Essential Sports Nutrition


The dieting athlete?

It seems like every day there is a new diet telling us what not to eat and a scientific article for reference, a nutrition expert, doctor or personal trainer touting a diet plan, a book, blog or website telling us what foods are destroying out heal and a food company excited to grab the market share by introducing a new “healthy” re-engineered processed food alternative which has the opportunity to be highly profitable.  Whether it’s lack of confidence, common sense, passion or effort for healthy eating, much of our society relies on diet plans as the best way to lose weight or to improve health.

We all know why people struggle with food and body weight. It's not so much because people are eating too many vegetables, eating healthy fats and quality proteins, consuming grains like buckwheat, quinoa and wild rice and eating lentils and beans.

In defense of carbs, we know very plain and clear that added sugar, soda's, processed and fast food are to blame. 

In America, eating habits are not steady and when it comes to the mention of food, people are still confused how to eat. Without the use of labels, numbers, grams, apps, spreadsheets and journals, many people experience great anxiety, fear and stress regarding what and how much food they should put into their body. 

It’s quite the paradox but America is obsessed with eating healthy yet we are one very unhealthy nation.
We are obsessed with food yet the “off-limit” food list keeps growing every year. 

It’s quite counterproductive for athletes to diet and train for an event at the same time, but many athletes believe that weight is a metric of progress - if weight is dropping, performance is improving.  However, weight loss is not always correlated with performance and health improvements, especially when an extreme calorie reduction starves the body for available energy, slows the metabolism, does not preserve lean tissue, is restrictive of essential nutrients and suppresses the immune system. 

Unlike the normal population, you use your body differently when it comes to working out. As an athlete, you workout to experience physiological improvements so that you can prepare yourself for the demands of your race day. Therefore, your eating style will need to change throughout the season in order to supply sufficient energy and nutrients to support your variable training load, especially when intensity and volume increase. 

However, the same dietary rules apply to you - you have to have healthy lifestyle habits, you can't overeat on carbohydrates (or calories for that matter), you need to eat mindfully, you need to meal plan ahead and on top of it all, you have to learn how to meet your metabolic needs before, during and after long workouts. 

Ironically, when you put emphasis into how to train and eat in order to optimize performance, favorable body composition changes occur naturally. This has to do with making sure you eat enough calories to support metabolism but not too much that energy is stored and not used efficiently. You want to eat a variety of foods to provide your body with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and consume adequate macronutrients to keep your body in good health and well-fueled and various phases of training and to support the immune system. Lastly, it is important to use sport nutrition properly to train your gut, stay hydrated, meet electrolyte and energy needs.

I can put many athletes into two categories - athletes who eat too much and athletes who don't eat enough. How do you know which category you fit in? 

If you have or are experiencing any one of the following, there is a good chance your eating and fueling habits are not supporting your athletic lifestyle: 

Hormonal dysfunction, poor bone health, stress fractures, decreased thyroid output, increased cortisol, impaired mood and cognitive functioning, suppressed immune function, muscle catabolism, anemia, dehydration, hypoglycemia, anxiety, chronic fatigue, interrupted sleep, inflammation, sudden loss of training motivation, preoccupation with food, eating disorder, nutrient deficiencies, unintentional weight gain or loss, hypoglycemia, chronic muscle cramps/weakness, kidney issues, adrenal fatigue, cardiovascular stress, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal disturbances, nausea, headaches, skeletal, tendon and ligament injuries, thinning hair and a decline in performance.

These issues do not happen because you are eating gluten, eating carbs or eating fat. These issues happen because you are putting too much training stress on your body and because of what you are or are not eating, your body lacks the necessary nutrients and efficient use of energy to support training demands. 

A well-fueled and nourished body is more likely to get stronger, faster and more powerful in the training process compared to a depleted and nutrient deficient body hoping to make “race weight” by a certain date.

If you don't know how to fuel and eat smart as an athlete, reach out to a sport RD to help you out in your journey. 


Fit AND healthy

Great performances are built on great health. If you are carelessly eating whatever you want or intentionally restricting energy and fluids before/during and after your workouts, in an your attempt to improve performance, you could actually find yourself becoming less healthy.

