British ace Jodie Stimpson opens up on her training and nutrition plans

Double Commonwealth gold medallist Jodie Stimpson opens up on training, nutrition and her switch to middle-distance racing

Jodie Stimpson opens up on her training and nutrition plans

Jodie Stimpson has been racing since she was just eight years old. In the years since, she’s won multiple World Series events and impressively won two gold medals at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. We spoke to the 33-year old as she turns her focus to middle-distance racing about her training, nutrition and top tips for tri.

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220: Talk us through a typical day’s training…

Every day is so different, so I’ll just start with the first day of the week. On Mondays, I usually start with an easy 45-50min run. Then it’s onto my first bike session, which is usually around 90mins to two hours.

Then I have a quick lunch, and in the afternoon I’ll jump back on the bike again for another session lasting around 90mins. On most days I’ll have a morning and afternoon session and I mix things up throughout the week, with most time being spent on the bike.

220: How do you approach your nutrition? Are there any must-haves in your daily diet? 

Nutrition is something I’ve really started to focus on as I’ve got older. I’m much more aware of eating the right things to give me energy and keep my immune system working properly. I burn a lot of calories when I’m training and competing, so most of my meals are geared towards refuelling so I get the best out of my sessions!

In terms of must-haves I eat a lot of nut butter – Pip & Nut is my favourite. I also take some supplements; TRR Nutrition Pro Advanced Collagen is something I use daily, before a session, as that protects my bones and joints and aids my recovery. It contains collagen, but also vitamin C for my immune system, and turmeric and ginger which are anti-inflammatory.

220: What does a typical race-day’s fuelling look like?

My race-day fuelling starts two days out where I cut out fibre and concentrate on making sure I’m hydrated. The morning of the race I have rice, a banana and a bit of honey – I try to keep things as simple as possible so it’s gentle on my stomach.

Leading up to the race I sip on Maurten 160 Sports Fuel drinks, then during the race, if it’s a 70.3, I’ll try to get through two of the 320 Maurten bottles and another 500ml of water, depending on how hot it is. During the run I’ll have two Maurten gels.

Post-race I’ll have some sort of protein shake as soon as possible. My post-race meal is usually just whatever I want! My go to is a chicken Caesar salad and chips or a burger and chips.

220: What’s your favourite swim, bike and run session and why?

Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images
Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images

For my swim it would be a short rest set where I can get into a rhythm and just keep going – something like numerous 100m cycles at 1:20mins. Or open-water swimming if the weather is good, which is not that often in the UK!

On the bike I like long TT efforts or a long threshold pace session where you hold a heart rate for a sustained period of time. I like mixing it up on a crit course, putting in the effort in the group and being tactical on positions.

With the run, 100% it’s a long run.

220: Do you include any other type of training? If so, what are the benefits for you?

I do a gym session at least two times per week. Most recently this is geared towards injury prevention, but I also really feel the benefits in the run where the strength and conditioning definitely helps me to feel stronger.

220: What’s your top training tip for beginners to triathlon?

Don’t make things too complicated at the beginning, just work on your fitness and enjoy building that up. You can look to become more specific as you become fitter and introduce technical changes across the disciplines.

Find more advice in our beginner section

220: Any top tips for a good night’s sleep?

I always make the room as dark as possible an hour before I want to go to sleep and I find that really helps me drift off. I also think having a bit of a routine is good, so your body gets used to going to bed at a certain time.

220: What about travelling abroad to race, how do you adjust to the time difference?

Jodie Stimpson racing at Challenge Bahrain
Credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon

When I’m traveling and changing time zones, I adjust my watch as soon as I get on the plane to my end location and straight away try to be on the new time zone. If it’s a night flight I will have a quick nap, but I do try to stay awake.

For me it’s important to operate on the new time zone as soon as I possibly can so I’m not losing any training time sleeping in the day or trying to catch up.

220: What are you most and least enjoying about your shift up to middle-distance training?

I’m really enjoying learning the new distance. It’s like a new sport, which is really weird considering I’ve been doing triathlon for 24 years.

The least enjoyable is the frustrating process of moving my road bike power position to the TT bike!

220: What’s been the hardest thing to adapt to at this distance?

The TT bike is so different to the road bike. It’s been quite a learning curve getting used to that, but I’m getting there.

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220: What’s going to be your training focus over the coming year?

My focus hasn’t really changed. I’m working on improving my swimming, cycling and running to get faster in all three; 70.3 is becoming more and more fast-paced and I’ve got a lot of work to do to compete with these strong women.