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Blood Tests for Triathletes - What, When & How Often Should You Get Checked for Optimal Performance?

May 11, 2023

As an endurance athlete, it's important to maintain optimal health and performance levels. One way to check that you’re doing that is to get regular blood tests.


I was asked recently by one of the triathletes in our Dietitian Approved Crew Facebook group my thoughts on the value of blood tests, as there are a lot of companies spruiking these across many platforms at the moment.  While we go into this in depth in the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, I thought it was important enough to share with everyone.

Blood tests can help detect any potential problems early on and allow you to make necessary changes to your diet and training regimen. However, it's important to know which blood tests are necessary and why and, equally as important, how to interpret the results.

First and foremost, the purpose of getting blood tests is prevention. By catching any potential health issues early on, you can avoid serious illnesses or injuries. Additionally, regular blood tests can help...

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Lessons from Ultraman Australia with Denise Wilson

May 04, 2023

Are you wondering what kind of challenge or adventure can push your limits? Ultraman Australia is a triathlon in its longest form, that can take you on a crazy and intense adventure. 


ULTRAMAN AUSTRALIA -  Is a 3 day, 515km/ 320 miles, ultra-endurance event

  • 10km swim (6.2 miles)
  • 421.1km bike (261.4 miles)
  • 84.3km run (52.4miles)

In a recent podcast, Taryn interviewed one of the Academy's athletes, Denise Wilson, who has taken up the challenge of Ultraman Australia, a triathlon that involves a 10km swim and a 140 km ride with 1500m of climbing on Day One. Day Two is a 283 km ride with similar climbing and Day Three tops it all off with a double marathon (with hills)!

Denise, who is 59 years old this year, ran her first marathon in 2007 and took up triathlon in 2012. In order to do Ultraman, you need to qualify and do an Ironman in a timeframe of 14 1/2 half hours. So Denise gave up all the running and learned to swim and ride to qualify for the Ultraman...

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Life of an Elite Australian Triathlete with Emma Jeffcoat

Apr 27, 2023

Australian elite triathlete Emma Jeffcoat shares her journey into triathlon, what it's like being an elite triathlete and her insights into how nutrition played (and still plays) a crucial role in her success.


Emma has achieved amazing feats, including competing in Tokyo 2020, being named the Australian Elite National Champion in 2021, the Australian Elite Super Sprint Champion in 2021, taking gold in the Tizzy World Cup, the Abu Dhabi mixed team relay, the Mooloolaba World Cup, bronze in the Hamburg WTS mixed team relay World Championships in 2019, and winning numerous other races.

She came from a strong swim-focused background, having competed in Surf Life Saving and swimming at the national level. Emma's first triathlon was in Year 12, and she enjoyed it but was fully invested in Surf Life Saving. It wasn't until later, when her coach asked her what she really wanted to do, that she considered triathlon seriously.



Emma shared how COVID-19 affected...

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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...

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Athlete Case Study: From Cyclist to Triathlete with Steve Duquette

Apr 13, 2023

Being a cyclist before getting into triathlon, Steve has valuable insights to share about the nutritional challenges that come with training for three sports instead of one.


Recent podcast guest, Steve Duquette, is a Canadian triathlete from Ontario. Steve has been participating in triathlon for a couple of years and is now preparing to take on his first 70.3 this year. 

When asked about how he fell in love with triathlon, Steve revealed that he was intrigued by the challenge of doing three sports. He was introduced to the sport through his cycling friends who were also participating in triathlons. Steve completed three events last year, including a sprint, a half Ironman, and an Olympic distance. He said he was proud of himself for finishing all three events, but he knew he needed help because he had difficulty completing the runs. Steve sought the help of the Academy program and has been a member for six months now.



Steve shared that the biggest...

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Can Chocolate Improve Endurance Sports Performance?

Apr 06, 2023

It's the Easter long weekend and what better time to talk about chocolate and sports performance.

