Photo of triathletes that just finished their run

Kathleen Oswalt | March 28, 2020

We’re in the last leg of Trimarni triathlon camp and I’m finally getting my rhythm (literally)! I forgot to tell y’all that Marni caught me in the kitchen yesterday cooking up a storm with the music a’ rockin.

Like I said, by day #4 I started to find a rhythm and feel more comfortable with the amount of food I was preparing and serving to 23 HUNGRY triathletes.

When Marni and I first discussed this project, my first thought was of uncertainty but then my thoughts quickly turned to excitement. 

But to tell the truth, I wasn’t really sure if this would be something I would like and want to continue to do OR if Marni and Karel would even want me back. 

Don and I talked about it and we decided that it’s important to take risks, step out of that comfort zone and try new things. This is how you grow as a person, how you decide what you like and don’t like to do, this is how you figure what you’re good at. For that reason I said yes.

In the first couple of days I was really unsure and kept asking myself “is this something I would want to do again?” 

I WORKED REALLY hard the four and a half days I was at triathlon camp. My feet were sore from standing on them all day and my body was exhausted. 

~Good Things Come to Those Who Work Hard and Never Give Up~

Once it was over I had time to just chill and think about the camp experience and hear Marni and Karel’s feedback. 

It was exciting to hear them talk about how having food available for triathletes to nourish and fuel, without them having to stress about it, impacted their training, mood and recovery. 

I was able to think about how I might do things differently that would lessen the load and while doing some thinking I realized how much joy being at camp brought me.

That’s what it’s all about, right? Following the path that brings you joy. But sometimes the path can be foggy from all the outside noise. Whether it’s family, work, friends, social media, comparisons, negative talk, there always seems to be something.

But, when the fog lifts the path becomes clear and shows you the way to joy and happiness.

Can you relate? Have there been any moments of being a triathlete that felt risky or a little uncomfortable? Was your path ever foggy, did you question yourself, compare yourself, get flack from your loved ones?

Being a triathlete must bring you joy and happiness and that’s why you decided to spend 4 and a half days of your time off at camp versus a tropical island sipping on a watered down drink out of a coconut!

Day #4 and…a half of Trimarni Triathlon Camp: It’s Race Day, whoops maybe not! (Saturday the 14th)

Unfortunately, race day was cancelled BUT that didn’t stop these triathletes from having a little fun, life must go on, right? Marni and Al put on their race bibs and others body tattooed their numbers on their arms. 

Al and Marni triathletes ready for race

The athletes headed out with smiles on their faces and laughter in the air, not knowing exactly what Marni and Karel had up their sleeves.

Since the race was canceled they ended up doing a 3:45 hilly ride with 3600+ elevation gain and then a 45 minute run afterwards. It was a hard day of training for sure!

Triathletes gathered for their bike workout triathletes getting ready to ride and riding up hills

Hot run with triathletes from camp photos of triathletes biking and running

I would see them back for their late afternoon snacks. In the meantime, can you guess what I did? Yup…I was off to the grocery store…again! 

I grabbed some quick food options to go with their smoothies since I was tight on time; pre-made muffins, biscotti and granola. 

My ONE BIG JOB today (other than having snacks ready in the afternoon) was to get the pizza’s ordered. The last night at triathlon camp is ALWAYS pizza night! 

Marni had given me a list, the night before, of the different pizzas and how many of each to order. All I had to do was just call it in. Simple, right?

I was working diligently in the kitchen, while I was waiting for campers, preparing a few salads to go with the pizzas that night; a couscous salad with roasted asparagus and a green salad with walnuts and dried cherries. 

I was busy cleaning, roasting, chopping and mixing.

Recovery Nutrition for Triathlon Camp

Snacks – 3pm

  • Smoothies
  • Fresh fruit
  • Bagels
  • Muffins
  • Biscottis
  • Granola
  • Leftover Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Yogurt 

Let’s blend!

The smoothies were a fun idea! They were a super refreshing treat for the athletes after a long, hot ride and it was something I could make nutritious and balanced.

Blending smoothies for the athletes post bike and run workout photos of triathlon lunch with smoothies and snacks

photo of triathlon food after bike and run

I had 3 blenders going; using NBS Recovery Plus powder I blended up a blueberry coconut smoothie and a mixed berry chocolate smoothie. The third blender was reserved for our lactose-free campers.

Each smoothie had something different; I used a mixture of chia seeds, ground flaxseed, yogurt, frozen bananas, soy milk, almond milk, matcha tea powder, cinnamon, and so on.

Using NBS Recovery Plus in the smoothies was a quick way for athletes to recover with a combination of both carbohydrate and protein along with sodium, potassium and magnesium. 

While campers were enjoying their snacks and getting cleaned up Marni just happened to ask me how it went with the pizza order……(with no urgency in my voice I said) “oh I still need to do that”. 

Then it dawned on me…OH shit! Dinner is in an hour and a half and we need like 12 pizzas pronto!!!

I dropped the ball on my ONE BIG JOB for the day. It seemed like something was always forgotten in the chaos whether it was cilantro or 12 pizzas. But Marni called it in and saved the pizza party.

photo of pizza delivery. Camp coach bringing triathlon camp athletes lots of pizza.

Al and Marni showed up with ALL the pizza. We had decided the day before that we would have our pizza party out at the covered pool. The weather was perfect and it was a nice change of scenery. 

photo of covered pool deck

Dinner – 5:30pm

  • Couscous salad with roasted asparagus
  • Green salad with walnuts and dried cherries

Dinner was a success; lots of pizza was yummed up, both green salads GONE and about half of the couscous salad eaten!

