Triathlon diets

The best triathlon diets include quality fats for optimum training, racing, and recovery.

Making the right dietary fat choices is just as important to triathlon diets as using the best proteins and complex carbohydrates.

The right amount of protein for strength, power, and recovery and complex carbohydrates for endurance are often talked about.

Ensuring you are making quality fat choices when setting up a training diet is every bit as important.

Beginner triathletes who have a bit of weight to lose will also benefit from choosing the right fats to compliment their carbohydrate and protein intake.

In many cases people are drawn into the sport of triathlon even though they have not exercised on a regular basis for years.

Making the best diet choices is just as important as swim, bike, and run training when it comes to improving overall fitness.

OLIVE OIL IS A GREAT SOURCE OF DIETARY FAT

Virgin Olive Oil has long been considered one of the healthiest oils in the world and it should be a regular addition to all triathlon diets.

Many, many studies have been done that have confirmed that replacing saturated fats with a product like olive oil will result in lower “bad” cholesterol. At the same time it will increase the “good” cholesterol. How can you go wrong with a fat that is good for you and tastes great as well?

fresh olive-Triathlon diets

fresh olives

As with most foods, olive oil benefits are more likely to be realized if one maintains a diet rich in quality complex carbohydrates and protein.

Combining well-balanced triathlon diets with a regular fitness regimen is a key to success.

A major published study discovered the potent benefits that can come with regular olive oil consumption.

In a major study involving several groups, the focus was on comparing iso-caloric diets that had one slight difference from each other. That difference was the fat source.

This test was conducted over a two month period and it was discovered that the group that consumed olive oil for fat. They had a much higher level of testosterone than the other test groups.

Olive oil was allowing cells to take in higher levels of cholesterol and in turn, convert that same cholesterol into testosterone. This is good news for athletes as testosterone is essential to muscle re-growth.

OLIVE OIL CAN BOOST ENERGY

Testosterone also plays a large part in boosting energy levels. So if someone is doing some serious triathlon training, then it’s really a no-brainer to add a good quality olive oil to the every-day diet.

Incorporating olive oil into a triathlon diet makes perfect sense for triathletes. You can build muscle, recover from work-outs much quicker, and increase endurance all at the same time.

It’s important to remember that all olive oil products are created equal. Labels that just say olive oil are normally inferior choices. They may not provide the same benefits of the virgin olive oils.

olive oil. A key fat for Triathlon diets

Most types of olive oil products are great sources of monounsaturated fat. However, Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains much higher quantities of antioxidants.

At the top of the list is Vitamin E and Phenols. This is because Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the least processed of all the olive oil health products and is actually from the very first press of the olives.

It may be more expensive, but if you want the very best in taste and health benefits from your olive oil choice than this is the oil for you.

IS COCONUT OIL THE NEXT SUPER-FOOD?

It’s sad to see someone train their hearts out all year and then let their poor diet choices undermine all the work they have done.

I found that coconut oil along with olive oil provided me with the two best fats available.

Virgin Coconut Oil could well be one of the world’s best kept nutrition secrets. For years it was believed coconut oil was loaded down with fat that was bad for you.

However North Americans have come to realize that this isn’t true. There are even those who believe that it misinformation spread by the canola industry.

Coconut oil. Excellent for Triathlon diets

Coconut oil may be the next super food

The livestock industry has known for years that if you want to fatten livestock, you feed it corn oil or canola oil. However if you want to make livestock leaner, you feed it coconut oil.

The concept is no different for people and it’s just a matter of consumers becoming more educated. After incorporating coconut oil in their diet people soon learn it’s true value.

Including 5 or 6 tablespoons of coconut oil along with a regimen of regular fitness can actually lead to weight lose weight. It will also increase endurance and over-all fitness.

COCONUT OIL A STAPLE FOOD FOR MANY COUNTRIES

Many Asian countries have used coconut oil for hundreds of years as a staple part of their diets.

They have recorded far fewer heart disease problems than North Americans. As a people they do not suffer from obesity issues.

Coconut oil is so versatile that they use it in their hair on on their skin skin with dramatic results. Their hair has a shiny, healthy, luster and their skin stays wrinkle-free well into their senior years.

Triathlon diets

extra virgin coconut oil

ATHLETES AND COCONUT OIL

Now athletes in particular are starting to discover the benefits of coconut oil weight loss and how it can improve athletic performance and recovery.

From my own experience, coconut oil appears to speed the metabolism process. I reached the lowest weight of my adult life after including five or six tablespoons daily into my triathlon diets.

If you have tried everything in order to become trimmer or fitter, consider the benefits of coconut oil weight loss. Coconut oil is not only versatile and easy to use but tastes as well.

COOKING WITH COCONUT OIL

You can substitute coconut oil in pretty much any recipe that called for the poorer dietary fat choices, butter or margarine.

It’s relatively easy to incorporate 5 or 6 tablespoons of coconut oil into your daily diet.

Add it to oatmeal, pasta, pasta sauce, smoothies, and use coconut oil (and olive oil) whenever you fry anything instead of cooking with canola and vegetable oils.

You are only limited by your imagination as coconut oil adds flavor and nutrition to so many different foods and should be in every triathletes kitchen. Be sure to make it part of all your triathlon diets.

IRONSTRUCK NUTRITION POSTS

Great article on Nutrition for triathletes.

Vegetarian athletes

Most sports have vegetarian athletes who perform at a high level

Why people become vegetarians or choose vegetarian weight loss diets is a question that is often asked.

There is a perception that vegetarian athletes won’t get the required protein necessary to give them optimal strength.

WHY CHOOSE A VEGETARIAN DIET?

There are several reasons why people might decide to choose a vegetarian diet.

They might do it because they don’t feel right about consuming other animals, as a means of losing weight, to feel better, or simply out of curiosity.

Perhaps athletes adopt a vegetarian diet for the same reason that I did for many years when I was training for the Ironman Triathlon season after season.

They became vegetarian athletes to see if they would perform better in their sport of choice.

It was actually the Dr. Robert Haas Eat To Win Diet that started me down the vegetarian path.

VEGETARIANISM AND IMPROVED ENDURANCE

Although Dr. Haas states that very lean beef in small portions once or twice a week is okay, once you are on his diet you pretty much don’t bother consuming meat.

pasta choices for Vegetarian athletes

I guess I should qualify that. I ate tuna and salmon, but there was no beef or pork in my diet in the years that I performed the best at the marathon and Ironman Triathlon level.

In other words, I have no doubt that it helped my endurance and over-all athletic performance and recovery to stay as close to a total vegetarian diet as possible.

A vegetarian Thanksgiving or Christmas was always a challenge, and those were the few times I allowed myself to consume some white turkey meat.

It was more out of tradition and respect for the person who took the time to cook the turkey in the first place. Right after the holiday dinner it was right back to 98% vegetarian diet with the odd can of tuna or salmon tossed into the mix.

FAMOUS VEGETARIAN ATHLETES

Very few people realize just how many famous and world class athletes were on vegetarian diets at the height of their success. For many like Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King it extended their amazing careers many, many years.

It was when Martina Navratilova was on the Dr. Robert Haas “Eat To Win” diet that she was beating women tennis pros half her age and was at the top of her game.

Edwin Moses was the world’s premier 400-meter hurdle champion and he was not beat for 8 years in his event and he attributed much of his success to his vegetarian diet.

Other incredible vegetarian athletes include Carl Lewis who won 9 gold medals and Leroy Burrell who took turns claiming the title of “fastest man in the world.”

In the ranks of major league sports there is no shortage of athlete vegetarians who were at the top of their game. Hank Aaron, Jim Katt and Major league manager Tony Larussa were all vegetarians.

As were NFLer’s Joe Namath, Lawrence Phillips and Marv Levey. Numerous Pro Skateboarder’s, endurance athletes, swimmers, and weight-lifters do not include meat in their diets.

As far as triathlon goes, you have to go no further than the greatest triathlete of all. Dave Scott is an example of a vegetarian athlete who performed at the highest of levels year after year.

Of course Scott won Ironman Hawaii 6 times. I was in Kona in 1984 to take part in the Ironman rumors swirled around about how Dave Scott was spotted in local restaurants eating huge servings of pasta and salad.

Dave held a degree in exercise physiology. It was one of the reasons he did so well back in the 1980’s on the triathlon scene.

It would be decades before the average triathlete began to understand the true value of consuming the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Eventually they would discover that a proper balance provided optimum performance and recovery from both racing and training.

There is an enduring myth that still abounds that vegetarian athletes simply cannot function at the highest level without animal protein in their daily diet.

The response to that from Dave Scott in his own words is that it is a “ridiculous fallacy” that athletes need meat in order to be successful.

eggs are a good choice for Vegetarian athletes

Brown Eggs

It has been proven over again by the athletes I just mentioned that the necessity of animal protein in the diet is not essential in order to perform at your absolute best.

However, there is a big “but” that goes along with that.

“But” you must take extra precautions to be sure you are getting sufficient plant protein if you are thinking of becoming a vegetarian athlete.

THE IMPORTANCE OF VEGETARIAN MEAL PLANNING

There are many accounts of people who have jumped head first into the lifestyle of a vegetarian athlete. This is especially true when athletes have a passion for their sport of choice and will do whatever it takes to find that “competitive edge”. (performance enhancing drugs aside)

Many will experience very good results in the early weeks and race times may even become quite a bit faster. For instance a 10k runner might become 90 seconds faster. For those who run to compete, this is a “huge” improvement.

When you are first doing vegetarian meal planning and seeing great results in athletic performance it can be very encouraging.

However, it’s very common for some people new to the world of vegetarian athletes to suffer an “energy crash” of sorts after a few months on their new diet.

Often this happens because they have not compensated for the protein source they lose once they give up animal protein. In some cases people are even “vegans” and give up dairy products and eggs etc. as well.

It’s very common that athletes new to the vegetarian diet will start eating copious amounts of breads, cereals, rice and salads. These are great foods, but where is the protein? Yes, there is protein in small amounts in these foods but not nearly enough to provide your daily allowance as an athlete.

VEGETARIAN DIET BALANCE AND OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE

As an athlete you will require quite a bit more protein in your diet than the average person who seldom gets off the couch.

It just stands to reason that you will have more muscles to repair from all that working out, training, and racing.

Vegetarian athletes

Stick with the pasta

However, we simply must provide it with the best possible fuel so it can do it’s work and make you stronger and faster.

As a result, their diets include just the perfect amounts of carbohydrates and protein to fuel their high performance engines. Poor fats and simple carbohydrates are nowhere to be found when the tour is in progress.

In all the research I’ve done over the years about the vegetarian diet it seems that the ideal amount of protein for an athlete is about .06-.07 grams for every pound they weigh.

So using myself as an example, in my prime as an endurance athlete I competed at 150 lbs. In that case I would have had to consume around 80-110 grams of protein per day.

I’m not a registered dietitian and this is just what worked for me. You can take it or leave it.

So this is where it becomes challenging to be a vegetarian athlete. Animal protein(and that includes eggs and cheese)is by far the easiest way to ensure you are getting enough protein in your diet because it is so concentrated.

For instance, a small 5-7 ounce serving of chicken or turkey has 42 grams of protein which is over one-third of your daily requirement as an athlete.

So what should you eat to ensure you are getting enough protein when you become a vegetarian athlete?

It is quite feasible to provide your body with the necessary protein on a daily basis by including nuts, beans, soy products and whole grains in your diet on a regular basis.

At every single meal the vegetarian athlete should become accustomed to thinking about exactly what they are consuming in the way of protein. Use your imagination.

So you’re having a whole wheat bagel? Spread some natural peanut butter on it. Making some vegetable soup. A single cup of lentils has about 20 grams of protein.

