Friday, 13 January 2017

Should You Believe All diets?

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With so many different ways of fuelling your body and many different options available to the athlete seeking to fuel their training, what actually works? Below we look at a few different methods that we have seen many athletes talking about recently. It is very much down to you to make your opinion of them but remember nutrition is the fourth discipline of triathlon, so you need to get it right!

High fat, Low Carbohydrate diet

Ketagenic is, in simple terms, a diet where you consume a higher proportion of fat and very little carbohydrates in the effort to use fat as your main energy system. The thinking behind this approach is that it is said the human body holds a virtually unlimited source of fat compared to about 2 hours worth of carbohydrate.

Studies on ultra-runners who followed a high fat diet compared to ultra-runners who followed a traditional high carbohydrate diet were able to burn fat at a greater rate than the high carbohydrate group. They were also able to run faster in a “fat burning” state as they were able to still burn fat at a higher percentage of their VO2 max. However, the high carbohydrate group were able to burn carbohydrates at a greater rate than the high fat group. Critically, this “fat burning” state doesn’t necessarily mean the quickest state. Equally, due to the limitations of training at intensity, the training stresses are significantly lower, and arguably performance is hampered.


A frequent guest of ours in Portugal decided to give this diet a go after deciding to enter the Marathon de Sables with the mindset that during the race carrying the minimum weight in your pack/vest becomes an advantage and that has an effect on the food you can eat and the amount of calories consumed during the 6 days racing. This meant they had to adapt their training by running to a strictly low heart rate – this meant walking up hills to reduce the increase of their heart rate too much. Over time, after the body had adapted, it meant they were able to go with a higher heart rate using fat as the main energy source. This has proven some positive results in multi day ultra endurance events though is always difficult to back with science as generally the results are subjective, “I felt better”, and the facts are inconclusive. 

This is a very specific example of a multi day event and that for most athletes, where speed and getting to the finish line first is the main objective, this method is flawed. In order to breakdown fat to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) more oxygen is required than the breakdown of carbohydrates to ATP, therefore less oxygen is being supplied to the working muscles - slowing your speed down. The toss up here could be described in a choice between a diesel or petrol engine. [See what our nutritionalist says here.]

Fasted Training

Many endurance athletes use this concept purposefully or accidentally where they are restricting calorie intake before exercise, generally by training first thing in the morning where you have been fasting for an average of 10 hours over night since your last meal. The concept is to burn more fat during exercise. Fasted training is best done at a moderate to low intensity as you will struggle to train at a high intensity when fasted without going hypoglycaemic (or bonking)!

However, training at a higher intensity, using carbohydrates as the main energy source leads to more fat being burned post exercise. Therefore, if you are fasting before sessions for the purpose of losing weight then you are better off doing high intensity sessions . However, your body is usually very well suited to replacing what it has just burned, so burning more fat will mean creating more fat! [Read this blog on weight loss.]


When it comes to a question of performance though, you have to ask yourself what is best suited to the race distance you are doing and the training sessions you are looking at. A more polarised training routine may be more suited to the less intense training sessions, but it certainly shouldn’t be a standard training procedure. In recent studies, there has been limited performance improvement for men and almost no performance increases for women. 

That being said it is not always possible to ensure you aren’t training while fasted. If you are doing a significant amount of training you are probably completing some training sessions in a semi fasted state as you haven’t had enough time between sessions to replenish your glycogen stores which is why post work out nutrition is so critical to get right. 

Recovery

It is common knowledge that protein is used to rebuild muscle and frequently used as the significant focus in recovery fuel post workout. However, carbohydrate should also be included to help replenish our glycogen stores and the presence of carbohydrate is also required to synthesise protein and aid muscle rebuilding. Some good examples are yoghurt and honey or chocolate milk. It is especially important if you are training multiple times a day to refuel properly. A study of male swimmers on the same diet who trained for 1.5 hours in the morning then again for 1.5 hours in the afternoon compared to those who just trained for 1.5 hours in the afternoon showed that those just training in the afternoon showed a significant increase in sprint performance compared to those who trained twice a day. This surprise outcome was because the swimmers training just once a day where in a fully fuelled state, they did not have as much glycogen depletion and therefore could train harder, leading to greater performance. Clearly this didn’t look into overall performance for a season but shows the impact of multiple training sessions in a day and improper fuelling for recovery.


