Jen Rulon

As a triathlete, you train a lot and you EAT a lot! What are you eating? Healthy choices or not so healthy choices? Are you eating enough or too much? Are you eating too many carbohydrates (CHO) and too little protein or fat? (BTW: FAT is good for you. You will not get “fat” by eating fat.)

My survey this past month that you all filled out, showed me that a lot of people were asking about nutrition outside of racing, the everyday life of eating. I started thinking about what I do in my everyday life nutrition and the choices I make for myself as a triathlete and a coach.

So, I came up with “Five Rulon Rules for Everyday Nutrition”:

Journal for a week to see how much you eat or don’t eat.

  • Journaling will keep you accountable. It will show you what you are eating, how much you are eating and if you have an equal amount of CHO, protein, and fat.
  • Next question that you may have. How should I eat or consume?  Here is a calculator that may help you to have an idea of what to consume and I generally go with the Zone Diet of 40% CHO, 30% Protein, and 30% Fat. I work better with that!
  • My Fitness Pal is one of the best choices out there for journaling, instead of writing it all down.

Post-workout nutrition should consist of protein and CHO and eaten within the first 30 minutes of your workout.

  • This is a critical period for the recovery process for athletes.
  • Post-workout nutrition should consist of protein and CHO.
  • Usually, protein shakes and a piece of fruit are a bit more tolerable versus real food.
  • Ratio should be 2:1 to 4:1 of CHO to protein. Example: Protein would be .3 to .4 g and CHO would be .8 to 1.2g. (NSCA’s Guide to Sports and Exercise Nutrition)
  • Then you should eat again about 1 hour later.

You MUST fuel your engine. Your body is a car. Fuel is gas!

  • Your Workout is DONE. See #2.
  • What are you putting in your body? Diesel for your unleaded car, such as pizza, tacos, fried chicken? Or are you putting premium unleaded in your car?  Such as meats, vegetables, good fat, quinoa.
  • Reinforce yourself occasionally. It is OK to eat pizza or have a donut, every ONCE IN A WHILE but just because you trained a long day does not mean you can eat what you want. #Truthbomb here

Craving sweets ALL the time?

Eat more fat OR eat more food! Go back to #1. Let’s chat about good fats for the diet. Good fat consists of:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, macadamia)
  • Olive oil and olives
  • Fish oils (pill or liquid form)
  • Eggs
  • Bulletproof Coffee, #delish
  • Bacon. That is all!

It is OK to add sweets occasionally, I would suggest 80% dark chocolate since having a square is much sweeter than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (#doubledelish)

Hire an expert or a nutritionist.

  • Have someone look at the journal that you put together (See #1). They will tell you what you are eating, not eating and WHEN you should eat.
  • Find someone that has a SOLID reputation for endurance athletes. I recommend a registered dietician for everyday nutrition but for also race day nutrition as everyone is different.
  • Spend the $$ for help. It will be worth it in the long run (no pun intended).
  • You can also check out Fuel for Fat Loss with Simone Lovell coming up in February! We are currently on board now!

If you want to succeed and get better at being a triathlete, start looking at experts in the field, such as nutritionists, triathlon coaches, strength coaches, etc. Coaches help YOU keep you accountable. Make 2020 your BEST year!


Disclaimer: I am NOT a nutritionist, only play one of TV (HA!) but after 20+ years of being in this field, I have learned, tried out and read a TON about nutrition pre-race, during races and post-race, along with everyday nutrition.  BTW, I also have a nutritionist and a triathlon coach!



AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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