Infinit Nutrition Canada - Premium Sport-Specific Nutrition

Thursday, November 27, 2014

We Make Nutrition Coaching Easy for The Discomfort Zone!!!

Infinit Nutrition Canada started at the end of 2006, that is exactly when Mike Coughlin started using Infinit.  Mike owner and coach of 
Discomfort Zone Performance Coaching along with associate coach Mike Mahoney decided that Infinit would bring a ton of value to their athletes and ultimately their business.  

We asked Mike Mahoney to provide us with his perspective on nutrition and Infinit.  Here is what Mike provided:

Nutrition Coaching

When you meet someone for the first time, there's usually a pattern to the conversation.  If you're  chatting for more than a few minutes, that usually means a question about their profession.  And if you find that profession interesting, usually a few more questions follow.  People must find triathlon interesting, because as soon as people find out that I coach, there's almost always a series of questions.  Maybe some people are just being polite, but most seem genuinely interested and I'd like to provide some useful information, even if there's limited time.

Surprisingly, some of the questions coaches are asked most often aren't strictly about coaching at all: they're about nutrition.  And those questions present a problem.  Ask me about periodization or motivation or how to train for a particular race and I'll talk your ear off, complete with examples.  But nutrition questions are a different story.

Perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising that people ask about sports nutrition.  Good general nutrition is important for everyone, all the time, and especially for endurance athletes.  And as soon as an athlete gets serious, whether it be triathlon or another endurance sport, good nutrition gets even more important.  Specifically, sports nutrition.  Nutrition is a big field with a lot to know, and there's new information all the time.  And endurance athletes are readers, especially triathletes.  Generally on the internet.  There are tonnes of nutrition information out there, and a lot of it's suspect, which means athletes can have difficulty telling the good from the bad.  So what to they do?  They ask an 'expert' they're having a casual conversation with.

Me.  God help them.

Okay, I'm exaggerating.  As an athlete and a coach I follow the new developments and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some pretty strong opinions about sports nutrition.  But some of that knowledge is pretty involved for a casual conversation.  A lot of good nutrition is about matching the nutrition to the athlete to the training, which gets pretty specific.  What works for me might not work for you.  So what do I tell people about nutrition, in a nice digestible sound bite, but still try to give them something useful?

I've asked a number of experienced coaches what they do in that situation.  Some simply don't give nutrition advice.  Others offered good solid rules of thumb they've developed over the years.  Here are a few of the things I offer:

1.    Basics, basics, basics!

Start by eating right and leading a healthy lifestyle.   Most athletes have already ditched the junk and eat a reasonably healthy diet of veggies, fruits, and meats that you can identify when you buy them.  If you haven't, start with that before deconstructing a micronutrient profile.  Start buying vegetables first, once you've done that, worry about organic and antioxidants and pesticides.  If you smoke, quit!  Now!

Yes, I know every athlete's heard all that before.   Are you doing all you could do?  Writing this, I can tell you I'm not.  We can all improve.  I always start with that advice and to date, it's never simply been accepted.  I get responses like "I'd have to give up..."  I have a theory that there are no real secrets in a connected world; only solid knowledge people don't accept because it's not marketed as a big secret.  Well, call it a big secret, then.

2.    Is there enough training for this to matter?

Some people expend huge amounts of time arguing the fine points of different products and different nutrition claims, some of them pretty wild.  And they spend serious money on some pretty dubious stuff.  I'm often asked to express an opinion on one product versus another.  I always reply by asking how much the athlete is training?  Wouldn't it be better to cut the number of out-there, miracle products they bought, used the savings to take an afternoon off, and went for an open-water swim or a steady bike with some solid intervals?

3.    You worked it out of me.

Inevitably, I'm pressed to reveal what products I use.  I say spinach, and always get a laugh.  We covered that in point one.  The fact is that everyone needs to fuel and athletes want to know what's good.  Contrary to some of the goofier information on the internet, there absolutely is a place for highly processed sugars and proteins in your diet, and that place is in your aero bottle on a training ride or an IRONMAN bike.  Yes, I've tried a lot of sports nutrition products, and yes, as you've probably guessed I use INFINIT, but probably not for the reasons you're thinking.
I fuel with INFINIT because it's specific to me as an athlete and specific to the training and racing I'm doing.  How hard I train, how much I sweat, how far I'm going.  Off-the-shelf just doesn't cut it.

If the person asking me questions is still around, they're probably an athlete and have been listening long enough that they're not just being polite.  I finish with one last sound bite of advice.

4.    Get the consult.

INFINIT is serious enough nutrition that you want somebody who knows what they're doing setting the sliders.  Start with the online questionnaire, but if you're investing a lot of training time and energy in a big goal race, get the nutrition consult.  When I'm doing something new I get a consult and end up getting some knowledge I didn't know before along with my bag of fuel.  When my athletes get their consults I ask what they learned and I'm always impressed.  And it doesn't hurt that one consult resulted in the minor improvement to my racing that I don't throw up anymore.

All right!  That's what you'll get if you ask me about nutrition.  Hope it helps!


Before his first Marine Corps Marathon, Mike Mahoney’s idea of running was something a sergeant forced you to do in a rucksack and boots. Triathlon just kind of happened from there. His proudest moment is being talked into a 50k at 9pm the night before. Mike is an Associate Coach with Discomfort Zone Performance Coaching in Guelph, Ontario and is currently training towards IRONMAN Muskoka 2015.

Working with Mike and Mike has been great - we have provided fuel for camps and clinics which has allowed their athletes to feel the difference nutrition that is designed for a specific sport can have on performance.  All coached athletes receive full nutritional consults, moderate discounts and free shipping on group ship days.  All in all we have a symbiotic relationship.  We are appreciative of them and I know the same is true from their perspective.

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada