Tyler Butterfield crosses the finish line at Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. *Photo by TCA/Abu Dhabi Getty Images
Tyler Butterfield crosses the finish line at Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. *Photo by TCA/Abu Dhabi Getty Images

Firstly, congratulations to Tyler Butterfield for perhaps the biggest win of his career in the Abu Dhabi Triathlon last weekend.

Beating a strong field that included Ironman World Champion Frederick van Lierde will be a huge confidence-booster for Tyler. 

Managing your training and looking after your body over a long season with high mileage, including peaking at the right time, is not easy over the longer distances. 

Butterfield knows that his biggest races are ahead but such good early-season form will help his confidence. 

A key aspect of Butterfield’s triathlon programme  will be nutrition. 

It is often said that triathlon is a four discipline sport with nutrition being the fourth element.

So much has been written about nutrition in sport that it can be confusing for even an experienced triathlete.

However, there are some golden rules that triathletes should not ignore and in this column and in the next two weeks we will explore this tricky subject.

Eat enough

It is often a fine line between keeping optimal body weight and putting enough fuel in your body.

Triathletes often fuel well during training but don’t eat enough during the day, leading to a caloric deficit at the end of the day. 

Breakfast is key as you should be taking in at least 35 per cent of your daily calories before you get going each day.

In Bermuda, many triathletes train early in the morning, to beat the heat and/or traffic, but often haven’t eaten enough before they train.

Eat right

We are all told about eating healthy but when training, what you eat becomes even more critical. The four elements to your fuel intake are carbohydrates, protein, fat and fluids. Your carbohydrate intake should be focused around non-processed (not easy in Bermuda!) vegetables, fruits, grains and cereals. Good protein foods are skinless chicken, lean beef, eggs and milk. 

Nuts and seeds are good for fat intake. Of course, there are many other good sources of these three key components to your diet. Fluid intake includes water and sports drinks.

Next week we will focus on why your body needs these fuels and when the optimal time is to take them on and in what proportions.