up, four, five have agreed to come down and registered to do Sunny Coast. So that's on the calendar and the logistics are crazy. Like, Erin it's crazy, though it's going to be an ordeal to get there. But I'll stay for at least two weeks, maybe two and a half. 

Taryn Richardson  27:45

Maybe three, maybe four. You could even work from Australia if you had to. I can help you with the logistics. That part's easy. You just got to get there probably a couple of weeks before the race, you're not jet lagged and you can kind of acclimatised. It's not like crazy hot, you live in Texas, but just get used to the temperature and yeah, jetlag. You don't want to turn up to a race jetlagged and then hope to perform to the best of your ability.

Chris Tubbs  28:09

That's right. I was like, I can come and...

Taryn Richardson  28:11

Oh, at least a week early. We're going to do some testing and stuff with you guys as well. So don't worry, we'll get you hook line and think Erin and maybe you too, Gail.

Chris Tubbs  28:20

Yeah. Like a TNA party. 

Taryn Richardson  28:24

Yeah. Oh, and I'll come to America next year, the year after that.,2025, right? We're gonna maybe do Hawaii or something so you guys don't have to travel so far. 

Erin Byrge  28:35

There's a 70.3 about 45 minutes from my house. We could just do that one.

Taryn Richardson  28:40

But Hawaii, Erin. Hawaii!

Chris Tubbs  28:42

Are you moving to Hawaii?

Erin Byrge  28:43

I live on the beach.

Taryn Richardson  28:46

See, he's got a timeshare. So we're just figuring out how many people we can cram into that. Alright, what about you, Gail 2024? You know, like we said, you're just getting started, like, what are the plans this year and maybe maybe even take us beyond that?

Gale Jindrich  29:01

It's interesting because both Chris and Erin have exactly the same idea. I do. I did three 70.3s in 2023. My last one in December in Florida. So in the Chicago Marathon in October, and it felt like you know, the results weren't all of what I wanted them to be so I want to do a lot more. Again, body composition changes, I want to get stronger, I want to get a little leaner. And my first thing on the calendar is in Madison in September right now so that's 70.3 as well. And yeah, I'm focusing a lot on myself. I want to do a little bit shorter events like Erin was saying, like half marathons things like that. I want to try actually a shorter distance triathlon see what that's like. I have no idea. 

Gale Jindrich  29:06

I'm sure I'll finish. I'm sure I'll finish. But yeah, I'd like to try that, see how that goes. That's it. But yeah, it's pretty much exactly the same story that Chris and Erin have in terms of just, you know, focusing on the self and kind of getting the body into, you know, now that I have the nutrition part down, you know, using that to my advantage and getting into the better shape that I know I can be and becoming the athlete that I want to be. Yeah I just started but you know, I want to keep getting better, I want to keep improving my times. And you know, hopefully, someday I have my fingers crossed, I'll get on the podium and it's, you know, it's not because I'm the only one in my age group left. Like, there'd be competition in there, too. So those are my goals.

Taryn Richardson  30:48

You are going to be so surprised by how little effort a sprint distance race is compared to always preparing for a 70.3. Like, you could literally just turn up tomorrow and do one and you would be fine.

Erin Byrge  31:01

That's why I can race as much as I do, Gail. I do short races as well. 

Taryn Richardson  31:05

That's so interesting that all three of you now that you're through the program, you want to shift focus a little bit to body composition because it's not something we talk about, like we do talk about it, but getting as light and lean and fast as possible is not like step one. Step one is actually understanding how to fuel your body and putting those foundations in place with what you're eating on a day to day basis and getting your race nutrition right. And I'm a firm believer that when you have that dialed in, your body composition sorts itself out. It's not something that we need to really drastically chase. And we need to make sure we have enough energy availability for our just daily functions of life before doing anything crazy. So super interesting to hear you guys all say that now that you're like, alright, I've got my nutrition sorted. How do we tweak and finesse it and do those little more kind of maybe one percenters to get to, you know, I want to say ideal, but it's not ideal, because honestly, it'll sort itself out if you eat properly, consistently over time.

Chris Tubbs  32:11

I also wanted to take some time. I've been on like, if you think about an engine revving on high and medium high for a couple of years preparing for these endurance events consistently. But I wanted to just give my body, my mind a chance to simmer and be on medium low for a little while and recover in a way and eat lighter. I mean, that allows me to eat lighter. I can still eat for performance but I don't need to have such a high level of that all the time. It's almost I feel like, I imagined it will be a relief for a little while.

Taryn Richardson  32:47

So interesting. Like, both you and Erin are like that you like full guns blazing. And it's like, okay, let's just take a step back for a sec. Alright, so you three, it's been fun wrangling three people, four people on a podcast and we even found some cool new Zoom feature that has like, yeah, it's not gonna do it now. But thank you for sharing you know, what you've been working on and kind of where your thoughts are now, as you set yourself up for the next 12 months. I think it's really good to hear from people that have got good nutrition knowledge now that it's not like, it's not all over red rover in a way. It's really just the stepping stone into, this is really corny, but like the rest of your life. So do you have any advice for someone that is, you know, thinking about making 2024 for the year that they do work on their nutrition but they're worried about the investment in time and money to do that? 

