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Intelligent Triathlon Talk, Issue #23-, Avoid Weight Gain This Christmas
December 22, 2015

Intelligent Triathlon Talk


December 2015, Issue No 22


Welcome to Intelligent Triathlon Talk.

In this issue:

  • Nutrition: Our Simple Tips To Avoid Weight Gain Over Christmas
  • New Services: Nutrition and Strength & Conditioning
  • Athlete News


New Nutrition Service Available


New at Intelligent Triathlon Training is our nutrition service.

We have teamed up with SEnr registered nutritionist Kurt Bergin-Taylor.

Alongside his role providing nutrition support to athletes at Loughborough University, he has been working with many of Intelligent Triathlon Training’s coached athletes.

One of our first athletes to work with Kurt was Kim Morrison, who has made the step from AG to the Pro ranks this year. She had this to say about working with Kurt:

‘Kurt takes a scientific approach to my nutrition plan, but factors in the reality of life. Mark, Kurt and I have all worked together to build a plan that fuels my demanding training schedule and provides me with a smart race nutrition strategy’

Another of our Pro athletes working with Kurt is Eloise du Luart who had this to say:

‘When it comes to sports nutrition, Kurt is the man! Everything he recommends is not only backed up by the science but is also geared to your aims in sport and you as a person. He really understands that these two things are not mutually exclusive and that one size certainly does not fit all’.

We are now offering 2 levels of support - an in-depth consultation at £80 and a more basic consultation at £40.

This can be carried out in person or on Skype.

For more information visit our Nutrition page on the website.

Kurt’s Simple Top Tips To Avoid Unwanted Weight Gain Over Christmas

Flexibility – Think ‘damage limitation’. Don't feel guilty for eating small portions of unhealthy foods. By not feeling guilty you are less likely to feel like you have done something wrong and thus not overindulge.

Protein Intake – It is well known that protein has a high satiety effect meaning you will feel fuller for longer. Increasing protein intake can help keep unwanted cravings in check.

Exercise – Keep your training up! Stay on top of regular training in order to keep weight gain to a minimum! Training can deplete your carbohydrate stores, meaning more of the food you ingest gets stored in the muscles rather than as fat.

Low Calorie Options – Try prioritising low calorie soft drinks over ones containing high levels of sugar. They often taste very similar but have drastically different amounts of calories.


New Strength & Conditioning Service Available


In another exciting new development at Intelligent Triathlon Training, we have teamed up with UKSCA Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach Mark Neimz.

Neimz was formerly the lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for the British Triathlon Federation, and so has vast experience of getting triathletes in top condition for optimal performance.

Neimz has been working with some of Intelligent Triathlon Training’s UK-based coached athletes, and whilst we currently have limited availability, if you are interested in accessing this service, please Contact Us

A lot of the focus so far has been round core control and stability, to improve running performance.

We have already seen the benefits to our athletes. For example one of our athletes noticed that she struggled to maintain running form and technique towards the end of a race or when fatigued.

This is now being addressed and she feels a lot stronger in her running, which is being reflected in her performance in training this winter.


Athlete News


This autumn has been a very busy period with new athletes coming on board, over a range of distances from sprint distance through to Ironman and onto Exterra.

A couple of the higher profile athletes include:

  • Brennan Townshend who raced over 70.3 distance last year as an AG but is taking the plunge this winter and joining the Pro ranks
  • Louise Fox who has been one of the top female Exterra/off-road triathlon athletes in the UK for a few years.
Alongside these guys we have athletes aiming for Kona, 70.3 world champs, exterra, domestic super series drafting races and ITU elite drafting races, and with the new ITU Sprint format being draft legal we also have several athletes trying to make a mark in this new AG format.

Its been a busy and exciting autumn and we will be introducing some of the new athletes in more detail in subsequent newsletters.


Training Planning


We’ve been using Training Peaks for many years (since it was initially called Cycling Peaks back in the day) to plan and review training sessions/programmes. We often get asked about various features and metrics that they provide. Most questions revolve around the use of the Training Stress Score (TSS) and how to use some of the Performance Manager graphs which include variable like Chronic Training Load (CTL), Acute Training Load (ATL) and Training Stress Balance (TSB).

In my experience there can be a lot to be gained from using these metrics to help understand how an athlete adapts to training, when they perform at their best and when they need rest or to pushed on a bit more. However there are several caveats to this. With triathlon, the inclusion of the three disciplines can cause a lot of confusion and not appreciating this can result in some significant errors in understanding what has happened in training and how to use this moving forward.

I don’t have room here to explain how we use them in detail (look out for more in future newsletters), but the data is not the be all and end all, you need to apply common sense and listen to your body!

After all none of these metrics measure what your day at work was like, how your diet was on that crazy day of meetings, whether your 2 month old baby has kept you up at night for the last 2 weeks (speaking from experience here), or any of the many other things that effect daily life.

These metrics just look at the session you did and how it relates to your threshold. If you are in a heavy training block the same session will feel completely different at the begin of the block compared to the end, and that should be accounted for, but this can only by done by the human (coach or athlete or both).

So we use a blend of the science of the metrics, experience of the coach and communication with the athlete to decide whether we are on the right track, need to stray a little from the path or to actually start making a whole new path.

If this sounds like an approach that would work for you, then we do have a very limited number of places still available for coaching.

If you are interested in being coached by us then please contact Us.



That's all for this edition.

Hope you all have a great Christmas and holiday season.

See you in the new year!


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Comments? Ideas? Feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us.

See you next time!

Rhona & Mark

© 2015, Intelligent Triathlon Training, published by Rhona Pearce. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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