Kona qualifier’s weekly food diary

Age-grouper Liz Pinches fuels up for Kona this October


London-based project manager Liz Pinches shares her weekly food diary, as she prepares to race at the Ironman Hawaii/Kona World Championship this October.


To read more about Liz’s tri background and her preparations for Kona, please click here.

My food diary is planned around whether it’s a working day or a training day.

Often I eat meals at late times after a big day’s training. I carry nuts and cereal bars or granola with me as snacks in case the gaps between meals get too big.

I also take on protein shakes if I’ve done heavy weights or a really tough track or hill-climbing ride.

Mon, Tues, Thursday (at work in the office)

Breakfast 6am – one bagel or banana with honey. Mug of tea.

Swim or run for 1 hour.

Post-swim breakfast 8:30am – porridge with nuts, dried fruit and agave nectar. Coffee.

Mid-morning snack 10:30am – yoghurt and granola with fresh blueberries, strawberries or other fruit. More coffee.

Lunch 12:30pm – baked potato with chicken or bean sauce (casserole) or a salad with nuts, some chicken breast meat and pulses e.g. pearl barley or couscous. 750ml of fruit juice or water.

Afternoon snack 5pm banana and/or cereal bar

Training at either 6:30pm or 7:30pm

Evening meal at about 8:30 or 9pm. A few pieces of chocolate. Sometimes I have a glass of red with my evening meal. Throughout the winter offseason I do this, and when on training camps, but it gets more sporadic in the summer.

Wednesday, Friday and weekends

Breakfast 7am – big bowl of porridge with nuts, dried or fresh fruit and yoghurt. Tea or coffee.

If it’s a morning swim, then a bowl of granola and yoghurt/fresh fruit after swim and before bike.

Powerbar bars and gels during training.

Lunch – around 2pm, depending on how long training is. A big serving of pasta or rice with home made sauce, e.g. chicken red curry, with coconut milk in, aubergine, mushrooms and peppers. Or homemade lasagne.

Evening meals this week, as an example:

Monday: Grilled whole sea bass with risotto, and a green salad.

Tuesday: Turkey stir fried with black bean sauce, noodles, mushrooms, fresh peas and asparagus. Whole wheat noodles.

Weds: salmon fillet, lightly smoked with a salad of avocado, rocket and plum tomatoes. Pearl barley with pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and peas.

Thurs: Chicken or Halloumi fajitas, made with fresh ingredients, soured cream, homemade guacamole and salsa. Fresh fruit and yoghurt for dessert. Rice and beans on the side.

Fri: Homemade beef lasagne, with spinach layers, ricotta, courgette and aubergine. Green salad with nuts and peas.

Saturday: Steak plus a salad of butternut squash, sundried tomatoes, red onions and goats cheese on spinach. Baked sweet potatoes. This is my treat!

Sunday: Lamb chops, couscous made with apricots, mushrooms and Moroccan spices. Tomato and avocado salad with red onion.


To read more about Liz Pinches and see what advice Ironman legend Chrissie Wellington had for her, pick up a copy of issue 291 (October 2013) of 220 Triathlon magazine, on sale now…