Triathlon camp pizza party! Nourishing athletes with triathlon camp food Triathlon camp pizza party, last night at camp

photos of poolside pizza party

Triathlon camp athletes socializing on the last night of camp poolside pizza party

triathletes with jazz hands

Between the green salad and the couscous salad there were a variety of nutrients. These nutrients coming from the romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, apples, dried cherries, walnuts, lemon, asparagus, bell pepper, olives and garlic. 

The more variety equals even more nutrients, right? All of the micronutrients in these salads work together to decrease inflammation, support a healthy gut, support a strong and healthy heart, lower oxidation in the body, support and healthy immune system and overall just keep you a healthy human being.

In triathlete lingo, these foods may help you perform better, stay healthier and recover quicker.

Every evening the athletes would gather and review the day, what to expect the next day and get their questions answered. Tonight, was no different EXCEPT they each had a chance to share what they were proud of accomplishing during their time at camp.

I’m proud that I made it through camp without a meltdown. This type A (which I’ve been working on a lot) personality was adjusting to a 3 hour time change, not as much planning as I would like, multiple trips to the grocery store and some adjustments to the schedule on the fly. All in all, I’m proud because none of this affected me like it would have 3 years ago. Win!

Nourish and Fuel Your Body with an Easy Salad

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” ~ Julia Child

Adding some type of salad whether it be green, warm or cold is a great option for the week. The greens, the pasta, the couscous, they just serve as a vehicle for all the goodness you’ll be adding.

Hmmmmm, I think I might have already said this in a previous blog BUT it’s so true. 

For example, today I actually put together a quick orzo salad. It took maybe 15 minutes. I roasted a bunch of asparagus in the oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil for about 7 minutes. At the same time I cooked the orzo, this took about the same time, maybe a few minutes longer. I chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes and added some arugula, torn spinach leaves, a squeeze of fresh lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil. 

This is a great salad that can be kept in the refrigerator.  Both Don and I can get at least 2 good meals each. For protein you can add something on the side or add hard boiled egg, canned tuna or chicken, beans or edamame right into the salad.

This is great to have ready in the refrigerator to feed your body after a good workout. 

Again, having nourishing foods, already prepped, in the refrigerator (and eating them) allows your athlete body to recover so much better than if you try winging it.

Another example I wanted to point out, day #3 dinner we had sweet potatoes. Potatoes, whether they’re sweet potatoes or regular potatoes are super easy to fix and a great source of carbohydrates. Keep them in the fridge for a quick snack, add them to your meal, or use them to bake with (sweet potato breakfast cookies).

A beefed up green salad can be just as quick to make and super delicious. But don’t skimp on your salad, be creative and make it a meal by adding vegetables, fruit, some type of carb like quinoa or wild rice and a protein whether it be plant protein or animal.

Doing a little planning, preparing and a little more eating can help you perform and recover in a much better way.

Last Day of Camp…(half day Sunday the 15th)

Early risers get the worm, is that how the saying goes? Well, it doesn’t matter, it was an early rise kind of day.

Athletes were getting ready for their two planned workouts; running and swimming. Some we’re even trying to pack up so they could leave from the pool versus coming back to the house.

Triathletes would run on the Clay trail as the sun rose. Even though the surface was softer there were some small rolling hills waking up their legs one last time before camp came to an end. 

photos of triathletes running on the famous clay trail in Clermont Florida

Trimarni triathletes after running the Clermont clay trial

After their 90 minute run they headed back over to the National Training Center.

The athletes were in for a 90-minute endurance swim with lots of drills…again!

  Swim drills at triathlon camp photo of national training center pool and workout

Trimarni triathletes in a group photo after swim, last swim at camp

For me, this was the most low key day since I’d arrived in Clermont. I wasn’t cooking today, I was just cleaning out the refrigerator. We had a good variety of leftovers that needed to be eaten.

It was nice to have some downtime. I was able to talk with some of the athletes I had just met 4 days prior and get to know them a little better. There was no need to rush, I wasn’t having to really focus. I was sitting and I think by 4pm I had showered and put my pjs on. It was time to chill and relax.

There were only a few of us left, just Marni, Karel, Don and I in the house Sunday afternoon and evening. The camp house was quiet…it was peaceful, it was nice. It gave Don and I a chance to get to know Marni and Karel on a more personal level.

Before the sun set, Don and I took a walk out to the dock that connects the camp house to the lake. It was an eerie, quiet walk with a few bull frogs in the background and some really pretty scenery. 

Photos of dock leading to swamp

We finally called it an early night, slept well, said our goodbye’s to Marni and Karel the next morning and started our journey back to South Carolina around 8am Monday.

Kathleen and Marni saying goodbye after 4 and a half day at triathlon camp

After a 7 hour drive, above all, we were happy to be back home.

Trimarni triathlon camp was a great experience. If you haven’t been to camp, I certainly hope one day you get too!

Lastly, if you didn’t catch day #1, day #2 or day #3 of camp, you can do that right here.

Photo of Don and Kathleen

Thanks for following along on my journey and camp experience as the camp cook. Drop us a comment or question below. We’d love to hear from you!


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Dietitian Kathleen and Kona-Qualifier Don Oswalt

Welcome to Eat Love Triathlon! We’re Don and Kathleen your go-to dietitian and triathlete. Together, we’re here to share our latest and greatest tips, with you, on how to be a well-balanced triathlete with nutrition, triathlon and keeping harmony in your relationships. We’re excited you’ve stopped by, happy reading and don’t be shy about reaching out. We’d love to hear from you!