But before we dive into the topic, let me introduce myself. My name is Taryn, and I am an Advanced Sports Dietitian with a passion for endurance sports. I have been helping athletes of all levels achieve their nutrition goals for over a decade now. If you're interested in improving your triathlon nutrition, I invite you to grab my Triathlon Nutrition Checklist, which is available for free at It's a 50-step checklist that covers everything from pre-workout meals to post-race recovery.



Now, let's talk about chocolate. I know it's not something you would typically associate with triathlon nutrition, but hear me out. In 2015, a paper was published exploring the idea of chocolate and performance, and I think it's worth discussing again. While chocolate is high in calories and sugar, dark chocolate, in particular, contains a number of beneficial...

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NZ Coast to Coast Race Report with Kirsty Howatson

Mar 30, 2023

Kirsty Howatson – a past Triathlon Nutrition Academy athlete who, to date, has only done Phase One lives in New Zealand and, while not technically a triathlete, recently raced the Coast to Coast in February, which is an epic multi day event.  She shared her story.


What is the Coast to Coast event?

The Coast to Coast is a race from the coast of one side of New Zealand to the coast of the other side of New Zealand.

The aim is that you're going to cross the country, which is 243 kilometres on foot, bike and in a kayak.

Over two days there is the Longest Day which is a one day event as well, which is like the world multi sport championship event – essentially the Coast to Coast that needs to be completed within 14 hours.

For the Longest Day, you start at 6 am with a 2.2 km run.

You go into a 55 km bike, which you're allowed to draft in, and then it's 30 kilometers over Goat Pass, which is just one of the passes in the middle of the Southern Alps with 1000...

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Meal Planning and Organisation for the Time Poor Triathlete

Mar 23, 2023

Is nutrition a bit of a blindspot for you?

Do you eat on the fly, winging it with nutrition choices and don’t really have a plan?

Is grocery shopping one of those painful adulting chores you hate and struggle through?


Well, it’s probably time to get your sh!t together in the food department!

If you want to be a successful triathlete, it’s time to get proactive with your nutrition rather than reactive. Which means that spending a little bit of time meal planning and organising your nutrition is key if you want to eat to support triathlon training.

Let me share some tips and tricks with you on how to prioritise your health and nutrition without having to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen or breaking the bank.

Fueling Your Body Like a High-Performance Machine: The Importance of Systematic Meal Planning and Organisation.

When it comes to fueling your body, you don't want to settle for anything less than the best. Just like a high-performance engine...

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The Ultimate Grocery Guide For Triathletes

Mar 16, 2023

Are you a triathlete struggling with grocery shopping? You're not alone.

Many people find it overwhelming and challenging, especially when it comes to picking the healthiest, most nutrient-packed foods at the best price. But don’t stress! I’ve put together the Ultimate Grocery Guide for Triathletes to help you shop SMARTER and FASTER.

As a sports dietitian, I believe that nutrition is the fourth leg of triathlon. You have to swim, bike, run, and eat. My passion is to set you up for success now and in the long term, not just a quick fix. The grocery guide provides the foundations to help you structure your shopping trip to get all the things you need as an endurance athlete.

Here are my top tips:

1. Go in with a plan

As a triathlete – your nutrition differs from the general population – you can’t throw anything in your trolley and hope for the best.

Make a choice for health and performance because nutrition is the make or break when it comes to a...

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New Supplement Alert! Is Bicarb Worth Investing In?

Mar 09, 2023

So, what’s the deal?  What is sodium bicarbonate? How does it work? And is it something you should be looking at?


There’s a new supplement on the market from one of the big supplement companies that markets heavily to triathletes – bicarbonate aka bicarb of soda, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.

Athletes within the Triathlon Nutrition Academy get to dive deep into this during the program, but I thought it was important to provide you with a quick summary – so you can make an informed decision on whether it’s worth the investment.

So, what’s the deal?  What is it? How does it work? And is it something you should be looking at?

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate is produced by the body and it's an integral component of our body's primary pH buffering system.

Also known as bicarb soda or baking soda – a white powder you buy from supermarkets, used in baking to help food rise.

Why would you use sodium bicarb to improve...

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