You can't expect to train your way to great fitness and live an unhealthy lifestyle.

Sure, you may not smoke, eat fast food all day or drink excessively but how are your dietary choices enhancing your health?

Great health is the foundation to great performances. 

As it relates to 
healthy living and healthy eating, how much time you devote to getting fit compared to how much time you devote to improving your health? 
Don’t assume that both are correlated as many times, they are not.

You can be very fit but also very unhealthy. 

In the February 2016 issue of Triathlete Magazine, you can check out two pages (Pg. 68-69) of my nutrition tips relating to fueling your body for short distance triathlons. 

You will read in the article that I am not suggesting complicated sport nutrition tips nor am I suggesting to be overly restrictive with your eating.

Hopefully with my tips you will better understand how to fuel your body in motion so that you can be more consistent with training as you keep your body in good health. 

Just because you signed up for a race and you have a training plan, this doesn't mean that you are guaranteed good health.

You have to make the effort to be healthy when you are NOT training so that when you train, your body can adapt better to training stress. 

It is important to focus on healthy living as an athlete so that you don't compromise your health as you are trying to improve your fitness. 

Here are a few focus areas for healthy living:

Good sleep
Healthy relationships
Healthy work/life/family balance
Stress management
                                   Train smart - train enough but not too much                             
Strength train
Reduce sedentary time
Nutrient timing
Prioritize real food, variety
Meal plan
Healthy relationship with food and the body


Happy meal.....salad

With so many food options available to consumers, there's really no reason why meal time should be an unhappy time. 

If we ever eat together, you'll notice that I yum a lot. Food makes me happy, especially when it is real food.
I love the taste when ingredients come together and I love exciting my taste buds with new or recently introduced ingredients end up on my plate. 

Almost every day, I make myself a salad for lunch.

Occasionally it is a warm salad (stir-fry) but I typically make a raw salad loaded with vitamins and minerals combined with a grain and vegetarian protein. I find that lunch is the best time for me to load up on veggies as I typically work out in the morning and evening and I don't prefer a lot of roughage after an evening workout and I recover best with a nice mix of carbohydrates (fresh bread, oats, homemade granola, raisins, fruits) and protein (eggs, yogurt or whey protein and milk) for my post workout morning meal.
(I always eat before a workout, no matter the length of the workout - always!). 

 Plus, I find myself enjoying a veggie-filled meal at lunch more so than in the early morning or late evening. I am a firm believer that you have to get to know your appetite and food preferences as knowing when I you will most enjoy and eat your veggies is an important component of meal planning.

 As you can tell from most of my Facebook  pics, I do a lot of stir-fry's for dinner with a mix of grains/starch/potato, veggies, oil/cheese and plant-based protein. There is no shortage of plants (fruits and veggies) in my diet but my lunch meal is often my most plant-dense meal of the day.

I made this salad yesterday and it made me smile. I think it was the starfruit. If you haven't had a starfruit before, it's like a very tart and sour kiwi.

Maybe it's just me but I can't help but smile when seeing stars on my plate...and I get to eat them too!

Here are the ingredients to my happy meal salad:
Thanks to batch cooking on Sunday, most of these ingredients were ready for me so all I had to do was assemble the salad in my bowl. 

Roasted chickpeas with cumin - about 1/4 cup
Tri-colored quinoa (about 1/2 cup)
Park skim mozzarella (more of it went into my mouth while making the salad than on the salad) - about an ounce
Starfruit - about 1/2
Hardboiled egg - 1
Sweet peppers - 3 (1 each; red, orange, yellow)
Onions - chopped to my liking
Avocado - about 1/3
Arugula - big handful
Mixed greens - big handful, then chopped
Lemon juice and olive oil - quirt of lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil


Upcoming speaking event: Which diet should you follow?

Are you wanting to lose 15+ lbs before your key race this season?

Are you looking to change your diet/fueling in order to maximize your short distance or long distance racing performance?

Do you struggle with your body image or relationship with food?

Do you struggle to maintain a healthy body composition while training for long distance events?

Do you experience GI issues, fatigue, headaches or low blood sugar symptoms while training/racing?

Are you confused as to how to eat and fuel to stay healthy as an athlete?

Are you overwhelmed with all of the diet, nutrition, fueling and eating advice you hear/read and want to understand what will work best for you as an athlete?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, I invite you to come to my FREE talk at Run In in Greenville, SC on Monday January 11th, 2016 at 6:15pm. 

If you are able to attend this talk, my goal is to help you better understand how to eat and fuel smarter as an athlete in order to maximize performance but also to do so in a way that will help keep your body in great health.

I will also discuss some of the common reasons as to why your dietary choices affect your training, gut, health and performance and how you can make dietary adjustments in order to move closer to your health, performance and weight goals. 


Are you training for a triathlon in 2016?

Do you have a triathlon goal for 2016? 

Are you registered for your first Olympic, Half or Full Ironman distance triathlon in 2016? 

Are you looking to improve your skills, endurance, strength and overall fitness throughout your racing season to see what you are capable of achieving at your key race in 2016?

Are you serious about your training and want a smart training plan to follow to see what your body is capable of achieving in 2016?
If so, we created our (NEW) 20-week Trimarni training plans with YOU in mind. 

As accomplished endurance triathletes and devoted coaches, we understand the physiological and nutritional needs of endurance triathlon training and racing.

We love coaching athletes of all fitness levels.
All we ask is that you have a goal and a race in mind, you enjoy the developmental process of training, you want to excel on race day and you are committed to training smart, working hard and keeping your body in good health.

No matter what level athlete you are or what event distance you are training for, we put a lot of thought and effort into our plans to ensure that you would feel physically, mentally, nutritionally and emotionally ready for your upcoming races. 


Marni is a Board Certified Sport Dietitian (CSSD) and holds a Master of Science in exercise physiology. She specializes in sport nutrition and she is a certified USA Triathlon level-1 coach. With a great understanding of the physiological and nutritional requirements of training for endurance sports, she enjoys working with triathletes of all levels. She has coached fitness enthusiasts to become first-time Ironman finishers, has helped many age-groupers, with families and busy work schedules, reach personal best times and achieve life-long goals and has developed athletes to qualify for the Ironman World Championship.
Marni is a 10x Ironman finisher with a 10:17 Ironman PR (IM Austria), including 4 Ironman World Championship finishes. 

Karel is an experienced RETUL bike fitter with exceptional skills as a bike mechanic. Karel knows everything and anything about cycling. As an exceptional cat 1 cyclist turned triathlete, Karel has the ability to think like a one sport athlete but train like a triathlete in order to help Trimarni athletes learn how to train smarter. As a cyclist turned triathlete, Karel has had to learn the basics when it comes to training for triathlons, which has allowed him to better coach his athletes. Karel qualified for the 70.3 World Championship after his first half IM and finished his 2nd Ironman in 9:22 (Ironman Austria) with a 3:11 marathon.
Karel and Marni enjoy working together because they each have their own strengths and specialty areas when it comes to coaching athletes and performing as top age-group endurance triathletes. 
We enjoy the developmental process of working with athletes and teaching our athletes how to train smarter in order to execute well on race day.  We provide great detail and attention to every workout which includes focus on strength training, daily and sport nutrition, pacing, intervals, mental toughness, recovery and learning how to adjust to life. We strongly believe in an educational component to our coaching so that our athletes know why they are doing what they are doing in every workout, with every phase of training.
Thank you for considering Trimarni Coaching to help you reach your short and long term triathlon goals. 

Any athlete who purchases a Trimarni training plan in the month of January will be entered into a raffle for one FREE entry to any Rev3 Triathlon race (distance of your choice) for 2016. The winning athlete will be notified on Feb 1st. 
If you are interested in joining our performance team with the purchase of any training plan, you will receive the past 4 check-in educational emails for FREE. Topics discussed included sport nutrition (with specific calculations for determining carbohydrate, fat and protein needs as well as how to fuel before, during and after workouts), daily nutrition, understanding "check-points" (testing) and swim training specifics. You will receive over 15 pages of detailed educational materials that will help you train and fuel smarter for FREE if you join our performance team in Jan.
You will receive all past and current weekly check-in emails as soon as you purchase you plan.  
If you are a triathlete who is interested in Trimarni coaching and being part of the Trimarni team but not interested in individualized-coaching this season, the PERFORMANCE team plan is designed just for you! 

