7 Rules to Fuel Properly When Short on Time

by The Coaches on July 11, 2018

Special Thanks to fellow coach
Balancing triathlon training, work and family is inherently challenging, but as athletes we sometimes drop the ball on nutrition — often referred to as the “fourth discipline.” Failing to follow a good nutrition routine can severely impact your training and performance. Nutrition is crucial when it comes to functioning and performing at your best, and is often the cause when you have shortcomings during competition or training. Triathletes are already pressed for time as it is, but keep these simple, noninvasive rules in mind to keep your nutrition on track.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
How you start the beginning of each day can set you up for success or failure. You’ve heard it a million times, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it fosters healthy energy levels for the rest of the day. Your breakfast should be a combination of lean protein, good fats and carbohydrates. This may sound like a lot of work to cook or prepare on your own, but we’ve included a few suitable packaged items to help get you off to a good start.

Oats Overnight
This solution makes breakfast easy! This unique spin of overnight oats is packed with protein and laced with healthy fats. Specifically formulated to get you going on the right track each morning, these easy single-serve packets are easy to prepare the night before by simply adding milk.

Learn more, here.

Kite Hill Greek-Style Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt
Kite Hill creates a wide variety of food products that range from ravioli to cream cheese, using almond milk instead dairy. Their yogurt is a great on-the-go product because it has good protein content, it’s easy to digest and totally portable. You just need to bring the spoon!

Learn more, here.

Sometimes, there just simply isn’t time to sit down to eat. RXBAR bars are made of wholefood ingredients like egg whites, fruits and nuts. There are 12 grams of protein and three grams of fiber in each bar — both satisfying and energizing when you are short on time.

Learn more, here.

Snack Happy
Snacking throughout the day is just as important as regular meals. Protein-packed snacks are key for recovery and repairing damaged muscles and tissues. Bars or protein powder may seem like the most feasible options when it comes to convenience, but we’ve included a few options that are easy to prepare and throw in your bag.

Hummus is a good source of protein, fiber and healthy fat. This is a snack that can be easily packed in a reusable plastic container or bought in small snack packs at the grocery store. Add some raw veggies like carrots, bell peppers or zucchini for extra flavor and nutrients.

Hard-boiled Egg
A hard-boiled egg is a complete protein snack that can be prepared in bulk ahead of time. Eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties that help repair your joints, muscles and tendons.

Keeping a small container or resealable bag filled with protein-rich nuts like walnuts, peanuts or pistachios on hand is sure way to be satisfied while making a healthy snack choice. These can be kept in your drawer at work or in your car glove box for an emergency calorie stash.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Thought this list would only be about food? Wrong. Hydration is one of the most important parts of a healthy nutrition routine. Staying hydrated helps with proper nutrient absorption and helps promote healthy digestion. Pay attention to your thirst level and try to alternate plain water with a low-sugar electrolyte drink to make sure you are on top of keeping all your salts and minerals in check.
Just like when we prepare our gear for workouts, food prep is key for fueling on-the-go. Quick items that aren’t temperature sensitive (like a classic PB&J) are easy to prepare or purchase. Other items, like tuna to throw on top of salad greens, is simple and doesn’t involve too much cleaning. You can also consider making larger batches to prepare and freeze ahead of time like chicken, turkey or fish (salmon, cod, tilapia). Help minimize a bad fuel choice by staying ahead with preparation.
Eat Fruits and Veggies Daily
Eating two to three servings of fruits or veggies daily can help optimize nutrient intake and are perfect for quick snacks when you are short on time and want to avoid anything to heavy before exercising.

Cherries are an antioxidant-rich option that aids in recovery and performance.
Bananas are a great pre- and post-workout snack that are portable and easy to digest. They are loaded with potassium and help regulate your digestion. They are also high in vitamin B6 that has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Kale has high levels of vitamins A, B6, K, calcium and iron. This popular vegetable also has anti-inflammatory benefits and contains carotenoids and flavonoids — two powerhouse antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress. Add some tuna and you have a quick, nutritious meal.
Time Your Meals
As triathletes, it’s important to time your meals to benefit your training sessions. Shoot to eat something about one to three hours before training, and eat something about 30 minutes to one hour after working out for optimal post-workout recovery. This is the optimal window for your muscles to accept nutrients and start to recover.

Always have a Backup
There will be times when things just don’t go as planned, so it’s important to have an emergency stash of bars, nut mix or protein powder in your car, gym or workplace to make sure you always have a good fueling option available — even when you’re having an off day.

Don’t forget, your food is your fuel and poor training can often be a result of poor eating. Help yourself minimize these bad days by following this short list of rules to keep your nutrition consistent and balanced. Happy training and happy eating!

Daniela Villegas is a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. She has over 15 years of competitive swimming experience. She is the assistant coach for Triathlon Training Team, based out of Long Beach, California.


Triathlete of the month spotlight: Doug Scott

by The Coaches on June 8, 2018

Interview with Doug Scott

Sports in high school: In high school I played a variety of sports ranging from baseball, and football to swimming. In college I competed in powerlifting and Olympic style weight liting. After college I got into martial arts and practice for almost 10 years. I studied various arts including Karate, Ju-Jitsu, and a little Judo.

I started Triathlon less than a year ago. My first “triathlon workout” was September 1 2017. I am very much a beginner and had to learn a lot in a short period of time. I haven’t ridden a bike since I was a kid.

What attracted me to sport was the physical and mental challenge, that comes with being proficient in three separate sports at the same time. I also like the the discipline of training and seeing how far I can push my body.

