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Nutrition Plan - Triathlete - Kurt Madden

Author:FTM
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Kurt Madden Bike RoadKurt Madden has been racing for over 30 years, focusing mainly on triathlon events. He's a 3 time top ten finisher for the Ironman Triathlon World Championship and a 2 time winner of the Ultraman Triathlon World Championship. He has dialed down his nutrition to suit every distance he races and has learned out to prep for travel to keep his machine running at it's best. Kurt is also a coach and enjoys helping others reach their performance goals. 

Do you have a health condition or allergy that requires you to have a special nutrition plan?
I do not have a health condition or allergy. 

Do you follow a specific diet? If so, describe it and explain how is it benefitting you?
I do not have a specific diet; however, I focus on eating a wide variety of quality fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, plant proteins, and the best sources of fat.

Do you supplement daily with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, amino acids etc…?
I incorporate the following into my daily dietary routine: Mdrive Elite formula, Mdrive Joint formula, B12, B Complex time released vitamins, Vitamin E, CO Enzyme Q10, and Milk Thistle. 
 
What’s your pre-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan? Be specific about the foods, hydration (water, electrolyte, other liquids), and sports supplements/fuels you use?
My pre-workout/competition and hydration plan varies. For the majority of my workouts that involve running, I do not eat any solid food and might have some Carbo-Pro or a pack of gel.  If my pre-workout consists of a long bike, followed by a run, I will eat a CLIF bar or peanut butter and banana sandwich on organic bread. When the weather is hot, I will also drink 12 - 16 ounces of water prior to the workout. 

For a 70.3 Ironman triathlon or full Ironman triathlon competition, I will have kefir or yogurt and ½ CLIF bar a few hours before the prior to the competition. Thirty minutes before the swim, I will have a gel, Klean BCAA+ATP, and 8 ounces of water. 

Typically with workouts up to two hours, I will drink Carbo-Pro and the amount varies depending on the intensity and weather. For workouts from 2 - 6 hours, I will drink Carbo-Pro and every hour take 4 amino acids (Hammer Nutrition Endurance BCAA+) , and 2 salt pills (like SaltStick),  along with a CLIF gel, CLIF blocks, or ½ of a CLIF bar.

During an Olympic or short-distance triathlon, I will drink Carbo-Pro while biking and eat one gel early in the run.  During a 70.3 Ironman triathlon or full Ironman triathlon, I will follow the same nutrition plan and hydration plan on the bike as I do in my training (4 amino acids,and  2 salt pills, along with a gel, blocks, or ½ CLIF bar every hour).

When I start the run of a 70.3 triathlon or full Ironman triathlon, my nutrition and hydration plan will vary depending upon the weather, how I feel, and what is available on the course.  However, I focus on getting carbohydrates in a liquid form or gels, amino acids every hour and, at times, will go with Coke and ice near the last stages of the run.  

Ironman Vineman Triathlon nutrition strategy:
Pre Workout: 900 calories 3 hours before race. Gel + Carbo-Pro 30 minutes before swim.
During: On bike - had Carbo Pro, Gels, and Honey Stinger Waffles. Picked up more Carbo-Pro at mile 56 for additional 800 calories. 
On Run - used electrolyte drink and ice (example: Fluid Performance), then had some amino acids at mile 9. On mile 13 changed to coke and ice. Overall - had about 500 calories (all carbohydrates) during the run. 
 
What’s your post-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan? Be specific about the foods, hydration (water, electrolyte, other liquids), and sports supplements/fuels you use?
My post-workout nutrition and hydration plan consists of carbohydrates, water and/or electrolytes, salty foods, and protein within 30 - 60 minutes. I will also take 3 Mdrive Elite formula pills, MDdrive Joint formula pills, and B complex vitamins. Following 70.3 Ironman triathlons and full Ironman triathlons, I will drink water and/or electrolytes right away and let my body decide when I can start consuming solid food. 
 
Any other nutrition/hydration secrets you’d like to share?

Fueling via a top-notch nutrition and hydration plan is a 24/7 mindset.  Especially for someone like myself who training approximately 3 hours each day, I need approximate 4,000 calories per day. I have learned from experience that proper fueling is a top priority. When time permits, my wife, Kelly, and I cook at home with high quality complex carbohydrates, fish, chicken, tofu, salads, smoothies, nuts, and fruits. When traveling, it is more difficult; however, I have learned to plan ahead, bring snacks, energy bars, and do my best to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than starve myself.  

Another secret is to remember that the nutrition and hydration resources offered at an upcoming race is the type of nutrition and hydration resources you need to incorporate into your training.  Do everything possible to avoid gastric distress during competition. If this happens, follow-up with an after action review and make necessary adjustments.  

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