Who we are

Trailblazer started with a $1000 bet.

Our dietitian Tom Shand was in his first year of work when his best friend, Sam Forgie, bet that he could beat Tom in the Motatapu marathon.  

Tom had just spent 6 and a half years studying exercise science and human nutrition, so he was determined to use all the knowledge he had accrued to gain every advantage possible over Sam.

“When I entered my first marathon I knew that all the training and travel (and the bet!!) was going to be a huge investment of my time and money. I wanted to get to the start line knowing that I had controlled all the controllables. I did not want nutrition, something that I could practise and perfect, to mess up my event experience. I was blown away that others had not been able to do so as they did not have access to the information. Trailblazer was built on the idea that everyone should be able to access expert nutrition so that they can achieve their goals – whether it is to simply have fun, win, or beat their friends”. – Tom Shand.

Ever since that fateful bet Tom has been involved in the New Zealand endurance scene, and has continued to develop his sports nutrition knowledge. 

He has since been joined by fellow endurance junkies Sam Inglis and George Acland at Trailblazer, and together they are aiming to bring expert nutrition to everyday athletes around the country.



What we do

We bring expert nutrition to the everyday athlete. If you are training for an endurance event, Trailblazer Nutrition will create a personalised nutrition programme to help you achieve your goals.

Trailblazer Nutrition ensures that when you line up on the start line of your next endurance event you will have harnessed the power of nutrition during training, and will have a race-day nutrition strategy that you know will power you through to the finish line.

We have three great options to suit every need:

1. A Trailblazer Nutrition Plan 

Our most popular option. This nutrition programme guides you through nutrition for training, every-day nutrition, event preparation, and of course provides you with a nutrition plan for event day. 

It is completely personalised to your needs, you get ongoing email contact with your dietitian right up to your event, and your plan is delivered as a user friendly pdf document. Click here for more details.

2. A Skype Consultation with Tom Shand, sports dietitian. 

Tom Shand is a highly qualified sports dietitian with practical experience from his own endurance activities. This service includes:

    • - A nutrition needs assessment
    • - Practical advice to help you achieve your goals
    • - A written nutrition plan (emailed)
    • - Email contact to answer any further questions
    • - Follow up Skype appointments as required
    • Click here for more details.
  • 3. Event specific nutrition plan

  • If you are doing a specific event such as the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge or the Coast to Coast, we may have the plan for you. Whilst this plan is not personalised, it takes into account the unique challenges of your event, key training sessions, and gives practical advice for your nutrition from the very start of your training through to your last sip of fluid on event day. To check to see if we have a plan available for your event, click here

  • Trailblazer Nutrition is designed to make it easy for you to access expert nutrition care, but if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Posted by Imogen Inglis on 20 January 2015

Hi, my name is Imogen Inglis. I am 28 years old and one day, maybe a little naively, I decided to take on Challenge Wanaka Ironman. I have always liked the idea of doing an ironman and ticking it off my bucket list, the actual concept of completing the training to ensure I was “match day fit” wasn’t even a consideration.

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Countdown to Challenge Wanaka

Posted by Bridget Irving on 18 September 2013

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My name is Bridget, I decided to enter the Wanaka Challenge Half Ironman a few months ago and have been chipping away at training since. During the day I work as a solicitor which keeps me pretty busy. I am married to Jesse and we have a Spoodle called Oscar who is awesome. Our weeks are pretty busy with work etc, we also spend a fair few of our weekends in Central Otago. I am not good at getting up early in the morning for training and I get cranky if I don’t get enough sleep!

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Preparing for the Coast to Coast

Posted by Tom Newcomb on 2 February 2017

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Approach to Coast To Coast

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Race day practice

Posted by on 29 January 2015

Leanings from an amateur ironman

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Posted by Tom Shand on 8 November 2012



I'm Tom Shand, a dietitian for Trailblazer Nutrition. This blog that I will be writing on Trailblazer's website is going to be about my nutritional and training journey to completing a northern hemisphere spring marathon. I've got my eye on the London marathon 2014, but need to confirm a starting spot in that, which isn't a walk in the park.

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Lessons from an almost bonk

Posted by Bridget Irving on 20 October 2013

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This weekend was Spring Challenge weekend. Spring Challenge is an all woman adventure race run by Nathan Favae and wife Jodie. There are 3, 6 or 10 hour options each involving a combination of running/hiking, mountain biking and rafting. This year the event was held in Gibbston Valley near Queenstown. It is the 3rd year I have competed in it.

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The value of support

Posted by Imogen Inglis on 3 February 2015

Last week’s key learning is – Don’t underestimate your support crew!

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The experiment

Posted by Tom Shand on 2 September 2013


Blog 2 – The experiment

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The everyday improvements

Posted by Tom Shand on 2 October 2013

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As I stated last blog, I am starting on a journey to getting my nutrition bang on so that I can achieve my London marathon goals.

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Pre-race jitters

Posted by Imogen Inglis on 16 February 2015

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Key Learning – Pre-race jitters are normal

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