Essential Sports Nutrition


Looking back on 2016

2016 was an eventful year for us.
It was hard to select our top moments so here are a few of our favorites memories each month (with links to the blog post) from last year.

Our first real snow day !

Our new kit design

Vegetarian article in Triathlete magazine
 Toughman half triathlon- Karel's first overall half IM win

How do I fuel article - my longest ever article
Our new BOCO hats and visors
Lake James 50 triathlon - our first double triathlon win
Rev3 Knoxville and Mountains to Mainstreet half ironman
My 34th birthday (and the 2 year anniversary of my dad's passing)

European race-cation (Ironman Austria and visiting Karel's family in Czech)


IM Kona - Karel finishes his 2nd IM Kona (and we have our first two Trimarni athletes finish their first IM Kona)
Hincapie Gran Fondo


Trimarni athlete spotlight - new feature at Trimarni
New Trimarni services for 2017

Thanks for reading about our year and for following us along.
We are excited to share 2017 with you!

Happy New Year!!


New Year = New Trimarni services!

Happy Birthday to us!
Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition is turning five.
And to celebrate, we have 7 (yes seven!!) NEW nutrition services to offer athletes!!! 

I can't believe that our business has been up and running for the past five years. It's crazy to think where we were when we started on January 1st, 2012 and where we are today.

Stay tuned because on Monday January 2nd, 2017, we will be revealing our new nutrition services, the 2017 Trimarni sponsors and affiliates and an updated media page full of educational content on the Trimarni website. Also, be sure to sign up for our Newsletter as mid January will start the new Trimarni Newsletter with tips and healthy fitness-focused recipes to help athletes create healthy habits to achieve athletic excellence. 

So how did I get to where I am today?
It sure didn't happen overnight!

Here's a snapshot of the past 17 years of my life. 
2000-2004 Undergrad – BA in Exercise Science, minor in psychologyStrength & Conditioning focus
2004-2006 Graduate – Master of Science in Exercise Physiology -Strength & Conditioning and nutrition focus
2006 – 4-month internship with Ironman corporation - Nutrition focus
2006 – 2007 – YMCA Wellness Coordinator – Nutrition/health and training/coaching focus
2006 -  Boston Marathon & Ironman Florida finisher – Sport nutrition, coaching, speaking and writing focus

Lessons learned over 6 years:
-Pursue higher
-Don’t be persuaded by money. Follow your passion.

-Use real-world experiences to guide your career path: internship, paid work, mentors, volunteer. 
-Don’t wait for the perfect time to continue your education
(Start now, don’t let time pass by!).
-Your career path will be influenced by a variety of life
-Don’t change your career path simply based on
wants, dislikes or trends.
-Don’t chase the easy route.
-Keep yourself healthy. Don’t put your athletic/fitness aspirations on hold. 

2007-2010: Back to school (again) Accredited online dietetic classes (UNCO – distance education) and local pre-req classes.
2010-2011: 10-month, 1200 hour internship (Marywood University – distance education)
2011: Eligible for RD exam. Passed 2.5 hour, 125 question RD Exam (June 2011)
2011-2014: PRN Inpatient Clinical Dietitian (Baptist Medical Center Beaches)
2012: Started Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC. Karel switches from Cat 1 bike racing to triathlon. Marni wins her first ever overall titles (Irongirl Half marathon and Branson 70.3). 
2014 - 2015: Moved to Greenville, SC. Full-time at Trimarni coaching and nutrition. Karel comes on board to work for Trimarni full-time. Karel offers RETUL services in Jacksonville, FL once a month and locally in Greenville. Marni and Karel qualify for their first IM World Championship together. 
2015: Applied to take CSSD exam (Certified Sport Specialists in Dietetics). Passed 3-hour, 140 question exam (June). Karel now only offers RETUL services in Greenville. Athletes drive/fly to visit Karel for a professional bike fitting experience. Marni and Karel compete in their first Ironman World Championship together. 
2016: Trimarni coaching creates a triathlon team and specializes in endurance coaching. Trimarni now offer several triathlon group and private camps, key Trimarni events, training plans and an educational membership "coaching" option. Marni has now completed 11 Ironman distance triathlons and Karel as completed 7 Ironman distance triathlons. Between them both, they have completed 18 Ironman distance triathlons and have qualified for and competed at the Ironman World Championship 6 times.
2017: gets an update with seven NEW nutrition services and an updated media page full of educational content. Trimarni also now offers a newsletter to help athletes create healthy habits to achieve athletic excellence. 
Lessons learned
-Be willing and ready to make a lot of sacrifices. 
-Your first real job doesn't have to be your forever job. Enjoy finally making money for at least 
 a year or two. 
-Education gets you a job. Experience and continuing education makes you great at a job.
-Create strengths and skills that make you valuable, before pursuing a career. 
-A job makes you money. A career is a pursuit of a lifelong ambition. 
-Owning your own business means that you never stop working. 
-Hire people when you need help or when you need something done that is not within your specialty. 
-Never stop learning and be open-minded. 
-Find and use a mentor.
-Don’t work so much that you can't keep good health and enjoy your life. 


