Episode 36 - How Triathletes All Over The World Are Improving Their Nutrition

How Triathletes All Over The World Are Improving Their Nutrition

You’ve invested in a training program, a coach, maybe you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a new bike…why haven’t you got a plan for your nutrition yet?

So many athletes smash themselves at training with no regard for how they’re fuelling and recovering. But we only adapt i.e get fitter and faster from the sessions we recover from. If you want to find the sweet spot where training and nutrition intersect, you might need to up your game with your nutrition…just saying.

In this episode, I asked three Triathlon Nutrition Academy athletes to join me to talk about their experiences inside the program. 

You'll hear from Jill, Luis and Kent. Each has their own unique story about how they came to join the program and their own unique learnings along the way.

Having a Sports Dietitian in your corner will change your life, I can guarantee it. Consider me your secret weapon when it comes to getting fitter, faster, stronger (and healthier!)

But let me allow these legends to share their stories...

If you’re ready to join us inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, doors open at 8am on Sunday!! Learn More HERE

Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast

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Episode Transcription

Episode 36 - How Triathletes All Over The World Are Improving Their Nutrition

Taryn Richardson  00:00
I have a different kind of episode for your earholes today. I've asked a couple of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy members to jump on and have a chat with me. You'll hear from Jill, she's a female voice with an American accent. She's based all the way over in Texas, USA. Luis, despite his accent, he's based here in Brisbane, Australia, and a second male voice, who would prefer to remain anonymous, but he's still a legend. Nonetheless, they each have their own unique story about how they came to join us, inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program and their own unique learnings along the way too. And I would love to share their stories with you.

Taryn Richardson  00:43
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  01:20
Welcome to the podcast guys. Thank you so much for joining me. Let's get straight into it. And I want to ask you all - what made you want to join the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program?

Jill Gaudio  01:31
Well, I've been doing triathlon for a little while and I've been wanting to move up in distance. I've only done sprints before, but I was kind of stagnant in my training, I wasn't getting any better. I had joined a Vegan Academy before and it was a lot of money. And it didn't work out very well. It seems like they were more interested in my before and after photo than helping me in my performance for triathlon. They actually told me, I would not lose weight if I continued my training because I had to eat too much. So there was a big disconnect there because I wasn't looking to lose weight, but perform better in my training and for future races. And they were more focused on the weight loss aspect of nutrition.

Luis Franco Marin  02:17
There were two main factors that actually made me want to join the TNA. So the first one, and most importantly, was I had a drive to learn more about nutrition. And I wanted to know a lot of the whys behind a lot of the nutritional facts or diets that I was reading out there. There was so much nutritional data and information - it's difficult, without being an expert, to know where to start. And sometimes, you know, it's like you start following a particular rabbit hole and that takes you to a place where you did not want to be, right? And it's just a waste of time. I think there's so much disinformation out there - what to do or what not to do.

Triathlete 3  03:00
I was a pretty lost soul looking for different answers on things. So I've come into triathlon quite late in my life, I've got a few kilos that I want to lose. But I also want to learn how to fuel my body and train right. There's a lot of really conflicting messages out there from people that train and think they know stuff - from friends that have advice for you, to your crazy old uncle that says that you should drink two litres of lemons before you go out and do something. Everyone's got an opinion. And what I thought was the best thing to do was get an opinion of someone that knew what they were talking about. For me it was,  "How do I lose weight and perform better?", knowing that food was a big part of that?

Taryn Richardson  03:36
It's so interesting that you all landed in the same place coming from different places. So next question - "Did you have any hesitations about joining the program?"

Luis Franco Marin  03:46
I did - lots. The first one was the money. Triathlon, it's expensive. It's a hobby, but it's a really expensive hobby! Between bike races and an Ironman is not the cheapest race. Do I really need to spend this much money on nutrition? Do I really need it? Will I be better off putting that money somewhere else? You know, like, should I make my bike more aerodynamic, right? Investment is an understatement. It's a must if you're going to get into triathlon is something that you're going to have to do. You're going to have to do some investment in your nutrition. There's no way around it - spend a little bit more to get it right from the beginning.  Get the knowledge to actually get it right all the way through. So I think that the money is definitely well invested. You want to be a triathlete and, you know, that you had to buy a bike. I feel that's how you should see this - it's part of being a triathlete. There's no question in that regard. So yes, I think that the money was well spent! It's definitely better than getting a new bike.

Triathlete 3  04:40
I absolutely had lots of hesitations about joining this program. So, I was a bit worried that the program might be not for me in terms of I wasn't a good enough athlete to be able to do it. And I thought that the program might not understand those different complexities of what I was trying to do, which was, as I said, the weight loss and performance.

