USA Triathlon Breaks Team Record in Triumphant 2021 Season
USA Triathlon set a record achievement in international competitions in 2021, across the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo and World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) events.
The team’s success is celebrated as part of Science in Sport’s Champions Week, reflecting on the seven combined Olympic and Paralympic triathlon medals won by U.S. Olympians and Paralympians, the most by any country. Athletes won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal in Tokyo.
With two medals in the Olympics and five medals in the Paralympics, the U.S. improved on its medal count from the Rio 2016 Games by one medal each in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
Congratulations to U.S. Olympic medalists, Katie Zaferes, Taylor Knibb, Morgan Pearson and Kevin McDowell, and Paralympic medalists Allysa Seely, Brad Snyder, Kendall Gretsch, Grace Norman and Hailey Danz.
U.S. athletes also had success outside of Tokyo, as the U.S. also became the first country to finish a WTCS with five women and three men in the top 12 of their respective overall rankings. Knibb and Taylor Spivey placed second and third, respectively, in the 2021 WTCS to mark the third time the U.S. has finished the series with two women on the overall podium.
Why Fueling is Important for USA Triathlon
Competing in Olympic-distance triathlons, Team USA Triathletes have a higher requirement of energy and protein than an average person. In a race that consists of 1,500m swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run, triathletes must build nutritional supplementation into their diet to be able to compete at an elite level.
If you eat a balanced diet, your body can only store enough carbohydrate for around 90-120 minutes of exercise. Add to that the caliber of the competition and high levels of physical exertion and energy expended during a race, and the fourth discipline of any triathlon is undoubtedly nutrition.
USA Triathlon Nutritional Top Tips
1. Considering carbohydrate loading strategies
This means purposely consuming more carbohydrate in the days running up to an event
2. Don’t compromise on race-day nutrition
Most importantly, you need to consider your carbohydrate consumption during exercise, both what you will be consuming and when
3. Avoid under fueling
It is suggested that during endurance exercise (more than 2 hours) 80–120g of carbohydrate per hour should be consumed to maintain blood glucose levels and prevent fatigue
4. Practice your nutritional strategy before the race
If you’re not used to consuming this much carbohydrate during exercise it is a good idea to test it out to ensure the body is capable. You may have to build up the amount of carbohydrate gradually, as you would when building up your training
5. Don’t forget to plan your post-race meal
Pre-planning your meals or snacks after a race ensures that you can take advantage of the 30–60-minute recovery window. If you have a long journey after a race, ensure you have the appropriate meals with you
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