Get back on track with healthy eating

What does "healthy food" mean to you? 

To me, healthy food is included in a varied, nutrient dense diet which keeps my body functioning well. 

But in a world where unhealthy food is so available, it can be difficult to define and follow through with healthy eating. 

Busy schedules, misinformation, poor planning and low motivation can make healthy eating extremely challenging. 

Here are a few tips on how you can get back on track with healthy eating. 

-Stop the dieting and food rules. Restriction and deprivation doesn't work as it's not a sustainable style of eating. 

-Plan and prep ahead. When you are prepared, you make better food choices. Plus, by learning how to be a great meal/snack planner, you will create long-lasting "go-to" strategies for maintaining healthy eating habits even during your most busy, stressful and exhausting times in life. 

-Don't make your meals too complicated. Keep healthy eating simple and eat to feel satisfied and energized. 

-Eat with a purpose beyond weight/body composition. Learn to eat mindfully. You deserve to eat enough food to honor your biological hunger but you also deserve to eat food that you enjoy. Eating should be pleasurable experience. You should love your diet. Healthy eating is so much more than just eating to look a certain way but instead, eating to do amazing things with your body. Define your eating purpose behind every meal and snack in your diet. 

-Create one new "healthy eating" goal each week and don't set a new goal until your previous goal becomes a habit. For example, your goal can be to eat breakfast every morning, to bring an afternoon snack to work everyday, to have a recovery snack after every workout, to drink more water, to cook dinner at home two nights per week or to more vegetables at lunch. The idea behind a healthy eating goal is to create new strategies for change. If you have a goal of making dinner, you must figure out how you will make this happen. Stop the saying and start the doing. The only way you can sustain healthy eating is by creating a new lifestyle. 

-Leave space in your busy day for meal planning, prep and cooking. If you tell yourself that you do not have time to eat healthy, you need to adjust your priorities. Healthy eating may feel overwhelming if it is not yet a priority in your life. You can use a food delivery meal prep service or search through cookbooks for inspiration, but in order to eat healthy, healthy food needs to be available. By prepping and planning ahead, you will find yourself eating food that you love and feeling great about the foods that you put inside your body. 


Trimarni athlete spotlight: Albert Cardona - A year of self-discovery and PR's!

This is a new weekly feature on the Trimarni blog where we will be shining the spotlight on one of our Trimarni athletes (coaching or nutrition) every week.

We hope that you will feel inspired by the spotlight athlete as you learn a few tips and tricks to help you reach your personal athletic and nutrition goals.

Our athletes are normal individuals choosing to do exceptional things with a healthy body.

NameAlbert Cardona

Age: 37

City/State: Morristown, NJ

Primary sportTriathlon

How many years in the sport: 8 years

What Trimarni services have you used: 
Nutrition  - 2 x sport nutrition consults while training for Ironman Kentucky


Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?

As a kid I played just about every sport from wrestling to golf and everything in-between. My primary sports were always soccer and hockey. I just couldn't get enough of them and that continued all the way through college. I was also very dedicated to excelling in the sports that I participated in.

What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?

I love the sport! Yes, it can be extremely frustrating as you try to learn form and technique for all three disciplines but I find it much less frustrating than golf, that's for sure! I love the fact that those that have success in the sport of triathlon achieve their success through hard work and determination. This is not a sport that comes easy to anyone. It's about putting in the hard work to reap the rewards.

