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The Secrets to a Successful Short-Course Race Season with Triathlete Leigh Yong

Apr 20, 2023

Leigh Yong, a triathlete and clinical physiotherapist based in Victoria, Australia, was recently featured on the Triathlon Nutrition  Academy podcast hosted by Taryn Richardson. 


Leigh shared her triathlon journey, starting from a mini triathlon in Barwon Heads to completing a full Ironman race after three years of training (thanks COVID!). She mentioned that although the Ironman race was a great achievement, she realised that she enjoyed short-course triathlons better, which led her to focus on sprint and Olympic distance events in the 2XU Tri Series. Leigh's endurance base, along with a focus on nutrition, helped her achieve faster times and better results in her age group, with three 5th places and two 3rd place podiums, and a 4th overall ranking in the series.

She shared how, after joining the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, learning how to be nutrition wise and changing her diet to match her training she has improved her performance, training and racing. Apart from eating a proper recovery meal after training, Leigh has implemented other changes in her diet to fuel her body for her demanding routine.



Leigh's job is also physically demanding as she is not confined to a desk job. She works in a clinic and is up on the wards, helping patients and walking around all the time. With this and training for three sports a week, Leigh is not a sedentary person.

She has learned to have a solid breakfast meal since she prefers to do her training in the morning, which she did not always have before. Using what she has learned inside the Academy, Leigh is thankful to have eliminated the uncertainty and mental work of trying to work out what to eat and when. Now that she knows what works for her, and it’s easy for her to adapt, she doesn't have to worry about the energy side of things anymore.

Leigh has also discovered the foods that work best for her and the importance of timing when it comes to recovery. For example, she takes her protein hit straight away with smoothies after her run club sessions, where she can't get home in time to have her recovery meal. No more 'in bed napping after a morning session' and feeling tired. Leigh now understands how to fuel properly for her training rather than worrying about what she eats or how she looks. She eats to fuel her body for performance rather than eating to restrict calories.

Leigh recognises that the meals she had in the past are not enough to fuel her demanding routine, and Leigh has discovered that eating more solid food for breakfast helps her body recover faster. Leigh used to think that her body would improve through adversity if she didn't get enough fuel, but she now knows that her body performs better when she fuels it properly.



Seeing the improvements Leigh has made in regards to her nutrition, Leigh's coach is very supportive of her nutrition goal. He does not believe there is any value in her being on a restricted diet, and has told her not to mess with a good thing. Leigh has already leaned up, and she is performing well and feeling good, so there is no need to change her nutrition plan. Leigh's coach is not just concerned about her performance but is also aware of the nutrition side of things. He believes that nutrition plays a significant role in Leigh's success, and he wants her to continue with what works for her.

Leigh has recently achieved some of her personal bests (PBs) in her sport, and she credits this success, in part, to her change in diet. For example, she has always wanted to get under 50 minutes for her 10km run, but she never achieved it until her final Olympic race in St. Kilda. She also achieved her goal of getting under 5km pace for the fives for every single race this season. Leigh is happy with her achievements and feels that her nutrition plan has helped her reach her goals.



Leigh's change in diet has helped her fuel her body for her demanding routine and improve her performance in her sport. She no longer worries about what to eat and when since she knows what works for her. She is now eating to fuel her body for performance rather than eating to restrict calories.

Leigh is hitting her nutrition goals and believes that nutrition plays a significant role in her success. Leigh's recent achievements in her sport are a testament to the benefits of a proper diet in improving athletic performance.

In speaking with Leigh about her future goals she shared that she prefers the short courses as it gives her balance in life - highlighting the importance of finding what truly motivates you and that it's never too late to switch up your goals and try new things.

Overall, Leigh's journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and finding what works for you and what truly inspires you. Whether you're a seasoned triathlete or just starting out, Leigh's story is sure to inspire and motivate you to pursue your goals with passion and determination.


To dive deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast, EP 90 - The Secrets to a Successful Short-Course Race Season with Triathlete Leigh Yong  

If you are interested in learning more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Program and what it can do for you, head HERE to join! DOORS CLOSE ON SUNDAY!


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