Make Small Changes, See Big Gains In Your Triathlon Training

  • By Julia Polloreno
  • Published Sep 26, 2013
  • Updated Jan 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM UTC

Leon Griffin
Wildflower Runner-up

“Train hard, then train longer and harder” was my simple formula that would see me riding a frustrating rollercoaster of performance highs and lows, particularly now that I’ve stepped up to iron-distance events. The biggest breakthrough I had came from a chat with Darryl Griffiths of Shotz Nutrition. My previous nutrition plan was based around fueling my body with sugar and candy! Very unprofessional I can see now in hindsight. Their products contain very little or no sugar at all, cutting out fructose and emphasizing the sodium component in all the gels, electrolyte tablets and bars. I overhauled my diet (my nickname was “mudguts”) and actually take the time to read food labels on the back of packets now and scout for anything with sugar in the ingredients. The first six weeks were hell—like a drug addict trying to kick a habit. The killer was no more sugar in my 3–4 daily lattes, my 500-gram-per-day candy habit and 2 liters of soda per day. Taking the sugar out helped me drop those final hard-to-lose 5 pounds pretty quickly, and, combined with the long training I dropped another 3–4 pounds, and felt a hundred times better than my usual bloated self. I’m no longer having total blowouts, bonking, or dizzy spells in any of my training and racing. At Ironman Melbourne, with this new approach and the Shotz products I ran a 15-minute PR, and for the first time in six marathons off the bike I didn’t once slow to a walk, not even through an aid station. I had not been able to get past 13.1 miles in any of my previous attempts without stopping. I’ve also seen the benefits in the couple of 70.3 events I’ve competed in since cutting out the sugar. I’m back to running 1:12 half-marathons, whereas last year I was [clocking] between 1:16 and 1:20.

RELATED: Get To Know Pro Leon Griffin

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FILED UNDER: Race Tips / Training

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno is the editor at large of Triathlete magazine. A Stanford University graduate with an award-winning track record in publishing, Polloreno is a two-time Ironman finisher and has been a competitive triathlete for more than a decade.

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