What do you do for work?

I work within higher education running the housing and residence life office at a private university.

How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?

Work typically doesn't affect training too much, except during high peak times. When it's busy I have to be very diligent on how I plan my day. I might try to squeeze in a lunch time swim or run while on campus. There are some days that I might start the day before 5am in order to get my training in. Typically though my alarm rings between 5-5:30am everyday, within an occasional 7am alarm on one of the weekend days.

Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?

Plan your day in advance! If you don't take a few minutes the night before to pack your bags, write down your workouts chances are it's not going to happen. I often leave my house with three bags; one with lunch, and two workout bags (swim and gym/running stuff). If I left the packing for the morning hours, I would be so scatter that I am sure I would forget something. I have been guilty of showing up for a group bike ride within my cycling clothes and crocs. Riding for a little over an hour in crocs is not fun, so plan ahead.

Do you have kids?

No, not yet but we have a bun in the oven!

If married or in a relationship, how do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?

I am married and I am incredibly blessed to have found someone who understands the inward drive that I have to be the best that I can be within the sport. Thankfully, she is also involved in the sport of triathlon, so she gets it. We get spend a good bit of time training together when indoors. Our bikes are setup on trainers in our pain cave side by side and it's great having her there with me. We both make an intentional effort to support and encourage each other.

But over time I have learned that when I get "the look" that enough encouragement. :)

In regards to tips/tricks - try to split up tasks as best as possible. It's always best if you know what your spouse/partners expectation is of you, and knowing this will help in your relationship and get things done around the house. I often relate this to the book The 5 Love Languages. The more you understand about your spouse/partner the better you will be.


Do you have a recent race result, notable performance or lesson learned that you'd like to share?

This year was fully of pr's and positive race results! I started the season with a 3rd AG finish at Rutgers Half Marathon, followed by 1st OA win at Jerseyman (short distance - in-between sprint/olympic) and finished up the season with 6th AG finish at Ironman Louisville and narrowly missing the podium by 43 seconds and missing kona by a little less than 2 minutes. It was a great year! This year was definitely a year of discovering just how mentally tough you need to be in order to be competitive in your AG. In years past I have had tough workouts that I thought prepared me to be mentally tough, but this year was a whole different level. One motto that I had this year that helped me achieve this was, "be present". I recited this to myself countless number of times and each time it may have had a slightly different meaning. During workouts where I was day dreaming about Kona, I would say it and pull myself back to focus on the workout of the day and remind myself that it's about one day at a time. Days when I was feeling really good and wanted to push harder during my workouts I would say it and pull myself back to the prescribed pace. Days of long bike rides where my mind would start wandering or I would be so ready to just be done, I would say it an regain my focus.

In order to achieve your goals in the sport you have to "be present" and face the obstacle that is immediately in front of you. Don't get caught up thinking about your current weight, pace, threshold, stress about work, blah, blah, blah. Just think about what is directly in front of you and that is putting on your shoes and pushing yourself out the door. If you can focus just on being present, you will be amazed to see how far it can take you!

What are your top 3-5 tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?
  • Sleep - you will be amazed at how much better you will feel if you get enough sleep every night.

  • Set attainable goals. Unless you are a freak of nature you will not be able to go from 200th in your AG to 1st, so be honest with yourself. By setting realistic goals and meeting them it will bring a smile to your face and make it more enjoyable. Also, share you goals with others. Its great when friends and families provide encouragement along the way.
  • Be sure to spend time with family. Family has a way of pulling you back to reality and reminding you of what is really important in life and that this sport is "just for fun."
  • "Let go and get help". Sometimes it is just easier to ask others who are knowledgeable in the sport for help. You don't have to figure it all out on your own. By letting go and asking for help it gives you time back into your day to spend time with family, focus on work or get out an train. This season I took this approach and asked Marni for help with nutrition. Marni was great in helping me with my daily nutrition and more specifically gaining and understanding of training and racing nutrition needs. This paid off greatly! In 2015 I finished 12th in my AG at an IM and in less than one year to be able to cut the field in half and finish 6th is huge!

