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Ultraman Australia Race Nutrition with Paul & Lisa McDonald

Jul 19, 2024

Meet Lisa and Paul McDonald. We're diving into Paul's recent gruelling experience with Ultraman Australia. Lisa, armed with her expertise as a member of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy (TNA), played a crucial role in equipping Paul for success. In this blog, we'll explore their journey from training and nutrition planning to the actual race and recovery. Get ready for some actionable advice on optimising your performance in long-distance triathlons.

For those unfamiliar, Ultraman is no ordinary triathlon. It's split over three days:

- Day 1: 10km Swim and 140km Bike Ride

- Day 2: 281km Bike Ride

- Day 3: 84.4km Double Marathon

It's an event that challenges the mental and physical limits of even the most seasoned athletes. Paul explained he had a longtime interest in Ultraman but didn’t believe he could achieve those distances at first. However, the more he was exposed to the event as he watched friends compete, the more he realised that these distances were indeed achievable.

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Laura Hoffman reveals her secrets to a 20min PR at Western Massachusetts 70.3

Jul 05, 2024

Have you ever felt like your body just isn’t cooperating, no matter how hard you train or how well you think you’re eating? You’re not alone. Many athletes experience this, and today’s guest, Laura Hoffman, is no exception. Laura previously struggled with iron absorption issues that severely impacted her training but overcame this with tailored nutrition. Recently, she achieved a 20-minute personal record (PR) at the Western Massachusetts 70.3 Ironman, and Laura is sharing how she did it!

Laura shares that her realistic goal for this race was five hours and 45 minutes, but her “super top secret” goal was an ambitious five hours and 30 minutes. Despite facing less-than-ideal conditions, Laura did the unthinkable and crossed the finish line right at 5:30. She described the euphoric moment when she saw the time on the board and realised she had achieved her ultimate goal.

The Game-Changer: Nutrition

The real secret sauce here was a significant...

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What a Sports Dietitian Says About Coca-Cola

Jun 28, 2024

When it comes to sports nutrition, athletes are often bombarded with a plethora of choices. From protein shakes to energy bars and salt tablets, the options seem endless. But what about Coca-Cola as a performance enhancer? You probably didn't see that coming on a sports nutrition blog! But what does a triathlon dietitian have to say about incorporating Coca-Cola into your sports nutrition plan? My opinion may surprise you...

The Role of Sugar in Sports Nutrition

First, let's talk about sugar. Carbohydrates are our primary source of fuel as endurance athletes. During prolonged endurance events, our carbohydrate stores (e.g. glycogen in our muscles) can run low. Making fast acting, simple sugars that are easy to digest a great way to provide quick energy.

Coke contains these simple sugars and can provide us with a quick energy boost. In Australia, for example, Coca-Cola has 10 grams of carbs per 100 ml, making it a more potent source of...

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New research that's blown everything we knew about protein out of the water

Jun 21, 2024

If you want to perform at your best as an endurance athlete, you need to stay on top of your protein intake. For years we’ve had pretty clear guidelines for what works best but a recent study has come out with the potential to completely reshape what we thought we knew.

Previously we believed that consuming more than 20 grams of protein in one sitting was redundant and that any excess would be wasted. Because of this nutrition guidelines were to spread protein intake evenly throughout the day which would optimise muscle protein synthesis. However, this new study challenges that foundational concept. 

What is the new research?

The study was a randomised control trial, widely considered the gold standard in research due to its controlled and double-blind setup. To achieve precise tracking, researchers gave cows isotope amino acid infusions which became incorporated into the milk proteins produced by those cows. Athletes were given different amounts of this traceable milk...

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Is 2000 Calories Enough for a Triathlete?

Jun 07, 2024

When it comes to athletic performance, nutrition plays a pivotal role. For athletes, particularly those engaged in high-intensity endurance sports like triathlons, understanding caloric needs is crucial. One common question that arises is whether 2000 calories per day is sufficient for a triathlete. In this blog post, we will delve into the factors that determine caloric needs and explore whether 2000 calories can adequately fuel an athlete's performance.

Understanding Caloric Needs

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

The first step in determining caloric needs is understanding your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR represents the number of calories your body requires at rest to maintain vital functions such as breathing, circulation and cell production. For most people, BMR accounts for about 60-70% of your total daily energy expenditure. There are various equations to estimate your BMR – we show our athletes which one is the best one for determining BMR in the Triathlon Nutrition...

