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How to fuel up your multi-sport tank (Part 2) by Ben Greenfield

Posted Feb 02 2009 10:44pm

Triathlon_1 Build/Intensity/Preparation

Your longer, harder efforts are increasing, and you are spending a greater period of time at lactate threshold. Many of your workouts include intervals and high intensity workouts, so dependence on carbohydrate as an energy source is increasing, and use of fat will decrease.

Carbs now increase to 65%, protein increases to 15%, and fat drops a bit, down to 20% of total dietary intake. This also a great time to begin practicing your race fueling. Yes, that means you switch from chocolate bars to gels. Racing/Specialization/Peak

Efforts during this time of season are hardest, and involve difficult, high-intensity lactate threshold, above lactate threshold, and VO2 max efforts. A good deal of time is spent developing power, speed, and strength, which places a high demand on the body for carbohydrate (for high intensity energy) and protein (for muscle recovery).

To enhance power:weight ratio, unnecessary amounts of subcutaneous fat should also be kept at a minimum during this phase, meaning your body fat percentage should be the lowest of the year, and your consumption of french fries and peanut butter should strongly correlate to this. Ratios now increase to about 70% carbs, 15% protein, and decrease to 15% fat.


As you transition into the off-season, and focus on goal setting, strength training, and cross-training, carbohydrate and total caloric needs will decrease, while protein will be more necessary for muscle building and recovery. A sample ratio would be back down to 50% carbs, with 25% protein and 25% fat. This doesn' t count the part of the off-season in which you go ape nuts on beer kegs, T-bone steaks, and yes, much, much more peanut butter.

The take-away message is this: you don' t train the same way, day after day, week after week, month after month - do you? Please say no. Then why would your diet never change to match your fluctuating intensity and volume? Now that you know about nutri - hell, I' m not going to type it again, you know the answer.

*Part 1 of this Story can be read HERE

Whoisben Ben Greenfield is the Renaissance man of the sport of triathlon.

He' s a fast triathlete, a coach, a personal trainer, and much more more.

We recommend that you surf on over to, where he' s just released a very
valuable podcast that talks about critters living in your gut. Yes, you
heard right. Check it out, you don' t want to miss this one...

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