This piece first appeared in the September issue of Competitor Magazine.
If you’re only focused on race-day nutrition, you’re missing the big picture, says Littleton, Colo.-based Bob Seebohar, the personal sport dietitian for the 2008 Olympic Triathlon Team and author of “Nutrition Periodization for Athletes: Taking Traditional Sports Nutrition to the Next Level.”
“You have specific physiological goals associated with each training cycle, such as increasing endurance, speed, strength and power, and improving technique, tactics and economy,” Seebohar said. “You should have specific nutrition goals as well.”
Those goals might include losing or gaining weight, losing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, reducing inflammation and improving overall health. To achieve your goals, Seebohar recommends periodizing your nutrition plan just as you would your training.
“Look at your nutrition as a function of your energy expenditure and physical goals associated with each training cycle to guide your nutritional choices,” Seebohar said.
Seebohar shares five tips for fueling during your competitive season, when you have the highest energy expenditure needs.