Don’t forget that all those breads and cereals you eat also add to your daily amount of protein but “do not” supply enough just on their own.

It’s important to vegetarian athletes to pay attention to vitamin deficiencies

One of the benefits of eating meat, fish and poultry is the amounts of essential vitamins and minerals they provide.

These will be lacking your vegetarian diet, so be sure to compensate for this. It’s always best to discuss this with your doctor and come up with a strategy. You should have a strategy to ensure you are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform at it’s best.

vitamin supplements for Vegetarian athletes

Do you need vitamin supplements?

You will not be getting as much in the way of omega 3’s (normally from salmon and other fatty fish), vitamin B12, iron and perhaps zinc. Salmon will help provide the necessary Omega oil needed and tuna is an excellent source of protein.

Skim milk, eggs, yogurt and cottage cheese really help ensure a vegetarian diet is somewhat balanced. Women should be especially careful about the loss of iron as they are more susceptible to an iron deficiency.

EASE INTO THE VEGETARIAN LIFESTYLE

If you ease into your vegetarianism your body will more easily grow accustomed to your change in diet.

If would be wise for 6 or 8 weeks to slowly reduce the amounts of meat you are eating. For example after a few weeks stop eating beef and pork, but keep eating chicken and fish at a few of your meals. After a few more weeks have passed just eat fish a few times a week.

As the weeks go by add more and more soy products and beans, and other plant protein to your daily meals.

This will give your body time to adjust and will enable you to perform at a high(and probably improved)level. Most vegetarian athletes soon discover this works well for them.

IRONSTRUCK NUTRITION POSTS

Visit Jamie Oliver website for excellent pasta recipes.

Vegetarian Diet for Triathletes

Misconceptions about a vegetarian diet for triathletes

There have always been doubters about whether or not a vegetarian diet would be wise for a triathlete.

For instance how would a triathlete take on the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-miles of an Ironman if a vegetarian diet for triathletes was adopted?

There always seems to be this underlying concern that a vegetarian diet would cause a severe lack of protein which would result in a loss of overall strength and inability to compete at optimum levels.

Actually, this seems to be an unfounded fear.

It has been proved many times over that the key to success for endurance athletes is centered around a diet of complex carbohydrates that make up the bulk of daily caloric intake.

It’s been a bit of a fad lately to knock whole wheat and carbohydrates in general.

However in most cases the authors have never experienced the positive effect of intense training over a long period of time using complex carbohydrates like whole wheat as the cornerstone of their diet.

It seems like pure lunacy to consume mainly proteins and fats and cut back on complex carbohydrates and then expect to have any fuel in the tank when it comes to athletic performance.

I spent four years on a high carbohydrate diet that I will describe below and in that time experienced personal bests in the 10k, marathon, and Ironman.

After a long, hard bike I would eat three whole wheat bagels and have a huge plate of pasta for dinner.

After just six months on a high carbohydrate my endurance increased dramatically.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova was on this diet for years and was beating players half her age on the center court of major tournaments like the French Open.

Consuming sufficient proteins on a vegetarian diet for triathletes

In his book EAT To Win published in the early 1980’s Doctor Robert Hass suggested a diet balance of approximately 60% complex carbohydrates, 20% fat, and 20% protein.

I took it a step further and ate 70% carbohydrates, 15% fat, and 15% protein.

His theory was that quality complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and pasta created a high octane fuel that was burned in the fire of clean burning, high quality fats.

A quality fat would be Extra Virgin Olive Oil for example and it was a mainstay of my training diet. I would add coconut oil into this diet as well as it has grown in stature as a quality fat and super-food in the past decade.

ironstruck.com-  vegetarian diet for triathletes

Make pasta the cornerstone of your vegetarian diet.


Suggestions for sources of protein included egg whites, skim milk, cottage cheese, legumes, and occasional lean beef.

