Pro Triathlete Jesse Thomas on Fueling for Ironman Triathlons

The average human male needs about 2,500 calories a day to support his weight and metabolism. Jesse Thomas eats more than double that.

Jesse Thomas Triathlon

You might recognize Jesse as the dude who races in Aviators (there’s never an inappropriate time for Aviators).

He was an All-American and school record holder at track and field powerhouse Stanford University. After graduating with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Jesse started a company and got an MBA before going pro in triathlon in 2011.

You might say that Jesse likes to stay busy.

Today, he’s the CEO of Picky Bars – a company he cofounded with his wife Lauren Fleshman – and an elite triathlete who’s a 2x Ironman Champion.

He also doesn’t take himself too seriously:

After reading a fascinating article in Triathlete Magazine last year, I reached out to Jesse to learn more about his nutrition philosophy and approach to fueling for such a grueling sport.

As the CEO and cofounder of a company that helps athletes fuel their workouts, a pro triathlete, and a highly educated guy, Jesse has interesting perspectives about the nuances of eating 6,00 calories per day.

  • Does he follow any type of formal “diet?”
  • How does his nutrition change throughout the season and year?
  • Is he a calorie counter, scorer, or macronutrient calculator?
  • How “perfect” does he try to be with his nutrition?

Jesse joined me on the Strength Running podcast to talk about these issues and a lot more. I hope you’ll listen.

Like this topic? Don’t miss our free nutrition course for runners!

Jesse Thomas on Nutrition and the Value of Moderation

Jesse Thomas Picky Bars

Follow him on Strava, and you’ll quickly notice that during peak training Jesse can complete up to 20 workouts per week.

Or in other words, he’s tripling nearly every day. Triathlon ain’t easy…

To fuel all those swims, rides, and runs, he has to eat a lot food. In fact, when he measured his food intake for an experiment, he found that he was eating 5,900 calories on average during the week!

Today we’re diving into the topic of fueling and periodized nutrition on the podcast.

Subscribe to the Strength Running Podcast in iTunesSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio, or Google Play.

Show Links & Resources

Please get in touch with Jesse on Twitter and thank him for doing this interview. He’s a busy man and we should all very much appreciate his time for the SR community!

And a big thank you to our podcast sponsor Health IQ. They’re a unique insurance company that helps health conscious people like us runners get lower life insurance rates.

Health IQ has used plentiful data about runners to convince insurance companies that runners deserve lower rates. And since research has shown avid runners have a 41% lower risk of heart disease and up to a 35% lower risk of early death, they’ve been successful: over the last 3 years, they’ve helped tens of thousands of athletes secure billions of dollars of coverage.

Want to see if you qualify? Go to to see how much money running can save you on life insurance.

Get Stronger & Run Healthy

Join our free course to help you better prevent injuries, develop runner-specific strength, and avoid the big mistakes that get runners hurt