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Unveiling the Secrets of a Triathlete's Diet

May 17, 2024

In the world of triathlon, relentless training isn't enough—you need the right fuel to power you through not one, but three sports. The triathlete's diet is more than just food; it's a strategic plan that keeps your energy levels up, recovery fast and performance at its best. So let's break down the essentials of what goes into a triathlete’s diet, why it matters and how you can optimise your own nutrition for maximum results.

Why Nutrition is Key for Triathletes

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of a triathlete's diet, let's talk about why nutrition is so crucial for triathlon. Triathlons are not your average Sunday morning jog —they are a test of endurance and stamina, making nutrition a crucial piece of the performance puzzle.

Think of it this way: Would you drive your car across the country on an empty tank? Didn't think so. Your body needs fuel too, and not just any fuel. Premium grade.

A well-balanced triathlon diet ensures you've got the energy to power...

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What Should I Eat as a Triathlete?

May 10, 2024

Triathlons are one of the most challenging (and awesome) multi-sport events, combining swimming, cycling, and running into a single race. Triathletes are dedicated individuals who love to train hard, often balancing training with work and family life. 

They train to test their limits, improve their health, and achieve personal goals. Becoming a triathlete requires a lot of commitment, but it's also incredibly rewarding.

I'm Taryn Richardson, the founder of Dietitian Approved and I’ve been working with triathletes for 15 years, helping them reach their performance goals through my Triathlon Nutrition Academy program. In this article, I'll share insights into what triathletes should eat to boost their performance, aid recovery, and stay hydrated during training and races.

What a Triathlete Eats for Performance

When it comes to triathlon training, nutrition plays a crucial role in providing the energy needed to endure long endurance sessions and high-intensity workouts....

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How Many Calories Should a Triathlete Eat?

May 03, 2024

Triathlon is an endurance sport that requires a significant amount of energy. It consists of three different disciplines: swimming, cycling, and running, all performed in immediate succession over various distances. As such, triathletes need to fuel their bodies appropriately to meet the high energy demands of their rigorous training and competition schedules. This brings us to the question - how many calories should a triathlete eat? In this blog post, we will delve into the world of triathlon nutrition and provide some insights into this important aspect.

Understanding Caloric Needs

The number of calories a triathlete needs can vary greatly depending on several factors including age, gender, weight, body composition, training volume and intensity, goals and medical history. However, as a rough guide, triathletes can require anywhere between 2,500 to 7,000 calories per day (10.4MJ – 29.2MJ). That's a huge range right?!

But there is no one size fits all with nutrition. And your...

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The Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Killing Your Triathlon Race Times

Apr 18, 2024

As a triathlete that loves to push their body to the limit, maintaining a balanced intake of essential nutrients is vital. Unfortunately, nutrient deficiencies are a common problem that can significantly impact your training and racing performance. Sometimes without you even knowing there's a problem!

Ensure you're optimising these three nutrients in your diet as an endurance athlete if you want to train harder and race faster:

Key Nutrient Deficiencies in Triathletes


Iron deficiency is unfortunately prevalent among endurance athletes. It’s a critical component of haemoglobin, which plays a key role in transporting oxygen around the body from your lungs to the working muscles and other tissues. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, characterised by fatigue, tiredness, weakness and a noticeable decline in performance. Triathletes should aim to include iron-rich foods like lean meats, lentils and green leafy vegetables such as spinach in their diet. But...

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Swim Smarter: Expert Tips to Fix Common Technique Mistakes

Feb 23, 2024

Want to transform from flailing to fast and fluid in the water? Effortless Swimming coach Brenton Ford shares his insider view on frequent flaws undermining many triathletes’ swim potential.

As a leading technique guru analysing thousands of underwater videos, he’s honed an eagle eye for subtle things sabotaging speed and efficiency. 


Take note of these common trending mistakes:

Over Rotating

Instagram makes rolling almost 90 degrees tempting. But for efficient forward propulsion, most athletes benefit from a narrower 30-40 degree rotational range using core strength rather than momentum.

Excess drag from pivoting too far simply slows you down. It also stresses the rotator cuff and compromises arm position entering the water. Think "rock the boat" not "capsize the boat"!


Exaggerating Cues

Many triathletes overcook helpful coaching cues into performance-limiting extremes:

High elbow recovery becomes restrictive jamming the arm against the torso rather...

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