What to Eat Before the Swansea Tri-Athlon

If you’re planning to take part in the Swansea TriAthlon on 20th May, whether you’re a newbie or and experienced tri-athlete, you need to make sure that you eat properly in the build up to the race.

So with less than a month to go, the team at Sharks Swim and Tri Shop have come up with some advice and guidance to help you fuel up and improve your performance.

One Month Before the Swansea TriAthlon

Swansea TriathlonAs your workouts start to get longer and harder, you will need to eat more carbs to ensure your body is storing glycogen and to give you more energy.  So before you start a workout, eat whole food carbs, like brown rice or pasta, and then when you cool down, have a few more of these healthy carbs along with some protein like fish or chicken.

If you are working out for more than two hours, then don’t’ wait until you’ve finished to fill up on your energy reserves. As you can burn up to 1000 calories during moderate to high-levels of training and your body can only store a certain amount of carbs, then need to fuel up an on ongoing basis.  Sports gels or beans are ideal as they are easy to during the workout and contain simple carbs which will give you the right type of energy to continue working out.

It’s also a good idea to eat a wide range of food colours (ie different types of fruit and veg) as by eating a range of fresh products, you will be replenishing your body with the antioxidants that you lose during training.  You can also supplement your diet with Multivitamins and make sure you get at least eight hours sleep at night to give your body time to recuperate from your workouts.

It’s worth planning some longer work outs before the actual event to see which different food and nutritional options suit you the best.  At this stage, you should not be taking in too much fibre but focussing on carbs as previously mentioned.  Again, sports gels and beans are easy to carry whilst running or cycling and will give you the extra carbs you need during the course.

Record your weight before and after each training session to make sure you’re not losing 2 to 3% of your body weight during your work out.  If your body loses too much fluid, you’ll not only find it harder to train but you could affect your health too.  By weighing in this way, you can ensure you are always drinking the right amount of water which will also help you plan for race day.

One Week before the Swansea TriAthlon

Swansea triathlonYou need to start hydrating now as the morning of the race is too late to start thinking about your hydration strategy. Start drinking between 2 and 2.5 litres of water a day depending on your activity level.  If you carry a large bottle of water with you all day then you’ll find it easier to keeping taking in the water over a 24 hours period.  You should also avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, as they can cause dehydration.

Now’s also the time to load up on carbs so that your body is packed full of glycogen on race day.  This means that you won’t run out of reserves during the event.  On average, at three days before the race, start taking in around 3.5 to 4.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. Mueller advises. So, if you weigh 150 pounds (or 68 kilos), consume between 525 and 675 grams of carbohydrates each day leading up to your race. 

As mentioned previously, the types of carbs that you consume are very important. You should be eating easily digestible, simple carbs that are low in fibre. You can also add white grains to your diet now like white rice, bread and potatoes. Fruits like banana, mango and melons are also good.

On Race Day

Start the day by filling up your engine!  Eat low-fibre carbs and a small amount of protein to help stabilise your blood sugar. A slice of plain toast with peanut butter, smoothie, pulp-free juice, yogurt, mango, or a nutrition bar can all be part of a great pre-race breakfast. Don’t eat less than two hours before race time to prevent your digestive system from competing with the rest of your body for oxygen; it takes at least one hour to process every 200 to 300 calories you consume.

During the race, stay focussed on your plan (which you should have written down) including what you eat for breakfast to your mid-race gel packs.  And no matter how keen you are cross the finish line, don’t skip the water stops.  Not drinking enough water is the biggest nutritional mistake that a triathlete can make. Dehydration can lead to cramping, headaches, dizziness, and nausea, all of which can slow you down more than grabbing a cup from the side lines.

Once the race is over, despite the urge to head straight for the beer garden, your first line of liquid nutrition should be alcohol-free.  You also need to build back up your carbs in the form of a smoothie or sports drink, which also help to replenish the fluids in your body.

Sharks Swim Shop

Swansea triathlonAt Sharks Swim Shop, we can not only supply triathletes with a range of clothing and equipment ahead of the big race, but we also offer a range of hydration, energy and recovery gels and drinks to help you get through this year’s Swansea TriAthlon.   To find out, visit our online shop by clicking on the image below or call into Sharks Swim Shop at Sketty Cross:

Swansea Triathlon


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