    Through Marni's advice I was able to have more productive training sessions and which lead to me getting stronger and faster. But the biggest success for me was figuring out why I was experiencing a drop in blood pressure after long runs. Marni helped me figure it out and on race day at Ironman Louisville, I posted my fastest marathon time ever. Beating my open marathon time by 7 minutes. My nutrition was much better this time around and when I got to the marathon I had the fuel in my body to keep me running. 
    Orange Mud makes terrific hydration backpacks that made it possible for me to carry the needed fluid ounces on my long runs, thus making sure that I was not getting dehydrated. I liked their pack so much that I even wore it on race day.By asking for help it really simplifies life and training, so if you are wondering about your self created training plan, nutrition plan, bike fit, go pro swim videos, etc. Just do yourself a favor and get someone to help you. Paying someone to help will reap greater rewards than buying yourself a new carbon "whatever". 

How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?

Doing the best that I can do on the day! I have learned that I can set my goals but each race has it's own set of challenges and you can never predict what you will face. But I have learned that on each race day, if I have given it my all and raced in a manner which I would have no regrets, then it's been a great day! There is nothing worse than looking back on a race and kicking yourself for walking for no real reason.

What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food?

Burger, fries and chocolate milk shake and/or beer. Mussel and Burger Bar in Louisville has some of the best burgers ever! After my IM, I had 3 of their hamburgers within a 15 hour window.

What key races do you have planned in 2017

Haven't set the full race schedule yet. But planning on racing Rutgers half marathon, and looking to do an early 70.3 with the goal of qualifying for Worlds 70.3 in August.

What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?

I would like to continue giving back to the sport however I can, mentoring others that are just getting started, develop sponsored relationships with various companies, and focus on hitting my goal of taking a trip to the Big Island! :)


Click here to learn more about Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition.
Be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter for ongoing information, education and motivational support.


How to make training work in your busy life

Being an athlete is tough, especially if you are an adult athlete.

As an adult athlete, it can feel very overwhelming to try to dedicate enough time to every important component of your life. 

While it’s important to identify yourself as an athlete while training for your upcoming events, your primary role in life is much more than just being an athlete. Being an athlete is a choice and your training is a hobby. As you train your body for your upcoming athletic event, it is important that you do not neglect your parent, spouse, family or job responsibilities just to be an athlete.

In life, human beings have to make a lot of lifestyle choices. These choices help people function better in life with improved energy, mood, productivity and health.

As an athlete, these choices are extremely important as they help you adapt to training while keeping you in good health, but they help with the flow of your extremely busy life.

Life as an athlete is tough. It’s busy, it’s rushed, it’s packed and it involves a lot of decisions and planning. As an athlete, your life is like a puzzle and each piece of the puzzle makes up your ability to function well in life. Sometimes, it may feel like all the pieces are there and sometimes it may feel like there’s always a piece or two missing.

As an athlete, you don’t need every piece of the puzzle to be perfectly in place for you to function well in life but you need the pieces of the puzzle to be there. And for those pieces to be present, you do need to make a lot of decisions on a daily basis. These decisions will always be tough because there’s a lot of moving parts to your life - you have a responsibility to your family, spouse and job to show up, be present and take care of others but you also have a responsibility to your body to prepare for your upcoming event.

As an athlete, sometimes you will make decisions that are very easy and sometimes you will make decisions that are very, very hard. For you to achieve athletic excellence, you must be motivated to make decisions all the time – no matter how easy or hard.

For example, 6 weeks out from a key race, athletes are very motivated to make decisions. Athletes will not skip workouts, they will cut out alcohol and sweets, they will pay attention to the diet, they focus on good sleep and they remove outside stressors. Decision making is a great priority. These athletes are still great parents, they show up to work on time and they are great people, but athletes prioritize the decisions that are made, all in an effort to help with race day preparation.

Right now, making decisions is probably pretty tough as it relates to race preparation. It’s cold, you are too busy, races are far away, it’s no fun running on the treadmill, riding on the trainer is boring, the pool is too far away, it takes too long to cook, etc.

One of the easiest ways to make better decisions is to focus on the many lifestyle factors that can help you feel less overwhelmed with your training.

