March 30, 2020
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– [Taren] What’s up triathlon trainiacs? Triathlon Taren here, with
your daily triathlon video, where I help you become
a better triathlete, get the most out of your
training and racing, and then, hopefully translate that onto being a awesome-er person, just in life. Triathlon’s like a gateway drug, let’s do it. So today, in Part Two of this series on how to figure out your
ideal race nutrition strategy, we are going to dive into
how you can figure out the number of calories that
you need to be replacing in the 20 minutes before a race, and the course of a race. Now, there are three primary
ways that you can do this, and I’ll talk about them
in order of, we’ll say, worst, most general option, will kind of get you in the ballpark, to bang-on, here’s how many
calories you’re going to burn, here’s how many calories
you need to replace. The first way that you can get close to the amount of calories
that you need to replace throughout the course of a race is to, basically, guesstimate it. A lot of the companies
that make things like gels, chews, bars, electrolyte fluid, they portion everything out in increments that make it easy for triathletes, runners, swimmers, cyclists, everyone to, on a regular schedule,
replace the amount of calories that they’re burning. And, as a guideline, if
you took a gel or a chew, basically one serving of
about 80 to 110 calories 20 minutes before your race, then another serving of calories about 10 minutes into the bike, and then, every half-hour thereafter, through to the end of the race, paired with a decent
sip of electrolyte fluid every five minutes, you’re gonna
be kind of in the ballpark. The things that this doesn’t
account for, however, is it doesn’t account for any fluctuations in weight, if you’re a larger athlete, or a much smaller athlete. It doesn’t account for
fluctuations in the size of bars, chews, gels, things like that, the concentration of calories
in the electrolyte fluid. If any of these are
wildly off of averages, you’re gonna be finding that it’s not gonna be
ideally suited for you. It’s gonna get you close, but you’re gonna be off by quite a bit because it hasn’t been designed for you, it’s kind of been designed
for everyone, on average. The second way to go about figuring out your caloric intake requirements is to go to any of the calculators online that you can type in, “calories
burned while swimming,” “calories burned while cycling,” “calories burned while
running,” and typically, you’ll be able to put in your weight, the amount of time that you do it, and you’ll get an indication of how many calories you’re going to burn. There’s a couple of downsides to this. As triathletes, we’re going from one to the next to the next, so the cumulative load
of all of them together isn’t really accounted for when you’re piecing them together one after the other. And, because you’re going for
such a longer period of time, in my experience, you
need a little bit more. In addition to that,
most of these calculators really only tell you how many
calories you’re going to burn. It doesn’t tell you
flat-out how many calories you need to replace. That number is right around 25% of the calories that you burn. However, because it’s not given to you, it’s not really apparent. I might tell you, “Hey, you need to replace 25% of the calories that you burn.” Six months from now, you may not remember that that’s it, and you’ll go to these calculators, and they’ll tell you how much you burn, and you don’t know how
many you need to replace. That’s why I developed the third, and what I think is the best, option. I actually programmed a calculator that accumulates all of the total load, going from the swim, to
the bike, to the run, where you can input the
race that you’re doing, how long the race is going to take, what your weight is, and it’s going to end up giving you a very close estimate that I’ve taken from
some scientific research. Isn’t all research scientific? I was just trying to
make that sound fancy, but I read a bunch of literature on race nutrition strategy, and I ended up backing out and being able to create this spreadsheet
that automatically, you put in, your specific information, and boom! It tells you very accurately how many calories you’re
going to expel during a race, and how many calories you need
to replace during the race. And this is the entire basis for a starting point for figuring out how much calories you need to take, and when you need to take
them throughout the race. This is the starting point to it all. Because, until you know how many calories you, specifically, need to replace during the course of a race, you’re just playing a guessing game. Having that number, saying, you know what, over the course of the
two hours and 50 minutes that I’m going to spend
in this Olympic race, I need to consume (snap)
this many calories. And then, you just have to
figure out how to fit it in, and where you want to
take those calories from. So, you can get access to that calculator by going to You put your e-mail address in, and over the course of four days, you’re going to be walked through the entire process of calculating how many calories you need to take in during a race, when you need to take them, what types of calories and fluids you need to be taking in in the forms of gels, chews, bars, electrolyte fluid, salt
tabs, things like that, and you’re gonna get information on how to customize that if there
are specific circumstances you have with digestive issues, or different race conditions. I think it’s a phenomenal guide. I made it, right over there on the couch. I thought it was really impressive. If you’re new here, and you’re aren’t yet subscribed, and you want to make sure
that you don’t miss Part Three of the Race Nutrition Guide, hit that subscribe button below, and the notification bell, so that you know when the video comes out. You can also check out
the entire series playlist for this Race Nutrition series down here, and if you just want to go
on a binge-watching spree, and see some of the
best of Triathlon Taren, you can check out our
Kona Recap video here, which I’m very fond of. Thanks trainiacs. I’ll see you tomorrow.