Erin Byrge  33:40

I said it when I did the last podcast. I'd waited 11 years, that was the  thing I did so don't wait. That's starting in January, though, especially seems so logical. It's a great time. You can work into what I found starting in January and Gail probably found it too, that you get the puzzle pieces a little at a time and you know, they come together perfectly for that summer season and in you know, even into the fall. So starting in January is a great time. And yeah, don't wait. You'll be sad. 

Taryn Richardson  34:12

FOMO is real.

Chris Tubbs  34:14


Erin Byrge  34:14

FOMO is real.

Chris Tubbs  34:16

I would say, you know, education is never a bad choice to make. But if you want to really accelerate your development as an athlete and as a human, take a course that's systematically designed by an athlete for athletes to teach you how to to eat and fuel your body. This is a fantastic choice. I mean, we're all everyday athletes. We're not pros or sponsored to say this. This is our experience. I don't think there's any downside. You'll save the money on all the extras that you're taking that everybody's doing it so you're gonna save the money on the course. You'll get that back return multi fold.

Taryn Richardson  34:54

Yeah, I remember your episode Chris. You told me that I'm charging not enough and I need to increase my prices because you're in like a net positive.

Chris Tubbs  35:02


Gale Jindrich  35:08

Yeah, I would say one of the biggest takeaways for me and my advice to others is to learn what I learned which is how nutrition fits in and the science behind it and the numbers behind it. Because carb loading is one thing, you know, I'll go carb load okay. But to understand how much and how much to eat based on, you know, you as a person, and to learn, like the why behind it, to me, at least was incredibly important and enlightening. And I would highly recommend that any athlete in any age group or beyond, you know, even just everyday life would learn exactly what kind of food they eat and why they're eating it. And I think you're gonna just have so much more energy and just feel so much better about yourself going forward.

Taryn Richardson  35:15

What about you, Gail? 

Chris Tubbs  35:54

One of the magical things about the program that's we don't talk about a whole lot, is many triathletes now try to follow the pros and go for 100 - 120 grams an hour of carbs. But what we don't understand is that if you just keep taking glucose, you're maxed out at 60. How are you going to get that extra beyond, you're just gonna take more and more? You're not going to get it. So going through a program like this where you learn the science and the methodology of actually fuelling properly, you'll know how you're going to get to that 100 - 120. And do you just jump to it? Or is there an approach that's going to keep your gut healthy? So there's a lot of little nuanced magic in this course.

Taryn Richardson  36:41

Don't give away our secrets.

Chris Tubbs  36:43

That's right.

Gale Jindrich  36:45

Yeah, I'm also going to add another fabulous thing about this course, is the fact that you're in a group and you have the camaraderie with the other triathletes. To me, that's huge. I've trained alone, you know, since I started doing triathlons, so hearing what other people have to say about what they're going through and what kind of nutrition problems they've struggled with and know how tired they are after a swim or whatever. And me listening going, yeah, that's me, I know that exact same problem. It's just so encouraging to hear that from other athletes as well so you don't feel like you're just like the only person experiencing this being like, okay, you know, I'm doing something wrong, it's must be me. But it's yeah, the camaraderie and getting to know other people, it's an absolute bonus in this program so. 

Taryn Richardson  37:36

Awesome. Thank you guys. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. And no, I didn't pay them to say that. Can't afford it. Can't afford it. But I think it's really important to put, you know, age group triathletes out there and share what they're up to, because we do tend to look to the pros for so many things and we are completely different beasts to the pros. But you get very heavily marketed to as an endurance athlete for all the things. And if I can save you time and money with all the crap that you don't need and time in the kitchen if you hate it, it's a win win.

Chris Tubbs  38:13


Taryn Richardson  38:14

Doors are open this week if you do want to come and join these legends. And you know, maybe come and do Sunny Coast 70.3 with us if you want to, like no pressure, but that's going to be a really fun race. And we do have people from America and Canada traveling to come and join us. So that is a good testament to how awesome the athletes are inside the program. So dietitianapproved.com/academy if you want to jump in. Doors are closed on Monday, the 22nd or Sunday, the 21st if you're in the US, and then that's it for at least three to six months. So if 2024 is the year that you want to like get supercharged, now is the opportunity to join us.

Taryn Richardson  38:58

Thank you guys so much for shooting the breeze with me. You can all go to bed now because it's all late where you are. But successfully wrangled three triathletes on one podcast, so thank you very much.

Chris Tubbs  39:12

Oh, yes. I always enjoy talking with you,Taryn.

Erin Byrge  39:13

Thank you.

Gale Jindrich  39:14

Thanks, Taryn.

Taryn Richardson  39:15

Thanks, guys.

Taryn Richardson  39:17

Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or want to share with me what you've learned, email me at [email protected]. You can also spread the word by leaving me a review and taking a screenshot of you listening to the show. Don't forget to tag me on social media, @dietitian.approved, so I can give you a shout out, too. If you want to learn more about what we do, head to dietitianapproved.com. And if you want to learn more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, head to dietitianapproved.com/academy. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to helping you smashed in the fourth leg - nutrition! 

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