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Eating like an Athlete

We asked Jess Learmonth to share her nutrition tips with us, along with some easy breakfast recipes and an insight into what a world-class triathlete eats during training.

Time Activity Food
6.45am Swimming (2 hours) I don't have any food before swimming, just a coffee on the way
9.00am Breakfast (at the pool café) 3 Egg Omelette Ham & onion with a decaf coffee
9.30am Gym (1 hour)  
10.30am Snack Protein shake and energy bar on the way home. The shake is good for hydration and recovery.
12.30am Run (30 mins) Shorter than usual as returning from a calf injury
13.30am Lunch Bowl of homemade Sweet Potato and Red Pepper soup, with 2 slices of homemade sourdough (one with avocado, the other tuna, beans and melted cheese). After running I make sure I have enough protein and carbs for recovery, and make a lot of soup through winter!
4.30pm Cycling (45 mins)  
6.00pm Snack A nice coffee (I am a coffee freak!) and bar late afternoon
7.30pm Tea Two homemade flat breads with homemade falafels, salad and hummus.
Time Activity Food
8.30am Run (30 mins)  
9.15am Breakfast Pancakes and yoghurt, they are really easy to make and so quick. See Jess' recipe below if you want to try them!
10.30am Cycling (4.5 hours) Energy bar on the bike
1.45pm Café Stop & lunch I'm a massive fan of café stops on long rides. I try to time it have lunch at the stop. Avocado, hummus, tomato and red onion toasty, with a coffee.
5.30pm Snack Recovery bar and coffee
7.30pm Tea Fish and pea risotto with salad and sourdough cheesy garlic bread.

How do you keep your diet varied?

I am a massive foodie! I love cooking, baking and finding new recipes. My partner is a vegetarian so I like to experiment with different types of veg and vary our meals.

Do you ever get bored with eating for sport?

Definitely not! My appetite is huge, and I enjoy eating, so for me it’s more about keeping the balance between eating the right things but not over doing it. I look forward to every meal.

What’s your favourite meal?

It’s a close call between pizza and Yorkshires, sausages, mash and gravy. Can I have both?

What is your go-to snack for an energy boost?

I always have a OTE protein bar (orange or mint chocolate) with a hot drink, it’s just like having a chocolate bar. I always like to eat treats with a cup of tea or coffee.

Jess’ Protein Porridge

  • 1 part Oats
  • 1 part Nuts
  • 4 parts Liquid
  • 1 Banana
  • Honey (to drizzle)
  1. Add the oats and your choice of nuts to a blender. Jess’ favourites are a nut mix; with almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts and cashews, but you can experiment to find your favourite mix. Blend until evenly chopped.
  2. Tip the oats mix into a bowl. Add four parts liquid and stir. This can be milk, non-dairy milk such as oat, almond or Soya, water, or a mix. For a creamier texture Jess suggests Almond milk.
  3. Microwave for 2 minutes. Keep an eye on the porridge as your microwave might do the job quicker.
  4. Top your porridge with banana and honey, and enjoy!

Breakfast Pancakes

  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of oats
  • 1 banana
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Protein powder (optional)
  • Knob of butter
  1. Mix the egg, oats, banana, baking powder, cinnamon and protein powder (if using) in a blender until it forms a smooth batter.
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter, or wipe it carefully with oiled kitchen paper.
  3. When the pan is hot, cook your pancakes for approximately 1 minute each side until golden.
  4. Add your toppings and enjoy. Jess recommends adding some seeds for a nice crunch, or try some fresh fruit, yoghurt or honey.

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