Triathlete 3  04:57
I'm a pretty special little unicorn with specific training needs and specific wants. And if this was a program designed at covering all the bases, then does that mean my specific bases were going to be covered. And that's just simply wasn't the case. The integration of the program just meant that not only were the bases that I wanted covered, covered, bases that I didn't know existed were uncovered and then covered. So that was really good.

Triathlete 3  05:17 
And the other thing for me was, as someone that's quite new to triathlons, I thought that maybe the program wasn't for me - I wasn't experienced enough to be able to understand the material. But again, that wasn't the case. And in fact, if you're beginning in triathlon, this is your number one ticket to getting faster than the people training next to you, because they won't be doing this and you will be doing it better. Don't tell anybody.

Luis Franco Marin  05:37
I found you online.  I found your profile interesting because you were based in Brisbane, you were someone that actually knew about triathlon yourself, you have done it yourself, and also had all the certifications. This is definitely not a ’one thing fits all’ - you're teaching us why we have to do this for ourselves? And actually, that is even more valuable. It wasn't about me going and presenting to you who I am. It was you giving me the tools to actually define what is better for me, from my own knowledge of who I am. If I don't have an understanding of why am I doing it, I won't be able to do this in the long term, right? I'm always going to be there depending on you. So this course has proven to me that I’ve learned something for the rest of my life. So that took me to the next step.

Jill Gaudio  06:28
So I was really sceptical and I was hesitant because I was worried about gaining weight. I actually measured myself today with tape, and I've lost a lot of inches, and I've maintained the weight. So I'm tightening up and eating more - like more than I ever thought possible. It's still a struggle - for my entire life I've watched what I ate, watched what I ate, don't gain weight, don't gain weight. So I still am hesitant. But you know, when I see the results from actually eating and putting those carbs in, it's working!

Jill Gaudio  07:01
Before the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, I was running out of gas all the time in my workouts. On my really long workouts, I would, you know, be on the couch the rest of the day. Now I have more energy. I've improved my running mile by about two minutes. I've seen a lot of improvement because I have more power. I have more energy.

Taryn Richardson  07:21
So I'm glad you feel that way. Jill, I was a little bit worried about you in the beginning, to be honest. But I think we've fixed the problem pretty quickly, which is awesome. So for all of you, what's been the biggest change, or perhaps the best thing, that you've learned so far?

Luis Franco Marin  07:34
What really opened my eyes to how bad I was, is the recovery one. It's so important!  I know that everything else is very important but I found that understanding what the four R's of recovery are and when to actually start getting my nutrition intake to, actually, take more advantage of the hormones and enzymes when they're at their best. You know, learning all of that and putting it into practice, it has been amazing. I just find that if I get it right, I feel so good afterwards. And I just feel that I can keep going not only with my day, but also with whatever training I have to do next, or I'm ready for the next day.

Triathlete 3  08:19
I was struggling with everything. I was a typical tired triathlete. I was tired all the time, I would fast and restrict. And then I'd demolish the fridge! I never really knew what was appropriate. And it was all vague in how I thought about it. So now I know what to eat. I know when to eat. By getting my nutrition right at the start of the day and the week means that I'm more likely to control it by the end of it. You know, making sure I have a really good recovery breakfast. And pre nutrition means that I don't go and eat three bags of snakes at three o'clock in the afternoon! I have more energy - ready to go. I don't feel lethargic. I don't feel like I have to have a nap after a really big feed anymore. It's just all working!

Triathlete 3  08:55
My physical transformation - it's been pretty incredible. I've dropped a couple of kilos already. And I've definitely started to put a bit of muscle back on by doing my strength work. I've definitely taken about a minute off my run time, off, okay. And through the cycle, what I've noticed is I'm not dying at the end of those rides. So what I would do before in the cycle was I would fast, have coffee into it and I'd ride for two hours and then start to run out of energy - and then have half a Mars bar and, sort of, come home and my back was cramping by the end of it. Now I have some fuel. And then by the end of the ride, I'm happy to get off and do a full day's worth of work!

Triathlete 3  09:29
I would have done ninety percent of my sessions fasted before. And I thought that was the best way to lose some weight - by fueling means that I'm actually performing harder throughout the sessions and I'm getting those gains at the back of them. So fueling early makes me train harder. And training harder gets me all the different things that I want to try and achieve in my training program. You know, that's why I'm a faster triathlete than I was eight weeks ago.

Jill Gaudio  09:51
The best thing I've learned is that I need to eat for performance. You can't get by just barely eating and trying to do triathlon training! You're just not going to feel good. Your training is not going to be good. Your racing is not going to be good. You have to eat. And that's my biggest takeaway because I always limited what I ate before.

