A day in the life of a Triathlete - with Lucy Mapp
Have you ever wondered what it takes to rise to the top of the Triathlon world? Lucy Mapp gives Monk Nutrition a glimpse into a typical day and how she fuels up for her intense training schedule to be the best...prepare to be blown away!
As a triathlete with three sports to train for my days can get pretty busy. It’s important that I keep my energy levels up day in and day out as well as optimising my fuelling and nutrition strategy for racing. To find out a bit more what my days are like and how I fuel them using Monk Nutrition products read on…
A typical day for me starts around 5.20 am when my alarm goes off. Jump out of bed, get dressed and grab my bag then it’s downstairs to the kitchen to have my pre swim snack. As there isn’t much time in the morning between getting up and getting in the pool this needs to be quick energy for me, but nothing too heavy or big as I don’t want it to cause any stomach problems when I’m swimming, or worse outcomes as I tumble turn at the end of each length. I typically go for a smoothie with berries, melon, yoghurt and milk for a good amount of quick carbohydrate that’s readily available, even more so by being in liquid form. If it’s not a smoothie or if I’m swimming later in the day and want a snack before then one of my favourites is rice cakes with a Monk Nutrition Agave#9 Cocoa Energy Gel on top – perfect for both quick and slower release carbs to fuel my session.
I’m in the pool around 6.30 am and my sessions vary throughout the week from longer endurance-based ones to shorter sessions with longer rests focusing on speed and power. If it’s a long session, then I might take some energy drink in my bottle to top up the carbohydrate levels during the session and keep me going through to the end. Afterwards it’s typically milk or a milk-based drink in the changing rooms before proper breakfast when I get home.
Breakfast is generally the same for me every day– oats for slow release carbohydrate, Monk Nutrition Monastery Collagen protein powder to help with the recovery and then some flavourings which I like to vary quite a bit– I love Maca powder at the moment with a bit of vanilla, but sometimes I go for cacao with/without Maca, plain vanilla, or cinnamon is another favourite too. I’ve also been known to flavour it with the forest or chocolate agave gels for some extra carbs and a great taste (the forest is akin to jam!)
The bonus of using the Monastery Collagen protein is that is completely neutral in flavour so you can add whatever takes your fancy and it will take on that taste 😀
If I’m busy, then I’ll take this with me in the trusty Tupperware and eat it on the go whenever is convenient within an hour or so of finishing my swim session. If I’m lucky enough to make it home then I like to have my oats warm and top with some natural yoghurt, berries and mixed seeds or nuts.
I prefer to run or do my bike sessions in the afternoons, so I’ve had a chance to recover from the morning swim and refuel adequately with breakfast, snacks and a bit of lunch so I’m raring to go again. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, or the session I have calls for a different time because of the nature of it and where I want to go and do it etc. You have to be a bit flexible and try to fit things in and make it work. One thing I always try to do though is plan my day the night before, and also look ahead several days so I can make a rough plan and timetable in my head. When I know what I have coming up I can be prepared for it, make the best use of the days and ensure that my fuelling is adequate and appropriately timed around the sessions. One thing that I’ve learnt to be really important is planning ahead and knowing what the sessions are and how intense. It’s easier then to plan how you’re going to fuel them, both before, during (if needed) and afterwards so you can just get on with it and focus on the training, knowing that the fuelling and energy is there and already planned so you don’t have to worry.
I tend to have two tri-training sessions a day at the moment and sometimes with some added Pilates, stretching or a little bit of gym work, depending on the week and stage of training I’m in. I try to spread them out so that I can perform my best and get the maximum from each session. To keep my energy levels topped up I typically have a snack 1-1.5 hours before each session, depending on what else I’ve had and the type of session it is. One of my favourite pre-training snacks is toast, a bagel, or rice cakes with jam or an Agave#9 Forest / Agave#9 Cocoa Energy Gel.
If my sessions are long, then I also fuel during them to keep the carbohydrate and energy levels up. I use a variety of different fuels depending what it is that I’m doing – Monk Nutrition Energy Gels are great for some sustained energy that’s easy to take on during my bike sessions and longer rides, whilst fluids are also important. What I love about the Monk Nutrition and Agave Energy Gels is the variety of options – both with and without ‘boosters’ available in different quantities and types (Matcha, Guaraca, Maca etc) and the different and unique, but natural flavours that are on offer. Lemon Matcha is a firm favourite of mine now, however I wasn’t so sure when I first tried it. I love that combination of flavours now, and the added boost from the Matcha can be just what I need sometimes in a tough or long session to keep me mentally alert and push just that little bit harder.
Post training it’s important to refuel and start the recovery process as I sometimes don’t have that long between sessions. It’s these times where the refuelling is crucial to try to restore glycogen ready for the next training session with some carbohydrate, and also to help the muscles repair and rebuild getting that protein in as well.
I love to make different smoothies and shakes for after training as they’re really easy to take on and often I don’t fell hungry or want to eat directly after a tough session. I tend to use a mixture of banana, berries, milk, yoghurt, protein powder and various flavourings – Maca, cacao, turmeric, ginger, vanilla, etc depending what I feel like, what I’ve had recently and also what I have to hand to throw in. Frozen bananas and berries, and lots of ice combined with protein powder makes for a really thick and creamy almost ‘ice cream’ like shake which I love in the summer or coming in from a hot run!
I also love Greek yoghurt, sometimes with added protein powder, and cereal if I want something a bit more substantial to eat, or some homemade protein banana bread made with carrots and courgettes (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – it’s amazing and really moist!). I’ve heard good things about some more Monk products in the pipeline that will be great to help with the recovery and getting the right balance of carbs and protein in post training, so keep your eyes and ears out for those in the not-too-distant future.
I often have a post-dinner / pre-bed snack too to keep those glycogen levels topped up to the fullest overnight ready for the next day and to help with the recovery process overnight. This is generally more porridge with some collagen protein in (I tend to opt for cinnamon in the evening) or sometimes rice pudding and jam/ a monk agave gel. I also love to experiment and mix things up – my most recent experiment was substituting some of my oats for Monk Sport Mix to make a mixed-up porridge which was really tasty! The added flavours from the sports mix really enhanced my porridge – definitely one I’ll be repeating again, perhaps in the morning to make the most of that added energy boost from the sports mix.
I’m really looking forward to the new products that Monk Nutrition have in the pipeline as I know they’ll be high quality, all natural, and will help with fuelling both my sessions, races, and helping with the recovery process.
Check out some of my training and racing photos for some inspiration and look out for future posts and new products coming soon.