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The Iron-Core Meal Plan: An Example Of How To Eat Healthy While Training For Long Distances

  • By Triathlete.com
  • Published Apr 9, 2012


Learn how to eat healthy through the high appetite and little extra time that comes with training for a long distance triathlon such as an Ironman.

You’re in heavy training, burning and consuming thousands of calories a day. You also have a jam-packed schedule on top of your training with no time to cook elaborate, healthy dishes. Often, triathletes in this situation turn to powders, capsules and packaged, high-carbohydrate, high-sugar bombs to get them through the day while trying to cover all their nutrient needs.

According to Rhonwyn Curtis-Nicholson, RD and certified nutrition support dietitian at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, sticking to whole foods whenever possible will keep your energy levels up and your body working to its maximum potential. “Most athletes don’t need all the supplements they take, but they are marketed to them and so they think they need them,” says Curtis-Nicholson. Try this example of a healthy daily menu; all the meals can be assembled in minutes and are packed with micronutrients that help keep you lean and your energy level steady.

Breakfast (post-workout meal): Strawberry-banana/whey protein smoothie with nonfat milk

“I don’t really advocate athletes taking protein supplements, but if you are going to take some, whey protein is a high-quality protein that contains all the essential amino acids. In particular, whey protein contains branched chain amino acids, which help prevent muscle breakdown,” Curtis-Nicholson says.

RELATED – Seeing Double: Racing Two Ironmans In One Season

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