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Nutrition Calculator for Running, Cycling, Swimming, and Triathlon

by Taren Gesell

Blog ▸ Nutrition Calculator for Running, Cycling, Swimming, and Triathlon

Whether you’re training for a race, or showing up on race day, proper nutrition is key to getting the most out of your performance.

If you’re well fuelled your training will be executed better and you’ll adapt to your training more, and if you’re properly fuelled you’ll have the energy you’ll need to perform at your absolute best on race day.

We’ve created the following nutrition calculator that calculates the calories you’ll burn training and racing in swim, bike, and run training or in your races. This calculator can be used for triathlons, half-marathons, marathons, ultrarunning events, cycling races like Gran Fondos, duathlons, swimruns, or even wild endurance adventures like marathon swims.

Simply enter your details below get results personalized to you that account for your speed and body weight.

How This Nutrition Calculator Works

This calculator was created based on information from the book The Performance Zone: Your Nutrition Action Plan for Greater Endurance & Sports Performance by John Ivy which discusses the science behind how nutrition effects sports performance.

Why this calculator is great is because it accounts for two of the most important variables when determining the calories you require during your training and racing: your personal weight and your personal speed.

When you weigh more you’ll burn more calories, when you weigh less you’ll burn fewer calories.

When you are going faster you’ll burn more calories, when you’re going slower you’ll burn fewer calories.

Combine these inputs with how long you’ll be racing or training and the outputs generated in this calculator are very close to the exact amount of calories you’ll be burning when racing or training.

Finally, the calculator recommends that you replace 25% of the calories you’ll burn because this is a very safe amount for most stomachs to digest during exercise, while giving enough calories to maintain energy.

How to Consume Calories When Exercising Based on This Calculator

Now that you’ve got the amount of calories you need to replace during your racing your training, it’s time to create a schedule for when you consume these calories. Here are some basics:

  • Consume approximately only large bottle of fluids each hour during exercise. This should be a light electrolyte drink with 10-40 calories per bottle
  • Stick to liquid calories (gels are fine) during run training and running races
  • Calories can be liquid or solid (chews, bars, and real food) during cycling or swimming events
  • Space out taking your target calories into 18-30 minute intervals
  • There’s no need to consume calories for workouts of 75 minutes or less

Want More Endurance Race Nutrition Info?

Check out the book Triathlon Nutrition Foundations by our Founder, Taren Gesell, where he outlines exactly how to implement using this calculator into your training and racing. This book is rated 4.7/5 on Amazon and comes from one of the most highly rated endurance training series of books in the world: The Triathlon Foundations Series.

Taren Gesell

"Triathlon Taren" Gesell is founder of MōTTIV and one of the world's top experts on helping adults become endurance athletes later in life. Best known for his YouTube channel and podcast Taren is the author of the Triathlon Foundations series of books and has been published featured in endurance publications around the world.