This diet framework fits perfectly for a vegetarian diet for triathletes. It’s no great hardship to give up the lean beef and adopt a total vegetarian diet using the diet plan suggested by Dr. Hass.

How proper use of protein is essential to a vegetarian diet for triathletes

If a triathlete is training for an Ironman and goes out on a four hour bike ride and comes home and eats two baked potatoes and nothing else he could very well get light-headed and feel like passing out.

Potatoes are one of the purest forms of carbohydrate. It’s so pure in fact that it’s simulated into the bloodstream incredibly fast and converts to glycogen so quickly that it can cause an energy crash.

Potatoes are another one of the carbohydrate choices highly recommended in the Haas diet, but in order to slow the assimilation into the bloodstream all one has to do is include some protein when eating such a pure carbohydrate.

A half cup of cottage cheese would be enough to slow the absorption of pure carbohydrate into the bloodstream.

So taking this example into account, there is no doubt of the importance of the delicate balance of proteins, fats, and quality complex carbohydrates necessary if one decides to adopt a vegetarian diet for triathletes.

Optimizing your Ironman marathon

Tips on optimizing your Ironman marathon.

Are you like most triathletes and struggle when you get to the Ironman marathon and not aware of the importance of optimizing your Ironman marathon?

Most people who are new to triathlon are a bit surprised when they struggle with the run portion of the race. This is especially true when they were accomplished runners before they became triathletes.

The biggest impact is usually felt by those who are taking on their first ironman and have several marathon finishes to their credit.

They mistakenly assume that all they have to do is deduct a bit of time from their best marathon result and that will pretty much indicate what their Ironman Marathon split will be, give or take a few minutes.

[bctt tweet=”My Ironman was going great. Until someone said I had to run a marathon.
via Ironstruck”]
Unfortunately it doesn’t usually work that way in an Ironman Triathlon because there are simply too many variables to account for and reaching the finish line can often take an hour or more longer then expected unless you are clear on optimizing your Ironman marathon.

WHY THE IRONMAN MARATHON IS SO HARD

  • Most Ironman triathletes fail to spread energy reserves out evenly over the course of Ironman race day.
  • The majority of novice ironmen go into the race over-trained and under-rested.
  • Poor hydration and nutrition in the days leading up to the race and also during the bike leg.

TIPS ON OPTIMIZING YOUR IRONMAN MARATHON

  • Know you limitations and pace yourself accordingly.
  • Are you getting the most out of your Ironman taper leading up to the race?
  • Timing is everything. It makes perfect sense to be carbohydrate loading and hydrating several days before the race.
  • It’s important to have a drinking and eating plan in place for the bike leg.

THE PACE: The energy wasted in a poorly executed swim and a mad dash through transition is unrecoverable.

There’s is a direct link between a poorly planned swim and the Ironman Death March.”

RELATED:Ironman Death March

It’s hard to understand at first that you can actually take a much-deserved rest and not lose what you have gained from all your training.

Without fail there will be triathletes training in the hot sun during any given ironman race week trying to get rid of pent up energy. Actually, they’re burning energy they’ll need for their best result on race day.

It you get this part wrong it’s difficult and often not possible too late to make up for lack of food and water out on the run course.

If you’re playing catch-up with your intake, it’s pretty well too late to recover because you are in a constant state of motion and continually burning energy.

optimizing your Ironman marathon

Swim calm and controlled. Burning valuable energy to swim a few minutes faster is a common error.

Go into the race with a sound swim plan and don’t just “wing it.” It’s pointless to take off like a shot when the guns sounds unless you are a pro and are trying to keep up with the other pros.

There’s not a thing to be gained by doing the swim 8-10 minutes faster if it means stressing yourself physically and in the process burning energy you will need later.

The end result of gaining that 10 minutes in the swim could well mean taking 90 minutes longer to make it through the run later in the day. That just does not compute. One of the main keys to optimizing your Ironman marathon is to begin the moment the swim begins.

Swim well within your ability with your main focus being to get to the swim finish using as little energy as possible and being as relaxed as possible. This means keeping your emotions in check when there is chaos all around you.

