I've just come to the end of my second season in tri and knowing that I'm in it for the long haul (read obsessed), I've decided to up my game and actually aim to be good at it. I have a coach who is amazing and who keeps me on track. In only eight weeks with him my improvement is almost frightening.
However, there is something that I'm really struggling with and yet I know will slow my progress down...nutrition.
I've been running long distance up to marathon since 2007, and now completed five triathlon super sprints. But my weakness has always been that I'm utterly greedy and have always struggled to give up the maltesars, cadbury wispas and cheeky Friday night curry. That said, please don't think my diet is diabolical - I eat a s**t load of fruit and veg, protein (chicken, eggs) and dairy - but I balance it all out with utter rubbish!
Does anyone else suffer with their nutrition?? Please don't say I'm the only chocolate addict in the tri community...
Anyone that follows me on Twitter will know I'm a fellow Maltesers addict.... So you're not alone!
You say you eat a lot of healthy food too and you seem to have a good knowledge of what you should and shouldn't be eating. So I guess the question is how much are your treats affecting your training? If you're hitting your training/racing goals, are a healthy weight for you and your weight is remaining constant, then maybe you're not doing as badly as you think. After all, we earn the odd treat training so hard!
We run a monthly diet analyis page in 220, if you'd be keen to be a case study and have dietician Nigel Mitchell offer you some advice? Just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayles - it sounds like your nutrition "strategy" is similar to mine. Trying to make sure there are plenty of good staples, wholegrains, proteins, and colourful veg but this invariably gets supplemented with high calorie nutrient dense crap...
I personally don't find this to be the end of the world - afterall, just imagine eating enough "good" calories to add on what can easily be 700 to 1000 calories a day earnt through training - I can't (and don't want to) eat that much extra (predominantly carb)
Hayles - how are you getting on with this?
As an update, I did the Bristol to Bath marathon at the weekend and my sister made me a cake to celebrate.... Check out the number of Maltesers on this!!
Have a read of Scott Jurek (Eat and Run), Brendan Brazier (Thrive) and Rich Roll (Finding Ultra) to name a few books which might help. They have transformed my eating habits and helped me steer clear of the 'rubbish'. If you want to take it further, Patrick Holford's Optimum Nutrition is a great book for understanding what your body needs and how certain foods actually inhibit absorption of nutrients. I went completely plant based mainly for ethical and environmental reasons but on reading these books, I also think it's the best thing for me health-wise as well. Worth a read at least, either if you don't go for the full change in diet, the SJ and RR books are great reads purely on the inspirational/performance front.
Awesome cake Helen,
I think you have to decide if your body is telling you that you 'need' this food or do you think you 'deserve' this treat for working out so hard. If it is the former then work on your diet and if you eat lots of protein/fruit what about carbs? If it is the latter then the solution is mind over matter. But it is important to keep a healthy attitude towards food and that you are always allowed 'treats ' etc jut not all the time.
Also it would be interesting to know why you think your nutrition is letting you down. Do you have the energy to complete your sessions? Are you still making improvements your coach expects? Are you recovering from you big sessions?
All the best with the training!
Hayley! I have the exact same problem, I want to eat healthily and enjoy eating healthily but struggle to find what to eat at lunchtimes and fall in to a black hole of bad convenience lunches and snacking because I'm SO HUNGRY all of the time from training. In turn, I'm pretty sure my training is suffering. If you've found a way to 'solve' it please let me know!! Inspiration needed :/
Make your own lunch (healthy) each day so you have the right foods in front of you when you are hungry. If you can't cook/heat things up, choose foods that can be eaten as they are so you can at least graze a little before lunch so you're not so hungry/tempted to eat the wrong things when you have to choose.
Have you tried freezing several bananas then blending them together with a little vanilla extract/cinnamon? Makes an ice-cream like dessert which is amazing with no added sugar. I usually blend some fresh strawberries or mango and then mix it together - seriously good and just fruit!
I have the same issues! I know what I'm supposed to eat and on good days I will do exactly what I'm suposed to do. However on bad days, especially after a long session the day before, I pretty much eat anything I can get my hands on!
I also work shifts and tend to pick at chocolate and cakes on nights but even if I take the right food in, I'll eat that and then some chocs!
It seems we are not alone, but it's still frustrating nonetheless.
As for answers....sorry I don't have to them!!!