Never underestimate the importance of a rest day to allow for your muscles to replenish their glycogen stores and repair as it can take 24 hours or more to replenish depleted glycogen stores after a heavy training session. And if in doubt, when it comes to recovery, drink chocolate milk – protein, fluid and carbohydrates!


Do you want some help with your diet?
Are you tired of following a diet and not getting the response in the diet or training you were hoping for? Follow this link to see how we can integrate your coaching package with your diet using our expert nutritionist and ensure that your training and fuelling experience is the best it can be. 

Will Munday

Will Munday is a Tri Training Harder Coach and Guide and is based in Wales and Portugal. If you are interested in finding out more about how a coach could help your current training routine, please give us a shout on coaching@tritrainingharder.com or checkout our coaching packages here.
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The Importance of Goal Setting in Both Sport and Life.

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“Even a journey of one thousand miles starts with one step”

This is so very true, yet so often forgotten. What is also forgotten is that journeys have an end point or a target end point and so should your training.



As coaches, the first thing we do with a new athlete, or with an athlete looking at a new season (or set of seasons) is look at the destination. What do you/we want to achieve? What is your goal? What do we define as a success? All of these questions should underpin sports coaching and indeed business coaching or teaching. 

When was the last time you had a one, two or four-year plan whereby you could almost plan each day or session many months or years in advance, not for your sport but for your life? When was the last time that you reviewed your life to allow for more time for training? Or let’s turn that around. When was the last time you reviewed your training to allow for more time for life?



Philosophical questions maybe, yet important ones. All too often as a coach we hear how “I couldn’t complete a session because… x didn’t work out …or y was late …or friends organised an impromptu gathering” Life happens. And when it does happen the key thing is not to stress. If you have a plan in place it means you can react to the unplanned and get back on track again. By spending some time to plan out your year with regards to your family, career or social life, you can actually reduce overall stress on a day to day basis. [Check out this blog about how to plan adjust training and life using  a cooker(!?)]

“Lazy people plan more – it gives them more time to do fun stuff they enjoy!”

Athletes are becoming increasingly aware of their training stress. Training Stress Score (TSS™) has been floated by Training Peaks for many years now and is coming to the forefront of general (read (tri)athlete!) conversation. However, stress comes in all shapes and sizes and affects different people differently as a result of different experiences. Remember at the end of your final exam, you would have felt (drunk!? Yet also) knackered from just the mental fatigue you have been putting into learning and revising – this is just one specific example of how stress can impact you. Furthermore, stress has a massive affect on our sympathetic nervous system and this can even be felt in the muscle tissues! Yet very few people work at building resistance to this. People look at harnessing their inner chimp to excel in performance. Yet that can only be done when all aspects of life are aligned and humming along nicely. If people are struggling with a training niggle, they see a physio, yet what happens if there are continual issues stemming from non-training Stressors? Who is helping to put a plaster over that non-physical stress?


This is where goal setting with your coach can be useful, important and also easy in training. Planning your life goal with someone like a mental coach or psychologist ensures that your training is working effortlessly alongside your lifestyle and planning that out can have so many more performance benefits. Equally stresses can seem so much bigger in a closed environment. Working them out with other people, alongside your coach will ensure it keeps your training consistent and better quality which is the key to a successful and balanced lifestyle and race season.

Be lazy: plan.



Do you want some help developing all your goals?
Follow this link to link your training program with a performance psychologist today.

