photo by orvalrochefort

After a crazy last week with body management clinics, marathon expos and a flight across to America I finally have the 2nd Fundamental to Triathlon Success for you below. This is where I delve into the nutrition side of things. So many myths and mistakes are made with nutrition and it’s my goal to help you unravel them.

We’re aiming for 1+1 equals 5 and that comes about when a great training plan is coupled with a great nutrition plan to make it highly synergistic.

Nutrition Fundamentals

Unfortunately I couldn’t film this fundamental… I’m sitting here in SFO airport on my way to Austin Texas to do some work with Trigger Point Therapy (part of success fundamental #3).

Anyway it’s been a crazy week and I just ran out of time to get this video done so I have reverted to writing this instead.

To recap. In my last video I spoke about success fundamental #1 – the training we undertake and I believe I covered some very important points. If you missed that video, you can watch it by clicking on the link on the right of your page.

Today I want to speak about nutrition and it’s such a huge topic that I won’t be able to cover it all in this blog.

As you may have realised there seems to be a ton of conjecture out there amongst diets and what to eat. Personally I believe we have been fed big fat lies and the rubbish we have been advised with is very likely responsible for a lot of the current health problems we see today.

Unfortunately many athletes and especially endurance ones believe it doesn’t matter what goes into their mouths… because they’re training so much they think that they can literally eat what ever they want. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every time you put something in your mouth, you cause your hormones to change. They will change either for your benefit or your detriment. Our aim is hormonal control that benefits us.

Foods really fall into two categories when we look at system health. They are either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. When we continually put pro-inflammatory foods into our bodies we set up an environment for pain, injury, sickness and disease.

What is really cool and exciting though is we have complete control to switch on or off these pro-inflammatory responses in the kitchen and thus be able to live healthier for longer while also maximising our athletic potential.

The goals of our diet (meaning our daily nutrition not a fad eating phase) should be focused on an anti-inflammatory diet while keeping intake levels to those that support the training we do but not body fat and definitely not chronic disease. You can go to any Ironman and see the fallacy of peoples dietary belief that it doesn’t matter what they eat because of the training load.

Even to those athletes that look the part aren’t immune from sickness and holding onto injury. Actually when I first started the sport I was lean and looking really fit, yet I had never been sicker and seemed to hold on to niggles longer than I should have.

What IF everything we have been told about eating has been wrong! I mean really wrong… Why do we think that being extremely fit means our immune systems have to be on edge? Kinda like saying we can only peak once maybe twice per year. What a load of B.S.

Look at the facts. 50% of every cell in our body is made up of 50% saturated fat. Our advised low fat high carb diet has made our important cell structure resemble swiss cheese. This means that our high carb (pro-inflammatory) low fat diet is keeping us on edge of continual sickness, injury and possibly worse… disease.

Eating well for both health and performance is not easy… This is the REAL world where good things take work.

What we eat day to day should essentially be made up of a few major ingredients optimally balanced at each meal or snack. Lots of colourful vegetables and some fruit, always adding adequate amounts of protein, the right fats (not all are created equal.. blog for another time) and dramatically reducing our reliance on highly processed grains while eliminating sugars from our diet and making up for those calories with nutrient dense vegetables and fruits.

With the right foods and timing you not only increase your health but your athletic potential. The best training in the world can be for naught if your diet is working against you. A great training plan with a great diet becomes a highly synergistic process and 1+1 now equals 5!

I have only scratched the surface but now you need to think and ask yourself the hard questions about what and when you put in your mouth.

Next up we will be discussing another success fundamental.. Body Maintenance.