Triathlon - Training Nutrition Tips

Proper hydration and nutrition are critical before, during, and after a workout. Read Coach Mari Fridenmaker's excellent series on Triathlon Nutrition!

Part II - Tips for Training 

NOTES: These hydration and nutrition tips apply to workouts that last over one hour. Everyone has different preferences. It will take time to figure out what works for you. Don’t try any new nutrition products on race day!

Pre-Workout Hydration & Nutrition

  • Be sure to be well hydrated and nourished before your long workouts.
  • You are well hydrated when your urine is the color of lemonade or lighter.
  • Avoid doing a morning workout on an empty stomach. When you wake, you are already at a calorie deficit. Training on an empty stomach can lead to a quicker onset of fatigue and/or injury.

During Workout Hydration & Nutrition

  • Drink 18 - 22 fluid ounces per hour of sports drink* during your long workout. Remember, even if you are as little as 2% dehydrated, it will negatively affect your performance.
  • On long runs, use a hand-held carrier for your sports drink. A carrier like this will enable you to continue sipping during your run.
  • For runs longer than an hour, pack another serving of the powdered sports drink in a baggie and bring it with you to refill at a water stop or have it in your car to refill.
  • Avoid using only water for long workouts.

*Sports drink refers to anything with water mixed with carbohydrates and electrolytes.  

Recovery Hydration & Nutrition

  • Remember, you will not be able to replenish the calories you burn during your long workout which is why recovery nutrition is so important.
  • Be sure to continue rehydrating throughout the day and the next day.  It can take 24 – 48 hours to fully rehydrate after a long workout.
  • Always have a recovery snack** as soon as possible after a long workout. 
  • Your recovery snack should consist of carbohydrates and protein.
  • When you drive to another location for your long workout of over one hour, pack a cooler with a recovery snack so you can eat it on your way home.
  • Example Recovery Snacks: #1 Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, #2 Yogurt and banana, #3 Half of a turkey or hummus sandwich with whole wheat bread, #4 Homemade granola bar 
  • Whenever you do a race, be sure you have a recovery snack immediately afterward. Don’t rely on the food provided by the race. Bring a cooler with your own snack and eat it as soon as possible.

**Recovery snack refers to anything with carbohydrates and protein.

Mari Fridenmaker

Mari Fridenmaker is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is the President and Head Coach of Blue Iron Coaching, LLC.  She has been active in the sport of triathlon since 2003 and has been coaching athletes of all levels since 2007.  Her services include Team Coaching, Personalized Coaching, Private Swim Lessons and Individual Consultation.  For more information, please visit her website,  She can be reached at or 404.667.0817. 

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