We all know that training impacts our lives beyond the individual work outs. There are sacrifices or choices we make every day which impact our lifestyle and those around us. Don't play with that. Help organise yourself completely.
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The Importance of Following a Performance Strength and Conditioning Programme

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The Bosworth Clinic Team
Strength and Conditioning, three words that are so often bandied about by athletes and sportsmen alike but what does it actually mean and how can it be used to best impact performance?


Go big or go home?

Most people think of gym workouts as getting big or pumped or as a strict Cross Fit regime, and although elements of proper performance strength and conditioning can be found in each of these ideas, realistically, there is so much more to it than that. When you talk to almost every amateur athlete, they will certainly talk about using their sport for training. However, when asking top athletes, what differs is that they will also talk about a correct performance strength and conditioning package which ties into their training regime in order to improve their power to weight ratios, limit injury and improve movement patterns. [See this interesting blog – a Q&A with the Strength and Conditioning Coach: Paul Ledger]

Get smart or get out.

So how does a correct performance-based strength and conditioning programme differ from any old strength programme? Firstly, everyone moves differently. There are no right or wrong ways of moving, but there are more efficient ones and the limits of one person’s movement patterns may be easily within someone else’s. This does matter. Will your movements limit or enhance what your sport is asking of you? Will your movement pattern increase the chance of injury which will lead to a lack of consistency from training? [Are your small movements all in order?]


In our experience, when testing athletes of all different abilities, there are very few who are strong enough to consistently train effectively for their sport. This means that people are not being as efficient as they could (should) be in their training. For endurance sports, it is usually not the fastest person who wins but the person who slows down the least. That usually happens as people lose form. Losing form can generally be linked to both training specifically for the event and having the strength to hold good form. 
"You have to start with the athlete and understand the stresses of the sport"
Many strength and conditioning experiences start by working with people who are from a non-performance background, or do not fully understand the loading mechanism of your body and indeed the load coping mechanisms that are negative when looking at sport-specific performance.

Ollie training for the demands of downhill mountain running
However, the performance gains of a tailored, sport specific strength and conditioning programme when done correctly can be huge. At Tri Training Harder, we use a variety of Functional Movement Screening (FMS) tests watched closely by experts to identify the best path forward for the athlete which importantly can be used to supplement, and closely link in with, the athletes existing training  and nutrition programme. 

Everything must be in phase

Without appropriate conversations, starting from initial testing through to race week, strength and conditioning will not be in phase with the training programme so is unlikely to have the full effect on the performance of the athlete. The two programmes must be mutually inclusive and not separate. The coach must direct the strength and conditioning programme and ensure that the training loads are sufficient to allow the conditioning adaptions needed in both programmes. But without having both talking to each other, it is very difficult to get the performance enhancements required and then all you end up doing is ‘exercising’!

So if you want to incorporate strength and conditioning into your training programme, seek expert advice and testing to ensure it is tailored to you and secondly, speak to your coach to align it with your existing training programme. This way you can achieve the greatest performance enhancements to your training and ultimately racing.


Do you want to a Performance Strength program?
Follow this link to see how we can integrate your strength and conditioning programme with your current coaching package and start seeing your improvements today.

Avoiding poor quality advice is really hard to do in an era where the growth of the sports and leisure industry means that there are a lot of 'experts' about. If you are unsure, then speak to your coach today. 
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What is Performance Psychology?

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Mark Bellamy: Performance & Sports
Psychologist at The Bosworth Clinic
Competing at sport means putting yourself 'out there'. Rarely do you find a situation where you are so far ahead that you will just win, every personal victory, be it an Olympic gold medal or completing your first park run, means you woke up that day and you had put yourself 'out there'. You set yourself a goal and you did you best to achieve it. You had to answer a question of yourself that only you could answer. You made yourself vulnerable. 

Is Physicality really the only part of sport?

