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New to triathlon training and confused about carbs!

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  • New to triathlon training and confused about carbs!

    Hi all, I recently started training for my FIRST triathlon and my coach keeps insisting that I have to eat more carbs. I have been Primal since November 2011 or so and I've gotten used to eat between 50-60 grams of carbs and 1300 calories on most days. I absolutely refused to drink those sugary drinks, eat those cardboard bars, or any form of wheat, so I bought sweet potatoes, quinoa, bananas, oranges and dried fruit to start from there. Is there a certain carb range I should be aiming to especially on days where I do two workouts? If so, what would that be? Can you please share your experience with me?
    I am female, 34 years old, 164lbs and 21%BF

    Thanks!
    Rosana

  • #2
    the foods you got are good choices, but the amounts are really going to be up to you and a little experimentation. try your workouts on your current carb amounts and see how your body does. if you're tired or hungry later in the day or the next day, it might be time to up the calorie intake a bit. if that doesn't help, then add in a little bit of those carbs, and see how it goes. really experiment...try carbs pre-workout, post-workout, the day before, the day after, low carb, very low carb, etc. and keep a journal or find some way to track how your body is responding. that might help give you a sense of what you need for fuel and how much.
    personally, i don't really think you're going to need to add many carbs during your training, though you may want to eat more calories. is it a sprint triathlon? olympic? HIM? IM? you might find that you can stay fairly low carb (if you want) training for the shorter distances, and maybe carb up before the race. or, you may just find that you need some potato or rice or starchy veggie on your brick days...but the high carb thing really comes from conventional wisdom and isn't necessarily true for everyone.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

    Comment


    • #3
      hi, disclaimer - i don't do triathlons, nor do i think they're a particularly healthy form of exercise.

      before someone chimes in on how fat is a superior fuel, and you can hike everest while in ketosis, i want to say that i think your basic approach is right - stick to primal carbs - but you're underestimating the caloric demands of what you're trying to do.

      you will not be able to fuel triathlons on "50-60 grams of carbs and 1300 calories." you need more calories, and you're going to find, most likely, that you need more carbs.

      if you enjoy triathlons, by all means, do what makes you happy. if you're just trying to lose weight, i think it's not the best approach.

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      • #4
        Going very low carb and doing endurance training isn't a good combination. Fortunately, there are plenty of good primal carbohydrate options. I am a huge of fan sweet potatoes and berries and I add fruit to my diet during the warmer more active months of the year.
        http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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        • #5
          Originally posted by grecorosana View Post
          Hi all, I recently started training for my FIRST triathlon and my coach keeps insisting that I have to eat more carbs. I have been Primal since November 2011 or so and I've gotten used to eat between 50-60 grams of carbs and 1300 calories on most days. I absolutely refused to drink those sugary drinks, eat those cardboard bars, or any form of wheat, so I bought sweet potatoes, quinoa, bananas, oranges and dried fruit to start from there. Is there a certain carb range I should be aiming to especially on days where I do two workouts? If so, what would that be? Can you please share your experience with me?
          I am female, 34 years old, 164lbs and 21%BF

          Thanks!
          Rosana
          Running on Empty | Running Times Magazine

          Fatty Acid Oxidation
          The oxidation of fatty acids yields significantly more energy per carbon atom than does the oxidation of carbohydrates. The net result of the oxidation of one mole of oleic acid (an 18-carbon fatty acid) will be 146 moles of ATP (2 mole equivalents are used during the activation of the fatty acid), as compared with 114 moles from an equivalent number of glucose carbon atoms.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you very much! In fact with all this training I am barely hungry after my workouts so I am actually trying to eat most of my calories during the day because I usually bike and do weights in the late afternoon. I plan to do a sprint triathlon. When I get most hungry is after my 6am swim and that seems to be a constant with some people from my team, we just get hungry after swimming! I am experimenting by raising up my carb intake to 100-150 grams the days I need to train the most and like you said, I need to experiment with it. Thanks again!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the reply. I've always wanted to do some sort of endurance event and since I am not a runner I chose a sprint triathlon. I live in Miami so it is tri season everywhere you go. I mostly play tennis but usually skip the summer months because it gets so bloody hot, so a tri it is something new that so far I'm happy with.

              Since I recently started training I have not raised my calorie level, and oddly most training days I barely get hungry unless I have to swim. But I think you are right, I need to increase my carb and my calorie intake and I guess it is a matter of trial and error...

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              • #8
                Great! Thanks! How do you hydrate and replenish electrolytes?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by js290 View Post
                  if i had a nickel for every time you post the fatty acid oxidation link, i'd have a lot of nickels.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think if you up your calories as you train (which you likely will) and up the carbohydrates to 80-120g per day (you'll find the right balance), you should be fine.

                    What distances are you training? What is your training schedule like? how are you feeling right now on your current caloric intake/ratios?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Replenishing electrolytes is pretty simple -- i never did anything special while I was training. I trained for up to olympic distances, but only ever ran sprints (ran two). I preferred the training over the actual events. Weird, I know.

                      Coconut water is great for rebalancing electrolytes, as is watermelon juice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A sprint triathlon doesn't need that much fuel. A banana right beforehand and one during the bike would be plenty even for someone like me who took two hours. I actually ate an egg breakfast earlier in the morning on race days, but I have a cast iron stomach. Training is a time to experiment. Your body may do just fine on mostly fat, or you may find you have a lot more energy for your training with more carbs.
                        __________________________
                        age 56, type 2 diabetes, swimmer
                        low carb since 2006 thanks to Jenny, primal since Jan. 2012

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I feel fine, some days I'm tired so I don't want to eat (for example today), and I know the days I train harder is when I should be eating more/better. I am training for a sprint triathlon with an amazing coach who has a large group of people, so I am not doing it on my own (which will never happen of course), lots of swimming and running techniques and weigh training as well. I'm enjoying the challenge and so far it has been bearable with minimal soreness. Thanks for the reply and I will follow your advice :-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            During the sprints, I never took food or water. They are such short races, I never really needed it. They took about 1.5-2 hrs -- which is the same as the yoga classes that I was doing at the time, and we don't do water/food then. So, yeah. No need for anything during the race.

                            But I think the OP was talking about in her day-to-day training life, so that's what I answered to.

                            Personally, I always followed my own hunger. I rarely have an eating plan. If i'm hungry, I eat. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat. That simple, really.

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                            • #15
                              Swimming makes me ravenous! There is just something about it. I never want breakfast...unless I swam that morning.

                              I prolly average about 100g of carbs/day during Tri season. More on high volume days, less on others. Still "low-carb" by CW standards, but I trained for Ironman like that and felt great. Listen to your body more than your coach. ;-)

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