In the first instalment of our look into nutrition in the world of cycling, we have a brief chat with professional British Triathlete Mark Buckingham, who is gearing up for an assault on the qualifying standard for the 2016 Olympic Games. Mark has enjoyed a strong start to the 2015 ITU World Triathlon series and recently finished 4th in Yokohama.
A runner by trade, Mark became a full time triathlete in 2010 and has since been to 2 World Championships, won the British Triathlon title and is a 4 time winner of the British Duathlon Championships. Here's a brief insight into how he looks after his nutrition and hydration in training:
RC: What does your day to day nutrition plan look like, does this differ when you are away from home at events?
MB: I tend to plan all my meals myself and just try to eat as healthily as possible. When I'm away I generally just eat Italian type of foods. If I want help with my diet, British Triathlon have a nutritionist I can access.
RC: Are you conscious of eating certain types of foods after a training session?
MB: On intense training days, when we have hard run or bike sessions, I make sure I have plenty of protein, normally a protein shake (proto-col) straight after the ride and a chicken dinner in the evening.
RC: Do you use supplements in your daily nutrition or at races?
MB: The only supplements I currently use is caffeine, which is in my race gels. I've tried multi vitamins and vitamin D in the past, but I'm good at keeping a balanced diet and find getting out in the sun tends to be enough.
RC: On race day what's your typical nutrition plan?
MB: Cereal, peanut butter/jam on toast with banana and a coffee. I will then have two gels and a carb drink on the bike.
RC: What nutrition do you use to aid recovery, post races or hard sessions?
MB: A scoop of progold protein powder and milk is what I use 3-4 times a week. If I don't have any powder you can pretty much get hold of a pint of milk wherever you are in the world.
RC: Is nutrition/hydration essential to maximising performance?
MB: It's very important to keep hydrated (see below). I can tell when I'm not properly hydrated before a session and it really has an effect on your performance.