RELATED: Ironman Negative-split Strategy

It also means taking your time through the swim/bike transition. There is nothing to be gained by running. Let everyone else around you do that and you will pass them later on in the race.

Going out as fast as you can will sky-rocket your heart-rate for no good reason. Save all that energy for the last part of the bike. If you feel great then, that would be the time to pick it up a little while everyone else is hitting the wall.

THE TAPER: I firmly believe that a one-month taper for an Ironman Triathlon is about right.

With 30 days to go before the big race it’s time to begin to ease off on the gas pedal and let your body have it’s well-deserved rest from those months of preparation.

Each of those last 4 weeks cut your training back 20% or so from the previous week, and the week of the race don’t be tempted to do 15-mile runs in the heat of the day or to head out on a 75-mile bike ride.

This is perhaps the biggest mistake that is made by most new triathletes and crucial to understand on the way to optimizing your Ironman marathon.

All that is really required race week is a few short bikes, runs, and swims in the cool of the morning or evening. Rest should be the main focus the week before the race.

If the race is Sunday, be sure to take Friday completely off and get a good nights sleep as you may not sleep that well the eve of the race.

optimizing your ironman marathon

Mid-week before your Ironman begin taking in high complex carbohydrate foods you’re used to.

FUELING: Wednesday is a good time to begin to take on lots of extra fluids for a Sunday race. It’s also a good time to begin eating meals that you’re accustomed to that are high in carbohydrates.

If your urine is clear and copious by Saturday then you are pretty much there as far as hydration. Your last meal on “race eve” is best eaten fairly early in the day to allow sufficient time for your digestive system to work.

A light breakfast of tea and toast and perhaps a banana about 3 hours before the gun goes off and you should be well-prepared for the race.

If you have hydrated properly before-hand you don’t really need to drink much in the hours leading up to the race. You don’t really need a lot of fluid sloshing around in your system during the swim.

BIKE NUTRITION: The key is to begin early on and eat and drink controlled amounts often as opposed to a huge amount once in a while.

The best time to start drinking and eating is after about 15 minutes on the bike. Your body needs time to make the switch from being horizontal in the water to vertical on the bike.

From that point on I would suggest drinking at regular 20-25 minute intervals for the duration of the bike leg. It really works well if you set the timer on your watch before hand to beep at regular 25-minute intervals as a reminder. Use a time frame that works best for you but it works better if you are consistent.

2013 Ironoptimizing your Ironman marathonman 70.3 california results

Your body needs time to recover from the swim. Dizziness from going horizontal to vertical is not uncommon.

RELATED: Triathletes and Carbohydrates

Most of your eating (of complex carbohydrates like bagels for instance) should be done early on in the bike. Eating in the late stages of the bike is not necessary or recommended especially if you ate sufficiently in the first three-quarters of the bike.

Food eaten late in the bike will most likely not be assimilated in time to do any good in the run and may do more harm than good.

If you do things properly on the bike course you stand a good chance of making it through the run just drinking water at each aid station and avoiding food almost completely.

Ironman triathlon power food

Is this the ultimate Ironman triathlon power food?

Where can you find a food that’s perfect for carrying, packaging, and consuming during the ironman 112-mile bike?

Most of all where can you find the ultimate Ironman triathlon power food that’s natural REAL food and can’t be bought in any store?

Here is a recipe that I have toyed with for some time that has all the nutritional elements to provide energy and power to not only finish the 112-mile bike, but also to make it through the marathon without crashing into the dreaded wall.

The ingredients to this Ironman triathlon power food is an ideal balance of complex carbohydrates for long-term energy, simple carbohydrates for instant energy, protein, and high quality fats. It’s a food that’s also loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.

Lets call them…….

IRONSTRUCK POWER SQUARES

The foundation of the recipe is in the whole wheat flour, oatmeal and figs. These three foods are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates that will sustain you for the long term demands of the Ironman.

