I’m a big advocate for triathletes implementing strength into their training program. But not many do it!
Maybe it’s because you’re worried about getting too sore, putting on too much muscle mass and affecting your power to weight ratio, you have zero time, or maybe it’s because you have no idea what you should be doing!
As an Advanced Sports Dietitian, this is not my area of expertise, so recently I asked Exercise Physiologist, Huw Darnell, who specialises in strength and rehabilitation for triathletes, to join me on my podcast.
Huw is all about building bulletproof bodies that are injury resilient with greater capacity. Exactly what you need - to be strong and injury-free heading into race season!
Here’s a little of what he shared (and for the full story check out EP 42 of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast): Episode 42 - Why every triathlete should be doing strength training with Exercise Physiologist Huw Darnell
Why should every triathlete...
As an endurance athlete, ahead of a race you’ve done everything else to prepare – you train your arse off, have your nutrition dialled in, have the fast wheels, shaved down, done all the things BUT if your mind is not in it, your race performance is not likely to result in what you’re truly capable of.
Who doesn’t need practical strategies to prepare mentally for race day? To quieten down pre-race nerves, get out of a dark hole during a race and ultimately achieve your goal.
My podcast guest, Physiotherapist, Running Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, qualified PT and Mindset and Performance Coach, Trang Nguyen shared some great strategies to implement to mentally prepare for a race.
Weeks and even months before
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (or BIA) scans are popping up in just about every gym and I’ve even seen some health professional clinics offering them as a service.
They’re advertised as a quick and affordable way to accurately measure your body composition i.e. how much muscle, fat and bone tissue you’re made up of.
But if an athlete of mine brings me a scan to interpret, I tell them to throw it in the bin!
BIA stands for Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. You see them at gyms – they're those little scales that you can either stand on or hold on to (or both) that give you a report to tell you what you're made up of. They’re really popular for the before and afters in Gym Challenges.
It sends an electrical current through the body....
Are you frustrated you can’t seem to reach your body composition goals? You train more than most people but still have a little excess body fat to lose.
Are you constantly trying to eat a little less to burn more fat and end up starving all the time? Or absolutely wrecked after training?
That is definitely no way to live
But don't stress, you're not alone. A lot of athletes who I work with struggle with the same challenges.
To lose body fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. It's as simple as that. You need to consume less energy than you're burning. But the types of foods that you're consuming are really important as well.
Body composition is an aspect many triathletes really struggle with. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be leaner and faster, but changes without appropriate assessment and regular adjustments can often lead to performance detriments.
Here are some practicalities around how to manipulate your body composition as a triathlete, how to decide whether it’s useful, and how to accurately measure it.
If you are looking to improve your health or enhance your performance this year, it might be time to invest in a Dietitian. But finding the right person can be overwhelming and confusing.
Welcome to 2022!
I hope you all had a lovely break. I'm feeling pretty refreshed actually and ready for an awesome year ahead. I always have lots of really good ideas when I get to take the opportunity to step away for a bit. So I've got some pretty exciting things planned.
To set the scene for the year, I just wanted to give you some tips to help you actually achieve your health and fitness goals and stay on track. Instead of smashing it really hard at the start, going too hard, too fast and losing puff by February.
This is why you need to ditch the diet and detox mentality this year...
Before I take my one and only break for the year, I want to leave you with five tips to help you survive the silly season. I find that most people just completely switch off and let go of their healthy lifestyle and fitness goals as soon as December hits. We overindulge on delicious food and alcohol, are way more sedentary and just accept that 2kg weight gain is inevitable. Knowing that we’ll hit the diet or detox hard come January.
I'm not here to tell you to be strict and not enjoy all of the delicacies. I really want you to enjoy this time. But I challenge you to change your attitude this year and implement my top five tips for surviving the festive season without having a massive blowout.
1. Aim For Balance
I wanted to take you behind the scenes a little bit at Dietitian Approved and the Triathlon Nutrition Academy and give you some insight into what's been happening this year. The highs and the lows, the lessons I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes at our plans for 2022.
Today on coffee & questions I answered Shane & Bec's questions on alcohol and its place in the week when it comes to exercise and performance.
Can I have a drink after my race?
Is there a way to be sensible with alcohol intake?
What effects does alcohol have on exercise performance?
I'm not here to say don't ever drink but from the perspective of a dietitian... Alcohol is a toxin.
We don't store it anywhere - it gets processed in the liver and burnt off in preference to anything else as we try and get rid of it out of the body
It's used as a social lubricant and is a socially acceptable toxin
My advice will differ depending on who you are and what your overall goals are. Find a balance between drinking and exercise performance depending on who you are and what your goals are
Alcohol equals energy - calories or kilojoules
Alcohol = 29kJ/gram
It also depends on what calories you're drinking it with - e.g. soda water or full-fat coke