Taryn Richardson  10:12
You're not alone in that. A lot of people come into triathlon with a dieting mentality. And it's shifting that mindset to eating and fueling for more of a performance than constantly scaling back for weight loss.

Jill Gaudio  10:26
Yes. And I think that's what sets your program apart from all the others because everyone else is focused on weight loss, fat loss - you're focused on how can you perform your best?

Taryn Richardson  10:37
Yeah! And, as a result, dropping some body fat in the process - without actually trying to do that as the first and foremost goal?

Jill Gaudio  10:43Yes. And there has been a very pleasant surprise.

Taryn Richardson  10:47
What have you got out of the program that you just weren't expecting?

Jill Gaudio  10:49
The thing that I got out of this program that I wasn't expecting, is how fast things started getting better for me. How much my training improved just from eating the right things and the amount that I needed to eat. The performance has been exponentially better.

Taryn Richardson  11:07
So you weren't expecting changes to happen so quick?

Jill Gaudio  11:10
No, not at all. I thought it would be slow, or, you know, just learn a couple of things and, over time, it would benefit me. But it's benefited me right away.

Luis Franco Marin  11:20
I felt that I was not on my own. And I think that what I learned the most is when people actually say what they are doing wrong, rather than what they're doing, right - they're making some of the same mistakes that I'm doing. So I'm not the only one! And they start talking about how to get out of it. "Okay, so that's why you have tried?!". So it makes me feel more confident and inspires me to try again, you know, try something else. We all have that similar mindset. And we are so similar that when we get together, we have so much to share.

Taryn Richardson  11:52
That's one of the things that so many people say they love the most about the program - is connecting with others and the community that we've got inside.  It's been one of my greatest joys - to see you all connect with each other as well all around the world. It's so cool. So each of you - do you have any advice for someone that's thinking about joining us inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy?

Triathlete 3  12:13
Yeah, my advice is to do it! This is the whole package. I can't stress enough about how the integration of the material and the delivery and working with other people just makes it, you know, easily the best money I've spent on a triathlon and that includes my bike! Because one day I'll have to replace my bike, but I'll always have this info. So it's great.

Triathlete 3  12:30
The reason why I was really excited to get into this part of this program was that I knew that every dollar I invested into it, I was buying 20 years' worth of experience to make it happen in the first place. And that was just sometimes I didn't have to put into doing it myself. It's more important than the bike because the bike will break and you'll want to replace it at some stage. Whereas your body will work one way for its entire life. It will adapt to different things, but your body is still your body, and it still feels the same way. And you might be able to replace your rims or replace your tires, but if you need brakes, then you're in big trouble.

Jill Gaudio  12:59
My advice would be to think about what you want to get out of your training, out of your racing, and what you need help with. If you're running out of gas, if you're tired, I would say definitely do it - it's going to help you exponentially. It's easier to look up a physical training plan online than it is to get proper nutrition advice online. So if you're coming down to (the decision of) a training coach or nutrition coach, I would say a nutrition coach is probably better for you, just because it's easier to figure it out on your own with the training.

Luis Franco Marin  13:33
My advice is don't see nutrition as a separate thing that you have to do as a triathlete. It is actually part of being a triathlete. Life is too short. And you cannot wing it all the time. If you are not getting your nutrition right, you're just wasting precious time. Motivation is great but if you're just motivated, and you have no knowledge whatsoever behind it, you're going to get injuries, and you might have some long term issues. So, life is too short -  get it right!

Taryn Richardson  14:06
Life is too short. I agree. Well, thank you guys so much for joining me on the podcast. I know it's definitely a bit of a deep end dive for all of you to jump on and talk to me about your experiences inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy. It's actually been really eye-opening for me to talk to you about those things - it kind of shows me how well I'm doing, all the areas that I need to improve on too - so thank you so much.

Taryn Richardson  14:28
And if you're listening and you want to join in, and come and meet these three legends, doors are open from April 17 to April 24. So then is your opportunity to come on inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy and start to learn exactly what you need to be eating as a triathlete - to not train for one discipline but to train for three different sports. It's not easy, but with the right frameworks and the structure and having some knowledge and education under your belt, you can start to feel some of the benefits that these guys have been experiencing after only being inside the program for less than 12 weeks.

Taryn Richardson  15:04
So if you want to come and join us, make sure you go to dietitianapproved.com/academy - because doors are only open for eight short days and then they're closed again until August. So stop thinking, start doing and get amongst it!


Taryn Richardson  26:56
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 could 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 at @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 smash it in the fourth leg - nutrition!

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