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The Key Ingredients You Need to Become a Successful Triathlete

Apr 21, 2022

The Key Ingredients You Need to Become a Successful Triathlete

There are many key ingredients to focus on if you’re wanting to train harder, feel better, and become the best triathlete you can be. 

These aspects will not only propel you to become a successful triathlete, but will also translate into having greater energy throughout your day to day life. 


Ingredient One: Train with Purpose

  • The multiple discipline to train (swimming, biking and running) makes this an essential aspect to focus on, as this requires a lot of time and means you need to be smart with your training
  • Find someone that is qualified in the space who can help optimally periodise your training

     - Exercise physiologist

     - Triathlon coach


Ingredient Two: Find Your Community

  • Triathlon can be quite isolating, so having a squad, group, or training buddies can help mitigate the overwhelming and intimidating aspects of the sport
  • You'll be in a non-judgmental space
  • You'll be given the opportunity to ask questions to more experienced individuals around you
  • This can provide you with ideas and inspirations about what might work for you
  • You'll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who love the sport


Ingredient Three: Periodise Your Nutrition (Nutrition Variation)

  • Just like your training, you need to have a periodised approach to nutrition
  • Nutrition needs to be adapted depending on the day

     - This will maximise your energy, time, money and recovery

  • This plan needs to evolve over time based on your goals
  • Not all days are the same i.e. long sessions, double sessions, light sessions, rest days etc. and should be adjusted for accordingly
  • Your weekdays vs weekends may be very different (i.e. eating out more, being social etc.), therefore it’s important to plan ahead


Ingredient Four: Start with the Foundations

  • Start with the fundamentals before focusing on the latest supplements

     - In most cases the supplements will do very little anyway

     - Focusing on the foundations will fast track your success

     - You will learn the science and practicalities of what you need to be eating each day


Ingredient Five: Recovery Nutrition

(For more information on recovery nutrition, visit episode 4 of the podcast)

  • This is key as there is far less recovery time for triathlon training compared to other sports
  • Make the hard work in training worth it

     - We only adapt from sessions we recover from

  • Focusing on recovery nutrition will

     - Optimise performance for following sessions

     - Adequately support your immune system

     - Decrease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)

     - Support muscle recovery and repair

     - Support hydration

  • This is individualised so find what works for you


Ingredient Six: Prioritise Sleep

  • Prioritise the quantity and quality of sleep
  • Triathletes often have a problem of overtraining and under sleeping
  • Sleep is the ultimate form of recovery

     - Inadequate sleep will translate into worse training sessions

  • Try to limit screen time at night

     - Avoid watching TV or using your phone after a certain time e.g. 6pm

     - This will help you fall asleep faster

  • Reduce caffeine intake in the afternoons


Ingredient Seven: Sufficiently Fueling Long Sessions

  • Education around this is essential for any triathlete to understand the different types of fuel and how to match your training load
  • Undereating is often a strategy used in desire to drop body fat, however this isn't effective, and will hinder performance

     - Eating more will allow you to train harder, and ultimately burn more calories

  • Fueling properly will maximise all parts of training

     - Hydration and glycogen levels will be adequate to sustain long sessions

     - Nailing the digestion and absorption process will prevent potential nausea


To go deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Podcast Episode 22: The Key Ingredients You Need to Become a Successful Triathlete




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