Summer racing is over and my heavy volume training is back in full swing. I started gearing things back up in early August to get ready for the Fall races (Lighthouse to Lighthouse and Irish Coast Paddling Championships). With Lighthouse to Lighthouse coming up this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to write about how I fuel my body during these weeks of high volume and high intensity training.

Before we dive into my nutrition, I want to explicitly say that this is not an attempt to convert anyone or push my “diet” as the be-all and end-all solution. This post is merely a chance to share the nutritional approach that I use and how it’s worked for me the past two years.

As an athlete, I have always eaten relatively healthy, trying to avoid processed foods and stick to organic, whole foods whenever possible. Until a few years ago, however, I struggled to know exactly what and how much my body needed to not just be healthy, but perform optimally. I eventually contacted a friend and nutrition/health coach (Kelsey Graham) and asked her opinion on what to do.

She had me log my eating for two weeks and, after taking a look, she deduced that I was undereating in an attempt to stay “lean.” Beyond that I wasn’t consuming nearly enough carbohydrates to fuel, sustain, and recover properly from my training. I was shocked, but intrigued. I took a leap of faith and over the next few weeks I implemented her suggestions, while tracking my energy levels, training performances and weight. After a month of testing, it was pretty obvious; she was right!

Austin Kieffer burrito fillingWith a higher-calorie, carb-focused diet and intentionally consuming at least half my calories before noon, I was I was able to lose fat, sustain energy levels throughout the day and perform at a higher level in afternoon training sessions. Since then, I have used this fueling approach for all of my demanding training blocks and I find that sticking closely to it can really be the difference between absorbing a hard week of training and falling apart.

As boring as it is, I try to keep my diet as regular and easy as possible. Below is a rough outline of what I eat on a typical training day.

Training Day

Breakfast:
Oatmeal
Milk
Granola
Coffee
Berries

Lunch 1:
White rice
grilled chicken breast

Lunch 2: Burritos
Veggies
Black beans
Eggs
Tortillas
Avocado
Salsa

Lunch 3:
White rice
Grilled chicken breast

Dinner:
Grilled salmon
Grilled veggies
Watermelon
Mixed salad

Snacks (usually after workouts):
Banana
Milk
Apple
Rx Bars

Total Calories: 3800

Macro Breakdown (approximate)
Carbs: 575 – 60%
Fat: 90 – 22%
Protein: 165 – 18%

  • NAC Classic 2019

    Newport Beach, CA
    February 9th, 2019
    Austin's Blog

  • Maui to Molokai

    April 13, 2019  - 26 miles.

  • Molokai Challenge

    May 26, 2019

  • Canadian Downwind Champs

    Squamish, BC, Canada
    July 13, 2019

  • Gorge Downwind Champs

    Colombia River Gorge, Oregon
    July 15-20, 2019

  • Lighthouse To Lighthouse 2019

    Sept. 14 & 15, 2019
    Norwalk, CT

  • Irish Coast Paddling Champs

    Saturday 28, Sept. 2019

Summer racing is over and my heavy volume training is back in full swing. I started gearing things back up in early August to get ready for the Fall races (Lighthouse to Lighthouse and Irish Coast Paddling Championships). With Lighthouse to Lighthouse coming up this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to write about how I fuel my body during these weeks of high volume and high intensity training.

Before we dive into my nutrition, I want to explicitly say that this is not an attempt to convert anyone or push my “diet” as the be-all and end-all solution. This post is merely a chance to share the nutritional approach that I use and how it’s worked for me the past two years.

As an athlete, I have always eaten relatively healthy, trying to avoid processed foods and stick to organic, whole foods whenever possible. Until a few years ago, however, I struggled to know exactly what and how much my body needed to not just be healthy, but perform optimally. I eventually contacted a friend and nutrition/health coach (Kelsey Graham) and asked her opinion on what to do.

She had me log my eating for two weeks and, after taking a look, she deduced that I was undereating in an attempt to stay “lean.” Beyond that I wasn’t consuming nearly enough carbohydrates to fuel, sustain, and recover properly from my training. I was shocked, but intrigued. I took a leap of faith and over the next few weeks I implemented her suggestions, while tracking my energy levels, training performances and weight. After a month of testing, it was pretty obvious; she was right!

Austin Kieffer burrito filling

With a higher-calorie, carb-focused diet and intentionally consuming at least half my calories before noon, I was I was able to lose fat, sustain energy levels throughout the day and perform at a higher level in afternoon training sessions. Since then, I have used this fueling approach for all of my demanding training blocks and I find that sticking closely to it can really be the difference between absorbing a hard week of training and falling apart.

As boring as it is, I try to keep my diet as regular and easy as possible. Below is a rough outline of what I eat on a typical training day.

Training Day

Breakfast:
Oatmeal
Milk
Granola
Coffee
Berries

Lunch 1:
White rice
grilled chicken breast

Lunch 2: Burritos
Veggies
Black beans
Eggs
Tortillas
Avocado
Salsa

Lunch 3:
White rice
Grilled chicken breast

Dinner:
Grilled salmon
Grilled veggies
Watermelon
Mixed salad

Snacks (usually after workouts):
Banana
Milk
Apple
Rx Bars

Total Calories: 3800

Macro Breakdown (approximate)
Carbs: 575 – 60%
Fat: 90 – 22%
Protein: 165 – 18%

  • NAC Classic 2019

    Newport Beach, CA
    February 9th, 2019

  • Maui to Molokai

    April 13, 2019  - 26 miles.

  • Molokai Challenge

    May 26, 2019

  • Canadian Downwind Champs

    Squamish, BC, Canada
    July 13th

  • Gorge Downwind Champs

    Colombia River Gorge, Oregon
    July 15-20, 2019

  • Lighthouse To Lighthouse 2019

    Sept. 14 & 15
    Norwalk, CT

  • Irish Coast Paddling Champs

    TBD Fall 2019