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Top Tips for Nutrition for a Duathlon

March 21st, 2019 | by Sarah Wills
Top Tips for Nutrition for a Duathlon

This year, Activity Wales Events will be holding the Mumbles Duathlon in Swansea for athletes ranging from beginners to elites. With scenic coastal views, Mumbles is the perfect location to hold a duathlon and whether you are a first timer or a returning athlete, these top tips are useful for anyone when training and preparing for the gruelling challenge ahead.

If you’ve been training for a duathlon, you know that it’s an intense race that requires endurance and strength.


How you fuel your body for a duathlon affects your performance and can mean the difference between “crossing the finish line” and “hitting the wall.”
During numerous weeks of intense training, your diet should consist of healthy foods that energize your body throughout your workouts and fuel your muscles. As race day approaches, however, you should tweak your diet to maximize energy stores so that you finish the race exhilarated.

1. Fuel Up
In order for your body to start preparing for your duathlon, you should start fuelling up at least two nights before the race with a dinner consisting of complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. This is also known as carb-loading. Carbohydrates like pasta, rice and potatoes are your body’s primary source of fuel and are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver for race day.
Ideas of carbohydrates and lean protein foods include:
• Pasta
• Prawns
• Sweet Potato
• Stir Fried vegetables
• Grilled Chicken
• Brown Rice

2. Consumption
When preparing your body, you should consume at least 1 high-protein snack alongside a cup of water an hour before bed two nights before race day as protein is needed to repair muscle and replenish protein stores.
Snack ideas include:
• Fat-free yogurt
• 1 cup of skim or soy milk
• 1 ounce of nuts.

3. Not one or two but THREE
By eating three meals and three snacks one day before the race, you can help to prepare your body for intense exercise even after training and you can also help to stimulate working muscles. Each meal should contain a complex carbohydrate and a lean protein and should also be low in fibre and fat. Complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex chains which store energy and are harder for the body to break down. Snacks consumed should focus on protein as this is used as a secondary source of energy once carbohydrates have been used up.

4. Fluids
Drinking a minimum of 1 cup of water with each meal consumed along with 20-24 ounces of an isotonic sports drink between meals throughout the day can help stimulate muscles and prepare the body for the race. It will also help adequate amounts of energy to be released when needed.
5. Race Day Requirements
Begin race day with a light breakfast consisting of high amounts of carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. By eating this meal 1 to 3 hours before your race starts, your body will be prepared for the start of the race and will release energy gradually.
Light breakfast meal options include:
• A bagel or toast
• Hard-boiled eggs

6. Sports Drinks
Racers in a duathlon are normally advised to drink around 8-16 ounces of a high carbohydrate sports drink around 15 minutes before the race starts as this releases short bursts of energy to kick start your body. You should also sip on a sports drink during the race to stay hydrated and fuelled.

This article was written by Mollie James who is studying a Foundation Degree in Events Management in Gower College Swansea. You can find out about our higher education courses here:

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