It is so much easier to see vulnerability in movements, these are frequently called (unfairly) weaknesses. It is very easy to see vulnerability when looking at an athletes climbing ability, or speed, or power. There is always an answer, a physio exercise, a time goal, a target or hurdle which you know, by over-coming you can develop to the next level. But what happens if this hurdle or vulnerability is actually internal, sounds silly and is difficult to articulate. Your self confidence is maybe lower, a personal issue has made you question what it is that you are doing or even who you are. Life gets in the way of your aims, ambitions and dreams. Ironically, we know if we need to get more powerful, we see a strength and conditioning coach; we need to fade less, we seek out our nutritionist; we want to run faster, we speak to the coach; we need to strengthen our glutes…we see the physio. But what happens if we want to strengthen our resolve? Increase the decision making speeds we have? Fuel our plan or become a more powerful competitor in the mental side of the sport? What is the plan then? How do you do it?

Optimisation of more than your athletic life

Performance psychology is about optimising everything surrounding the athlete’s sport and life, and of course while we also deal with any issues that may be impacting on an athlete’s life, we are dealing with how to make things really work for an athlete, get them to know themselves and how to get the best out of themselves both when in the big competition and day to day training.



One way to consider this is if you had to climb a ladder. Certainly you would put the ladder on a stable platform. As you get higher up the ladder, the risks are greater. Movements can be exacerbated due to the height. You wouldn’t balance the ladder on say a swiss ball or a trampoline. When you put your head above the parapet, you want to ensure that everything supporting you is working together to hold you up and is stable. These events take a lot of time and commitment; you don’t want to think about how you are going to stay up, as the ladder is falling. You want to put in place safety measures, so everything stays upright even in the event of an unforeseen earthquake. [See this useful blog on setting up all your goals and plans.]

Control the Controlables

We know that there is a set of experiences that athletes in any area of sport or life tend to deal with such as: anxiety management, imagery, pre-competition routines, focus and distraction control (to name a few). So it would seem to make sense to acknowledge these and ensure they are being used not only appropriately but actually as an advantage. Mental coaching is only a little bit of what psychology is all about, but it is certainly an important part which can also be a lot of fun to work on. They say that in top competition, the victory boils down to who wanted it more. Before you get to that point, it is probably truer to say who could focus on it more clearly in the many months before the event.


Do you want to strengthen your platform?
Follow this link to see how you can work with our performance psychologist with your coach to bring you the best possible results.

Performance psychology has everything to do with you and is probably one of the single most effective areas to invest in not just for your sport, but in all areas of your life.
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Nutritional New Year's Resolutions

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Helen Money, Nutrition and Sports Nutrition Specialist
at The Bosworth Clinic
Helen Money of The Bosworth Clinic and our on-side nutritional professional talks through her top three common mistakes seen amongst triathletes when it comes to nutrition and a few ‘starters for ten’ to get you on your way.



Most athletes worry about whether they are doing enough training but what they should be worrying about is whether they are doing enough (nutritional) eating! Why don’t people put the same impetus on their nutrition when over the course of a season it consists of up to 1500 meals? This is definitely worth a read....

TTH: Helen, what would you say are the top three common mistakes or faux-pas that you see when coming into contact with triathletes?

1. Eating too little.

Triathletes are a unique breed, they are training multiple times in a day and they are asking their body to do a huge amount. The big mistake they make is forgetting that they are not normal. They do not need to follow normal guidelines. Generally speaking.


TTH: Is this more common to one sex than the other?

Interestingly, no. This sort of issue comes from different generalised reasons between men and women, but both are as bad as each other. Ladies tend to be more influenced by what mainstream (media) thoughts say that the average person should be taking on board whereas men tend to try the latest or newest quick fix or are lazier in their cooking and eating habits. [Are you interested in losing weight for your sport – read this blog before you start.]

2. Chasing Fads

The latest new style of doing weight loss is probably one of the most common adversaries to performance that athletes are letting themselves down with. There is so much media out there with new methods which either don’t have enough information, or do not have suitable studies or extensive studies. Equally, they rarely have direct links to actual performance benefits. [See this link for thoughts on some current fads.]

TTH: Do you have an example?