Randall Smitham



  1. Johnny Staton Posted on January 24, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    YES TAREN! So glad you have made this series. Raceday nutrition has been a mystery to me since day 1, and now I get some answers!!! I've already subscribed to the email list, looking forward to getting those!

  2. Triathlon- grunden Posted on January 24, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Thx Taren !! Best video there is. It's really spot on with nutrition, a lot of people know how to train but not a lot of people know that to eat, when to eat or how to eat on race-day.

    Looking forward fot part 3 and 4!

  3. Dark Speed Works Posted on January 24, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Just listened to a few of your great podcasts, but I can't leave a comment. Is that function enabled on your podcast site? I get an error message that says, 'access denied' or something similar … Thanks, let me know and keep up the good work, Greg @ dsw

  4. Jared Wright Posted on January 24, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Wow thx !! Now I def have to buy some kit , your doing a lot for us !!!

  5. Andy Dickinson Posted on January 24, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Another good one, thanks Taren

  6. Liam B. Posted on January 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    You work extremely hard, I really appreciate it.

  7. Plinio Ferraz Posted on January 24, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Taren I've been following you since I started at Sprint triathlon and x-terra triathlon 18months ago here in São Paulo, Brazil, and it has been very useful all the information. Thank's a lot!!

  8. young jung Posted on January 25, 2018 at 12:28 am

    I like this format better 🙂 thanks for the vids

  9. sam norman Posted on January 25, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Great videos. I'm new to triathlon training and the information very helpful. Really like the new introduction, much more professional then the older version.

  10. Matt H Posted on January 25, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Great info. Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  11. David Peters Posted on January 25, 2018 at 4:48 am

    It is important to know your sweat rate if ingesting liquid nutrition

  12. Owen Bowen Jones Posted on January 25, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Are we going back to A-Race Nutrition?!

  13. Phil Evans Posted on January 25, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Brilliant video, cheers Taren. Big up the brick background return

  14. Jef Van Meirhaeghe Posted on January 25, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    you should check out . Fits perfectly into this series

  15. Chris Reno Posted on January 25, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Hey TT, can you put a note on your Trainiask podcast webpages stating that comments are blocked?  I just tried putting one and didn't know it wasn't allowed until after submission, thanks.

  16. ObiwanSchinobi Posted on January 25, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Pardon me if I sound like a complete idiot, but what specifically is a “chew” you keep talking about?
    English is not my native language, so enlighten me please.

  17. grier zimmerman Posted on January 26, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Taren your content is the bees knees. I am still a beginner but I would be in the stone age of triathlon with out your vlog and contributions to the community. My next triathlon purchase is going to be one of the TT coaching programs. Thanks for everything.

  18. Francesco Ferrarese Posted on January 27, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Hi Taren, the is the first time i ever comment on anything on youtube. very interesting series, and i must say that i really enjoy your channel
    . My main issue is hydration on the run. I live in malaysia where its extremely humid and hot. When ever i do long runs (10k upwards) i try to plan my drink stops every 4k by doing loops and keeping sport drinks in my car. however i find that once i get tired i just keep drinking more and more but keep feeling dehydrated, even though i can feel that I'm full of water. this has actually led me to have to discontinue some long runs. I can't figure out if its a psychological thing or physiological thing that creates this problem.
    at 90kg i also don't exactly have a runners physique, but i have done quite a few olympic and half ironman distance races and do crossfit regularly 4-5 times a week…
    anyway, keep up the good work

  19. TheDude Posted on January 31, 2018 at 5:14 am

    This is good stuff! I'm getting ready to do my first sprint, and I have been racking my brain (and internet) trying to figure my diet out. This video is spot-on. Well done!

  20. derrick chavez Posted on February 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    i have tried two accounts and still have not received approval to get the Google Doc for the calorie counter. I am getting all the other emails but i cant start without the calculator

  21. Karen Hood Posted on October 22, 2019 at 12:34 am

    This is great. Would you make any adjustments for a 55 y/o peri menopausal woman?