Ironman Triathlon power food

Coconut oil and pure honey. A powerful nutritional duo.

Other excellent ingredients are the virgin coconut oil that’s perhaps one of the highest quality fats on the market today. The almonds will help provide the necessary protein, and the honey and molasses are excellent sources of simple carbohydrates for instant energy that will keep you going while the complex carbohydrates are being assimilated and converted to glucose to provide long-term energy to tiring muscles.

INGEDIENTS:

  • 8 cups whole wheat flour
  • 7 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chopped natural almonds(not salted)
  • 2 cups dried figs(chopped)
  • 1.5 cups dehydrated cane juice(health food store)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt(sea salt preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 3.5 cups water(pure if possible)
  • 1.25 cups pure honey(unpasteurized–like, right out of the hive)
  • 1.25 cups molasses (100% natural, no preservatives)
  • 1.5 cups virgin coconut oil

You’ll need a large mixing bowl.

…First thoroughly blend all the dry ingredients.
…Mix in the water
…After the water is mixed in, mix in the honey, molasses, coconut oil, and chopped figs.

You will most likely need several square pans and be sure to coat them with coconut oil. When you pour the mixture into the pans the ideal depth is about 1 inch.

As you are mixing your ingredients, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit .

Bake for one hour at 300 degrees to start with.

ironstruck triathlon power food

You could combine dried figs and dates.

The key to the longevity of these IronStruck Power Squares is to open the oven door a few inches and cook for another three or four hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will serve to dry them and that in turn will add months to their longevity.

If done properly these squares will keep for several weeks just at room temperature, a couple of months in the fridge, and for years in a frozen state. Cooking at three and half to four hours at 200 degrees after the initial one hour at 300 degrees removes as much moisture as possible.

[bctt tweet=”Perhaps the perfect triathlon power food. Make some IronStruck power squares. via Ironstruck”]

The longevity of the power squares also has to do with the honey as honey is pretty much the only food in the world that never goes bad.

Once they are taken out of the oven and cooled, cut them into 2″-2.5″ squares. This is the perfect size for fitting into your cycling jersey. You could easily put 8-10 squares into individual plastic bags and consume them at regular intervals during the 112-mile bike.

The beauty of these Ironstruck Power Squares is that you know exactly what’s in them. All the ingredients are high quality and will power you through the Ironman. There are no preservatives.

One of the main advantages of this recipe is that you can mix and match many of the ingredients in order to suit your personal preferences and tastes.

If you have a nut allergy you can omit them and add more dried figs or dates.

ironman triathlon power food

These are date squares as an example of how to cut your power squares.

The figs are important as they are such an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. For the sake of variety you could use 1.5 cups of figs and perhaps .5 cups of raisins or dates. However, raisins are more on the simple carbohydrate side as opposed to complex.

You could substitute Spelt, Quinoa, or Amaranth in place of a part of the whole wheat flour.

For example: 4 cups whole wheat flour, four cups Spelt, and 7 cups of oatmeal. I would recommend staying with the 7 cups of oatmeal as they are such an excellent source of complex carbohydrate.

The recipe should make approximately fifty 2″-2.5″squares. This is a prefect size to carry in your bike jersey during training rides and most all on the Ironman bike course.

You could actually make these in April and use them in an August Ironman. All you have to do is freeze them. To see if they work for you, take 6 of them with you when you are planning your longer training rides. Put them in separate ziplock bags.

Eat one at regular intervals during the first two-thirds of the bike.

Monitor how you feel energy wise. Be sure to drink whatever replacement drinks(and water)you plan to use race-day. Make sure the food digests well and you have no stomach issues.

If you like the way they taste, they digest well, and you feel like you have energy late in the ride, then just maybe you have solved your eating problems for the Ironman.

If you combine this Ironman Triathlon power food with a common sense pace through-out the day that keeps your heart-rate down and out of the anaerobic zone you will have your best chance at an excellent Ironman race result.

Ironman Triathletes and Carbohydrate Loading