Well, it is never good to bad mouth any type in particular, but take ketagenic (Fat only) diets for example. In a nutshell, the reasoning being it is to improve your body’s ability to fuel from fats first. Scientific proof and decisions are still out for consideration over it. However, athletes need years to fully adapt and then on top of that, the performance levels dip and then resort back to a similar level to what they were before. At the moment, it is very fashionable amongst the endurance athletes. Yet the additional stresses it places on the body for the every day person are just not clear though usually negative. Sometimes it may be the absolutely correct call for the athlete. Surely though that decision needs to be based on fact rather than theory?

3. Thinking of nutrition as a separate entity

Nutrition is completely inherent with you, your life, your well-being, your training, your work and everything. Your body, especially as an athlete, performs best with the right fuel, dose of fuel, type of fuel and quantity; different times and scenarios impact each person differently and you need to ensure that you cover off nutrition in all aspects of what you do. If you download a generic training programme for a 5km/10km/IRONMAN, you will get a generic (safe), result. However, if you work with someone you are likely to accelerate that learning curve significantly. The same is true, only more so, with regards to your nutrition and how you go about making positive changes. What works with you, may not work for anyone else. Increasingly we are surprised by increased carbohydrate content through racing, or critical times required for positive protein synthesis after exercise which fits into your lifestyle.

TTH: So that’s what not to do, what would be your quick fire “food for thought” to help athletes out this season?

  1. Put equal planning into nutrition as training – nutrition should be planned not just happen.
  2. Make everything you eat add to your performance (and wellbeing)
  3. Always take on nutrition as recovery straight after training. Without adequate recovery athletes can get run down as training increases during the lead up to race season.  It also reduces risk of injury and therefore improves training consistency and finally, it helps to prepare the athlete for their next training session
  4. Start monitoring hydration needs during training – fluid requirements vary with intensity of training, weather, clothing and between individuals. Information gained from monitoring hydration during training can then be used when forming a race plan. Check out: this handy formula
 to work out your sweat rates
  5. Be conscious of the intended training outcome from a session and match nutrition accordingly
  6. Create a meal plan and set up a regular delivery order for foods needed.
  7. Keep snacks in bags, glove compartments and desk drawers - be prepared
  8. Set aside time to cook and prepare for the coming week – think ahead

It is critical that if you are serious about anything to do with nutritional management you get help by someone who has your interest at heart. It is easy to read something or be sold something which comes across as perfect to you, but without the correct initial analysis and on going checks, are you sure? 


Do you feel you could benefit from some expert nutritional advice?
Follow this link to see how we can integrate your coaching programme with expert nutritional advice to keep you fuelled and in the best possible conditional all through the season.

With our coaching packages, you can set up a nutritionalist to ensure that the training and also the fuelling are appropriate for each day and each session.
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Do your Physio Exercises!

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‘Injury’ is probably every triathletes least favourite word with 'physio exercises' coming a close second! Yet they are probably also some of the most common! Occasionally we will be told we can't do something. For most of our athletes we rarely "stop" unless we really need to – and that is a final option and we always bring them back as soon as possible. If you do have to stop, pause or limit your training, here are some great bits of advice.



'Physio exercises are boring, repetitive and won't actually make you faster – I just want to swim, bike, run!' is the thought process I am confident that every single one of us has had at least once in our triathlon journey. Equally, I am sure that there has been a moment when you went back to your physio and said, “It was amazing I did my exercises and then the pain has gone!” 

So what next?

Just because the pain has gone it doesn’t always mean that you are ready to resume normal training or even reduced training. After a period of physiotherapy, training can be a load too far especially if injury has meant you have been out for a prolonged period of time. Instead there needs to be a more planned and careful return to training programme. You can't necessarily just pick up where you left off. A physio plan should interlink with a strength and conditioning plan all of which is is integrated into the training plan under the watchful eye of the coach. This level of integration between all the experts is very difficult to get right. [Read our how to on knowing a good S&C plan.]

Let's use an example.

