Proper fueling is essential for triathletes to get optimal performance during intense training and competitions. Some athletes, like Jody Walker, find themselves without an appetite, making it challenging to consume the necessary calories and nutrients. Jody joins me on the podcast for the third time today, to share her experience and the strategies she implements to overcome this hurdle.
Before joining the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, Jody’s diet was designed around naturopathic principles, and while she ate good food it wasn’t suitable for triathlon training. One big issue was her high fiber intake, which left her feeling full and made it difficult to consume sufficient carbohydrates for optimal training and recovery. To combat this, Jody shifted to lower-fiber options and adjusted her carbohydrate sources, helping her feel more comfortable and meet her energy needs.
To combat her lack of appetite and ensure she consumes enough carbohydrates, Jody adopted the strategy of drinking her calories. She found success in using smoothies and recovery formulas immediately after training sessions when eating solid foods felt challenging. This approach allowed her to meet her nutritional needs even when her appetite was low.
Jody also mentions that she had to let go of her initial resistance to using sports nutrition products like gels and recovery formulas, realizing their value in supporting her performance and recovery.
Despite her struggles with appetite and numerous injuries, Jody has managed to maintain her consistency and commitment to triathlon. One key to this has been journaling. By documenting her training sessions, menstrual cycle, sleep quality, stress levels, and nutritional choices, she was able to identify why certain days felt more challenging than others, and make adjustments.
She also emphasizes the importance of finding joy and flexibility in training. While having big goals and pushing yourself is important, it's also crucial to adapt to changing circumstances and prioritize your health.
Fueling for a triathlon when you have no appetite can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Jody’s story is a reminder that with determination and the right strategies, athletes can overcome any challenge that comes their way.