I have only competed in one race so far but my second will be Ironman Lake Placid in July 2018. If you are going to do something go all in and make it big :)

With so little race experience I can’t really answer what is my favorite race is. However, my favorite experience is being able to get out at lunch and run 8+ miles and get back ready for a busy afternoon; or, the first time I did a bike workout I could barely stay sitting for a whole hour, now I can ride 4-5 hours in the aero position. So my favorite thing about triathlon is being able to do things I was not able to do a year ago.

Why do I race? I love to compete. I love to push myself. I don’t care about race results or podium finishes. What drives me is the day to day grind of training. The waking up early to swim and run. Building your week around to get a long ride in. Racing is fun, but I love the training!

I am the Director of Strength and Conditioning for The Pingry School. I build the in season and off season weight training and conditioning programs for all of you Varsity and JV teams.

Does triathlon help me at my job? Yes, focused and working towards a goal are all important aspects of coaching and teaching. I ask the athletes I work with every day to give their best effort and don’t miss training sessions and take care of you body. When they see their coach living it every day it goes a long way.

Yes my family is very supportive of me. I am single dad of two girls, so that presents some challenges and sometimes workouts need to be adjusted. However, I try to include my daughters in to as much as the training as possible. My 9 year old would wake up early and we would watch movies during the long winter trainer rides. She would also make sure all my reflective running gear was laid out before she would go to bed and I would go run. While on the outside triathlon is an individual event I would not be able to do it with out my oldest staying home to babysit or walk the dog while your out on a 3 hour run. Not to mention making recovery pancakes together after a workout!

I guess an important thing about me is that I am always striving to do more, go further, challenge myself. I look forward to continuing the sport of triathlon and seeing where it takes me, how far and how fast can I go. Training and competing gives me focus and clarity in all aspects of my life. Taking a mountainous task and breaking it down into small chunks and going at it a little each day until you’ve reached your goal. To me, that’s living!


Triathlete of the month spotlight: Leon Herszon

by The Coaches on May 9, 2018

What type of sports (if any) did you compete in during HS/College? Tennis and rowing

When did you start in the sport of Triathlon? In September 2012, I did the Skylands sprint race.

What attracted you to the sport? I wanted to do something challenging and racing three different sports together had a great appeal.

How many races have you competed in? Several dozen Sprints, a dozen or so Olympics, 7 half-IMs and 3 full-IMs.

What is your favorite race? IM Lake Placid brings me great memories! It has a challenging course but the scenery and spectators are unbeatable (at least comparing with the ones I attended).

What is your favorite memory? I have two. When I crossed the finish line on my first Ironman race (Chattanooga) and when I was ready to give up after the bike portion on IM Lake Placid but saw my family rooting for me..that gave me the energy needed to finish the race!

Why do you race? Several reasons: I always practiced sports to add balance to a busy life; to have a healthier life style; and because 25 years ago a doctor said I would never be able to run or ride a bike again due to some serious back issue – he was wrong!

What do you do for a living? I manage global business for a training company and head its agile initiative.

Does triathlon help you in your job? Yes, it allows me time to reflect and analyze problems during long workouts.

Is your family supportive or your “habit”? I am blessed by having such supporting and understandable family. My wife actually goes to all races, always waiting for me at the finish line! She is the best!!

If you could tell us one important thing about you, life, the sport or anything…What would it be? I was on a fast-track career path for one of the largest companies in the world, working 14-16 hours a day and convincing myself that I was doing this for my family. The result is that I missed many important moments of my family’s life, got overstressed, and impacted my health. Then I realized that one needs to find balance i– family/friends, work/education, health/sports, and spiritual life. Any excess or absence in one of these can bring negative consequences. I think we have to consider all these aspects to have a better quality of life.


Post-workout YOGA poses

March 21, 2018

9 Post-Run Yoga Poses to Relieve Lower Back Pain By Dana Meltzer Zepeda Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest You’ve logged your miles for the day, so why is it that you feel worse than you did before you started? Despite the physical and spiritual benefits of running, there’s no denying that [...]

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8 Core Exercises to improve your SWIM

March 9, 2018

Please see this article fro Active along with videos to strengthen your core (specifically your swim core). https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/8-core-exercises-to-improve-your-swim?cmp=18N-PB2000-S20-T9-triathlon-AR3&eps=title_529102 Best, The coaches

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Are You Eating Enough?

January 25, 2018

NOVEMBER 13, 2017 BY LINDSAY ZEMBA LEIGH The majority of triathletes and runners are always striving to be leaner and reach their fastest “race weight,” both within the season and in the off-season. It is absolutely true that the leaner you are, the faster you can run and bike—at least to a point. But eating [...]

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December 31, 2017

As many take this time to set goals for the new year…don’t forget to reflect back on the year we leave behind. As triathletes (and TYPE A athletes) we focus on goals, numbers, statistics, etc…I was thrilled to punch in my Training Peaks chart yesterday to see that I swam, biked and ran enough miles [...]

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Accountability in 2018 (Repeat of December 2016 post)

December 1, 2017

accountability [uh-koun-tuh-bil-i-tee] noun 1- the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable. As triathletes are often type A personalities or self starters, at times, they need accountability. That “accountability” can take many forms. For some, it can be performance in a race, for some it can be answering to a coach or training partners and [...]

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Season ending and recap

September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day! The 2017 season is coming to a close and Start-tri athletes as well as training friends/partners had a great summer with a few more races to finish out the season. This summer brought numerous finishers at sprint triathlons, half-ironman and ironman races as well as the world championships in Penticton, British Columbia. [...]

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Start-tri Athlete of the Month August Spotlight:Mike Tropea

August 9, 2017

Mike just completed Ironman Lake Placid several weeks ago on a journey with a very good friend of his…Bernie Garruppo. What type of sports (if any) did you compete in during HS/College?: Soccer and Lacrosse in High School; Lacrosse in College When did you start in the sport of Triathlon? 2013 What attracted you to [...]

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