So you’ve worked hard and put in the training for your endurance race and now you’re a week out from the big event. This is the time to focus on your diet to ensure you are well fuelled and energised when you reach the start line.
Back in the day huge emphasis was placed on carb loading for endurance events, with a carb depletion phase followed by consumption of large quantities of carbohydrate rich foods. Leading sports nutritionists now prefer a gentler approach to optimising the athletes fuel stores. This reduces the risk of bloating and gut problems in the days before and on race day itself.
If you are a relative newbie to pre-race fuelling the list below gives you the main areas you should be focusing on this week:
Plan your mealsfor the week so you don’t skip meals or leave large gaps between eating. Your meals this week should be at regular intervals to ensure stable blood sugar levels and consist of 60-70% carbohydrates. This is NOT the week to think about losing some weight!
Preparing your race day fuelling plan requires more than just calculating the number of gels and volume of water you need in your pack. The longer and more complex the terrain the more important it is to have a well thought out plan.
Below is a list of essential elements to consider when planning your race day fuelling and hydration strategy:
At least a fortnight before the race review what sports supplements you will be using eg gels, electrolytes, bars etc and check you have enough supplies in your cupboard and if not get ordering. You don’t want to discover you only have a couple of your favourite gels left as you are packing your kit. Many sports supplements are only available online so you need to factor in delivery times.
2. Race Day Weather Conditions?
Hot and humid days can make a big difference to your hydration and electrolyte requirements compared to a cold or wet day. Check the weather forecast the day or two before and make any necessary adjustments to yo...
Stress fractures are among the top 10 injuries sustained by runners, with women more likely to suffer a stress fracture than men. The tibia bone is the most common area for stress fractures in female runners.
Whilst biomechanics and training load can play a significant role in the development of a stress fracture, dietary factors such as low intake of key nutrients and/or insufficient calorie intake can significantly increase your risk of a stress fracture.
The female athlete triad is a combination of factors that can lead to reduced bone mass which increases the risk of stress fractures. The sequence of events usually begins with low energy availability and under nutrition due to mismatch of nutrition intake and exercise expenditure.
A prolonged period of calorie deficit results in the athlete becoming underweight which can then lead to menstrual disturbances. This in turn leads to estrogen deficiency, and the dysfunction of other hormones required for bone health resulting in impaired...
As an endurance athletes you need to pay a lot more attention to your diet than the average person, due to the demands you are making on your body which increases your need for a wide range of nutrients.
To optimise your performance, recovery and general health, I strongly recommend that you eat a wide range of whole foods and limit your intake of processed and packaged foods. The following foods are nutritional powerhouses that should be included in all athletes diets.
Eggs provide a complete protein as they contain the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce themselves. They are the building blocks of muscular growth. Whilst egg yolks have a high concentration of omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Free range and/or organic eggs are have the highest concentration of nutrients due to their diet and foraging. Happy chickens lay superior eggs.