I was working recently with an athlete who has had chronic Achilles tendon pains called Karl. He used to be a 1500m runner with some very impressive run times as a junior, yet now as…less junior… he has been struggling for years with Achilles issues and could only ever sometimes run slowly without pain. The easy option was to look at operations, no running (ever) or a constant oscillation of quick fixes.


Fed up with the situation the athlete sought professional advice and for almost six months religiously worked on all the different exercises he was given by the physio and gradually he saw a progression. With the use of a very simple run clearance test, conducted every couple of weeks improvements were slowly made. Following progression to plyometric work and SSC (Stretch Shorten Cycle) work he gradually starting to run again - pain free. 

For this athlete his patience and commitment to a physio routine paid off and saw him post a 5km run off the bike in 21 mins and a hilly 10km run by the end of the season without any pain. It was a true demonstration of commitment on his part and deserving of all the really hard work he put in. 

When asking him for some advice, Karl had these three pearls of wisdom, or P’s to success:
  1. Keep Positive – the exercises are to get you back to health, they aren’t punishment!
  2. Be Patient – don’t kid yourself; you don’t know better than your coach and physio, that is why you are paying them, but do involve them. The more information they have, the better advice they can give.
  3. Plan – include your exercises and Physio sessions into your training plan and where you have to go “off-piste”, then try and fit it into your routine wherever possible: Do them in queues, while on the phone, waiting for a bus etc etc.

Pragmatically he points out that a niggle is just that – a niggle but an injury is something totally different. Getting advice the minute things don’t seem right can save a lot of time (and money through injury prevention). Being truly engaged with the experts you are working with can make this experience educational as well as more tailored.

So, what can we learn from this?

With the exercises in mind, athletes will probably adapt very quickly. However, part of the purpose of the exercise is to build motor patterns. This means re-educating how your body performs a movement (usually to engage the correct muscle or kinetic chain). All to often, as a coach, working alongside a physio, we see someone rebuilding back up nicely, and then sadly, spoil it by jumping ahead to go for a run because their impatience and frustration got the better of them. The chances are there may not be any immediate problems: no pain, no injury but what they have done is affect the memory of those motor patterns when not ready to do so resulting in taking several steps backward on the road to recovery. 

Injury or Physio exercises need to also happen in the mind.

When working with athletes, we get that not doing your sport is not anyone’s goal. However, we also recognise that sometimes getting back to the sport is the short term win and the long term loss. Working through injury can have several psychological implications but doing it with a physio and a coach who understands that the aim is to get you fixed for good, not just for the short term is critical. Don't try and do it alone, talk to your coach and get the professional help and guidance you need. [Look into how Performance Psychology can help you survive even the worst possible injury outlook.]

Ali Wilson (coached athlete and fastest female amateur from GB in Kona 2016 and physiotherapist) believes “you need to see the benefit or outcome from the eyes of the patient or client. If they don’t feel or understand it, there is no point in giving it to the athlete. You need to find the exercise that works for them. If they don’t feel it in the right place then why would they do it?”

With these exercises, the movements may seem insignificant, or small, but it is exactly these movements that build up to very complex movement patterns like balance, swimming, cycling or running and if one of these links in the chain is different, then the outcome is very different and usually painful! In this instance, our body completely epitomises the saying: The sum is greater than the parts.


Do you want some help with building all your 'component parts'??
Follow this link to see how we can integrate your coaching with strength and conditioning, physio, nutrition and psychologist to ensure you are always training smoothly. A great training programme begins with an athlete and involves all aspect of their life, not just the training part. 
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What do we mean by Weight loss?

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Weight loss is a top worry for a lot of athletes, individuals and fitness enthusiasts, and as a coach it is always a very grey area. Many, many athletes have gone public on their issues around body image or how previous comments by a coach has affected their outlook on their sport or professions. 

At a time where self image, and in many instances self confidence, are at the forefront of so many aspects of our life it is so important to be open and raise these points when important to do so, but when is the ‘right’ time?


