In my last article I highlighted the importance of addressing your diet early in the training cycle. The reason for this is diet plays such an important role in getting the maximum benefit from your training. In setting goals, we always want to be sure that what we are doing is going to get us what we want. If we feel that our efforts are bringing us no closer to our desired outcome, motivation is very likely to decrease. For many, their motivation to train for triathlon is to feel good and look good as a result. Diet is the key to any weight related goals. However, I believe addressing your diet will be the key to lifelong health and wellness, so this isn’t just about getting to race weight. To that end, training yourself to eat better is as important as training yourself to ride or run faster. It is a key component in your overall race program and it is one thing that will benefit you well after your competitive career is complete.
Just as increasing volume or intensity should be gradual, so too should dietary changes be made over time. Better to find healthful habits that will have longevity than short term strict regimes. The following are some foods that I believe should be included in your training diet. I have outlined the benefits of including these in your diet as well as some ideas of how to enjoy them. So often we are asked to try new things that we really have no experience preparing. Millet, for example, is a fabulous grain for athletes and yet we would associate it more with the birdfeed outside than a breakfast staple (this grain was not included today – baby steps!). Below is a guide to six foods that you may or may not be familiar with and some ideas on how to start to enjoy them on a more regular basis. To your good health!