With the purchase of any Trimarni 20-week endurance triathlon training plan (Half or Ironman distance)
-You can feel part of a team by joining our private Trimarni Coaching Facebook page to socialize with your fellow Trimarni teammates,
-Connect with us at key Trimarni races and camps (our athletes receive top priority for camp registration before opening our camps to the public - typically our camps fill-up before we can open to the public)
-Receive our weekly “check-in” emails (which will provide you with weekly education, information, tips, race results and support on topics like swimming, cycling, running, mental strength, sport nutrition, daily nutrition, strength training, race strategy/execution, motivation tips, etc). You'll feel like you are receiving a detailed consultation from us every week!
eive exclusive Trimarni sponsor discounts.

Instead of browsing the web and consulting with friends over and over again about your gear, training and nutrition questions, let us help educate you so that you can learn how to train and race smarter.
Plus, we want to be part of your training and racing journey as a Trimarni team member.
At check-out when purchasing your 20-week half or full Ironman training plan, select "Performance Team". After your purchased training plan is emailed to you, you will be part of the Trimarni team for only $50 a month (we will contact you regarding set-up for monthly paymnets). You can start/cancel your $50/monthly payment anytime. 
We look forward to having you be part of the Trimarni team!
Email us with any questions. 

Olympic, Half and Full Ironman plans
The Trimarni training plans are designed for committed, passionate, performance-seeking athletes of all fitness levels who want to train smarter to train harder. We keep our training philosophy simple - we want you to reach performance goals without compromising your overall health. Our training plans are designed to keep you in good health, as you balance everything in your busy life, as you take your fitness to the next level. We believe that our plans will keep you excited to train while minimizing burnout and risk for injury. Our plans provide the right mix of challenge and fun as you work hard to reach personal fitness goals. 
We have updated our plans which are all now 20 weeks and include 4 weeks of our Transition/Foundation plan. 
For more info on what is included with each plan: 
Endurance Plan - Half and Full Ironman distance
At checkout, you can add the option of the Performance Plan OR select 1-hour phone call if you'd like to set-up a consultation with me and/or Karel at any point throughout your season to discuss your race strategy, training or nutrition. 
Transition/Foundation Plan
Back by popular demand, our updated transition plan is designed specifically to help you develop the proper skills to progress smoothly throughout the year. Consider this the blueprint of building a strong house for your body.  It is important to appreciate the first phase of your training plan as the focus is not on speed, pace, heart rate and/or power but instead skills, form and neuromuscular control. We designed this plan to help you get stronger before you try to get faster or go longer. We consider this phase a necessary but often overlooked part of most  triathlon training plans. Every Trimarni athlete (and Karel and myself) follow a transition phase before we get into more specific training.
For more info: 

8-week Transition/Foundation Plan

Periodized Strength Training Plan

You know it's important but strength training is often the most neglected or confusing component of a triathletes training plan (and often the first to go in the spring when the training becomes more specific). 
We designed a periodized strength training plan that allows for smooth progression throughout your periodized plan. With swimming, biking and running as your primary focus, our strength training plan may make it easier to achieve better swim, bike and run results with a stronger body.
Our strength training plan is designed to help you build a strong foundation and then when you add more speed and power in your training plan, the strength training routine changes from simple, isolated movements to more complex and dynamic movements.
If you are returning to your sport after an injury, experience chronic injuries or feel like you could benefit from strength training in order to improve speed, power and endurance, you will love our strength training plans.
The Trimarni periodized strength plan includes videos for every exercise, including dynamic warm-ups, glute/hip/core focus and stretching links for your entire season and almost all exercises can be performed at your home, with minimal equipment. 
For more info:
Periodized Strength Training Plan


Yes - we have them! 

Trimarni Gift Certificates for coaching, nutrition and RETUL bike fits are available for your friend, training partner or loved one for the holidays, birthdays, special occasions, anniversary's or just because you care.

Please send us a message via our contact page on our website before purchasing your desired plan so we know to include a gift certificate with your purchase to your favorite athlete in mind.

We are excited to be part of your 2016 training and racing season!