Athletes are usually their own worst enemies. In a sport where power to weight or W/kg plays such an obvious role in performance, it is hard not to get sucked into the concept that actually you need to lose weight. However, weight-loss itself is probably the single worse descriptor to use for an athlete, trumped only by the methods people use to try and reach this elusive goal.

"The average human is about 60% water"

The weight of a human consists of a lot of water, drink less the night before you go to sleep, go to the toilet and weigh yourself…remarkably you have just saved a few kgs! Therefore, how reliable is this metric? If you spend enough time being “professional” about your performance – you have a new bike, you invest in wheels, a coach, gym membership, race entries then let’s be serious about weight management as well.

In reality, there is only a certain amount of weight that can be reduced which can help the power to weight ratio. Take an 85kg male athlete, with a body fat percentage of 15%, the reality is, for training he probably only has about 4.5kgs to lose on average through the season, maybe dipping no lower than 6-9kgs for the race period. (For females we would want to stay above 13% body fat for essential bodily function). And this loss should only look at coming from fat (unless they had a history of a previous sport with increased muscle mass which was now deemed obsolete). 

That is easy – surely 1kg per month, or 0.25kgs per week through the season will reap that reward? Sadly, it isn’t that straight forward. Especially for the average triathlete.

So we see now, that actually weight has very little to do with performance, but body composition is a lot more...interesting. In some instances actually putting on weight, training more intensely, more consistently could result in better performances. What if that kg/month was actually muscle, not fat due to incorrect combined method of dieting and training without consulting an expert? People would jump at the chance to "lose 5kgs" without knowing where that loss would come from. If they saw the scales showing a smaller number but the body composition remained the same, would they actually be happy? The 85kg athlete's body composition would have a larger influence in performance than the less-than-80kg "improved" self.

“That which is measured is improved”

As a coach with (literally) thousands of data points on many, many, different metrics given to us by an athlete, we have to pick and choose one which works for us. Weight just isn’t one of the important ones. Yes, it has many different aspects that it influences, yet we just don’t use it to measure performance. The lightest athlete on the start line (if they make it to the start line) doesn’t win the race. Yet people and sadly athletes, are still obsessed with losing weight, choosing vanity over performance.


In reality the answer could lie in so many different methods which are dictated by each individual athlete that there simply is no right way to do it. You could introduce the latest diet/fad, eat more, eat less, change the quality of your food away from "lazy" eating habits, change the ratio of you fuel, eat before training, don’t eat before training or even do nothing and let the training lean you up naturally. But it all is only dependent on you: Are you targeting weight loss at the right point in the season? Do your eating habits (calorific intake) match your training regime appropriately? Are you being too extreme, heightening the chance of injury or binges?

There are many opportunities and arguably conflicting advice and methods that could leave you feeling overwhelmed confused, demoralised and fundamentally in a worse performance position than before. [Read this blog on the psychological effects on an athlete]

So how can we help?

As you set yourself up for New Year’s/Season's resolutions, almost certainly there will be a goal around fitness and there will be at least a thought around weight loss, or leaning up. That is great and may well be the right call for you – but you must include your coach and the advice of a nutritionist to work alongside you to achieve these goals. Together they will help you lose weight (if that is the right call) at a time which suits your training cycle by using optimised training sessions. With the coach and Nutritionist communicating, the coach has the opportunity to assess performance changes which are down to nutrition and the nutritionist can ensure that the athlete is getting adequate nutrition at times when reducing intake could be risky. Together they can create the best plan for the athlete.

As an athlete remember it is the power to weight ratios that can make a difference. Focus on overall picture rather than focusing purely on the bathroom scales!


Do you want some help with improving your Nutritional Intake?
Follow this link to see how we can integrate your coaching package with the correct nutritional program and improve the efficiency of your training. Alternatively, talk to your coach who can help you set up a full 360ยบ coaching experience where our nutritionalist and coach work together to provide the best plan for you.

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