Although it's hard to change lifestyle habits, I can tell you that when you focus on good sleep, a healthy diet, good recovery, daily mobility, stress management, communication with your family and consistency in training, it’s a lot easier to function in life. Even though this may look like a lot to focus on, life actually becomes less overwhelming when healthy lifestyle habits are in place.  There are less missed workouts, you feel less overwhelmed, your body isn’t as tired and your body is more prepared when you get to that next stage of training. Your week just seems to flow very smoothly when you make good decisions with your lifestyle.

And let’s be honest – training makes you feel good and function better in life. So why push training aside when you feel overwhelmed??

It all comes down to your lifestyle choices. 

Training should not be a chore or an obligation but something that you want to do because it makes you feel good, it makes you happy, it makes you feel less stressed, it makes you a better parent and feel less overwhelmed and you are being a good role model to people around you.

I know that it’s hard to balance training with life and sometimes, training adjustments will need to be made and workouts will need to be missed. But, by being an active participant in your life and making great lifestyle choices (ex. plan ahead, be creative, communicate, manage your time well, be practical), you will find a way to make training less overwhelming in your busy life.

Training is not always fun but it's important that you enjoy your athletic journey so that one day in the near future you can look back and tell yourself that it was all worth it. 


Are you ready to change your lifestyle habits? Start TODAY!

Do you feel like there's a lot on your to-do list but today is just not a good day to get done what you need to get done?

Do you find yourself constantly waiting for the perfect moment, the right amount of energy, enough motivation or the best resources to start something and well, today just isn't that day?

The truth is that there is never a perfect moment to start something. Yes, that means on January 1st, that day will be no better or worse than today, tomorrow or March 21st.

The biggest obstacle that most people face when changing habits is getting started. The first step to getting something done today is to just get started.

If you have found yourself slipping into some bad habits over the past few weeks or you feel like it's time for a change in your life, here are a few tips to help you get started so that you don't put off until tomorrow, what you can get started/finished today.

1. Have a plan - Write out your day before it happens so that you can plan for what needs to get done today before today turns into tomorrow. Before you add anything else to your to-do list, prioritize your tasks. Make schedules and deadlines for yourself so that you hold yourself accountable to your plan. Don't over-complicate your life by giving or accepting more responsibilities than you can handle in one day.

2. Schedule time for yourself - Putting everyone else first will leave no time for yourself. If you are spending too much time pleasing or taking care of others, you will lose a sense of your self and what you need to do to create your own happiness in life. This commitment to yourself will improve your well-being and overall productivity.

3. Organize your life - Are there times in your life when you have asked yourself "there must be a quicker way to do this?!?!". If yes, establish a practical daily routine that helps you get more things started and finished in a timely manner. Meal prep, exercise/training, sleeping, house/job organizing, scheduling and cleaning all require a bit of effort and work but once you create a routine, you will feel like life is more organized and thus, you can get more done.

4. Think small - Big results are the sum of many small changes. Avoid the common mistake of trying to go big and make extreme changes in your life, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Make your changes so incredibly easy that it's nearly impossible to fail. For example, instead of telling yourself that you will work out for 90 minutes every morning this week, aim to work out for 20 minutes three mornings this week. You will likely get more accomplished over the course of 7 days, thus helping you create better habits to support a future early morning exercise routine. Same goes for cooking at home. If you want to cook more at home, don't overwhelm yourself by trying to cook 7 days a week. Aim for two or three nights of following a recipe from a cook book (and shopping and prepping ahead of time) and for the other nights, give yourself some slack and be ok with semi-homemade meals. Sustainable habits are a product of daily habits.

5. Reward yourself - We are more likely to keep doing things that make us feel good. This is why we don't want to change too much at once or make extreme changes. It is important to celebrate new behavior changes or a new routine by acknowledging that you are making progress. Rewards should always make you feel good and should keep you motivated to create a new lifestyle. Once your behavior becomes a new habit or part of your lifestyle, it's time to reduce the rewards. I encourage you to not use food as a reward but instead, treat yourself to a massage, a movie, a new workout item/equipment, something cozy for sleeping or something personal that will help you keep up with your new habits for intrinsic purposes - because it makes you feel proud, healthy or self-confident.