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UK Coaching Talent and Performance
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Talent and Performance Improving Physical Ability Organising and Planning

The Travelling Athlete: Planning Food for Athletes on the Move

Advice developed in partnership with Sarah Chantler (Registered Dietician at Food Ninja) on food choices for travelling athletes. When the people you coach travel to race day or competition, it can be easy or tempting to eat on the move. Developing a nutrition plan for those times can be critical to success

In 2008, Usain Bolt was rumoured to have subsisted on only MacDonald’s Chicken nuggets for the duration of the Beijing Olympic Games. Many people reacted with fascination to this unusual nutrition decision, as it seemed to fly in the face of traditional sports nutrition advice. Later, Bolt (who won the triple, 100m, 200, 4 x 100m relay at the games) mentioned that he ate the nuggets because he was not familiar with the other foods available in China. His travel plan for nutrition was in its early stages and needed time to be developed.

Many athletes tell similar stories of their challenges to get their travel plans just right for nutrition (along with other areas of preparation), and some, of the disastrous consequences when it’s left to chance. 

As a coach, you plan, prepare and motivate your athletes to get them to race day/competition time. If an athlete arrives at the field, pool, court, track or competition area hurriedly eating the last part of a ‘service station pastry’, should you be worried that it has all been for nothing?

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UK Coaching Talent and Performance