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High Octane Food

I have learned that nutrition is the fourth event in triathlon, especially Ironman.

I have been coaching triathlon and distance running since 1987 and have had the good fortune to coach some of the most successful athletes in our sport. I have learned that nutrition definitely is thefourth event in triathlon, especially Ironman. Here’s a great, simple recovery shake to bridge the gap between two workouts that are fairly close together in your day, and one of my favourite salads to make sure you get you vitamins!

Ovaltine Banana Milkshake

What: Ovaltine frozen banana milkshake:

When: Within 30 minutes of a long or intense workout, especially if you aren’t going to eat a main meal for several hours and you are planning on training again soon.

Why: This refreshing, replenishing recovery drink tastes awesome after a steady diet of bars and gels and it sets you up with about 300 calories that includes 50 g of carbohydrates, 15 g of protein and some salt. You will also benefit from essentials such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, B and C.



–          1 frozen banana

–          300mL 1% milk

–          3 Tablespoons Ovaltine.

Method of Preparation:

Blend together ingredients and enjoy (Tip: place slightly softer bananas – the ones that nobody wants to eat – peeled in the freezer so they are ready for your smoothies and shakes).

High Octane Spinach Salad with Pita

What: High Octane Spinach Salad with Pita

When: As a nutritious midday meal on a lighter training day to provide antioxidants, vitamins and some protein without being heavy.  Also ideal in the evening, you can add a portion of grilled chicken or salmon and a pita to fill out with more carbohydrates and protein to aid recovery after a hard training session.

Why:  This colourful meal is a gift to your hard working body. Full of antioxidant rich and vitamin dense fresh fruits and veggies plus healthy fats from the almonds and avocado, it’s a high-octane boost for your engine. A versatile salad is an excellent meal for your recipe collection as the addition of grilled fish and a pita makes it high in protein and carbs as well for those times when more calories are needed. Go easy on the dressing, using just enough for some flavour, or else opt for balsamic vinegar and salt.



–          Organic baby spinach leaves for bed

–          1 chopped avocado

–          1/2 tomato chopped

–          1 hardboiled egg, quartered

–          1/4 cup strawberries or blueberries

–          1 tbsp. sliced or chopped raw almonds

–          1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese

–          1-2 tbsp. of your favourite dressing

–          1 pita (optional)

–          1 250gram portion grilled salmon (optional)

Method of Preparation:

Using the baby spinach as the bed of the salad, top with the other ingredients and add one to two tbsp. of your favourite bottled dressing.

Lance Watson is a coach, partner and founder of LifeSport Coaching.