I’ve just jumped on a flight to Limoges (France) after a rather stressful check in at Stansted airport. It turns out my bike box was 5kg over weight… I’m definitely going to blame the fact that I’ve packed the perfect nutrition products for those extra few kilos 😉
I get lots of questions about nutrition and I have to be honest I don’t always feel best equipped to answer them. I’m by no means an expert, but i have learnt a few bits along the way and I definitely feel more informed after a recent Skype chat with SIS nutrition guru Ben Samuels MSc – Performance Nutritionist at Science in Sport.
I thought it might be useful to give you a bit of an insight into what I use (and when) as a starting point to answering some of those questions, so hope you find it helpful.
I use myfitnesspal to track my nutrition. Mainly to make sure I’m getting enough of what I need for sessions. As a vegetarian I have to work pretty hard to get enough protein. My fitness pal also helps me to adjust my calories according to the type of session(s) I’m doing that day.
I do a lot of early morning sessions so I either do these fasted (without food just water) if an easy session or I have an SiS caffeine gel, banana and sip 500ml of SIS Go Electrolyte drink for harder ones. I also think about what I’m eating the night before so I don’t go into the session depleted.
On longer rides (and runs), again depending on intensity I’ll have something every 45mins. I find real food / bars and SIS Go Electrolyte Carb drink work for me. The smaller sized GO Energy Bars are great for stuffing in your back pocket and the consistency is perfect (banana is my fave). For easy rides I find the hydro tabs are sufficient.
For hard sessions I eat and drink what I will on race day. For standard distance Duathlon this is porridge/banana/nuts for breakfast and a caffeine gel before, then another gel when I get on the bike followed by sipping a carb drink and another gel 20mins before getting off to the bike for the final run. I also sip a carb drink between breakfast and race start.
It feels very different taking on-board food and drink during a race or high intensity activity when you are fatigued so really important to practice this. The the hands-free hydration system on the Liv Avow means I hardly have to move to sip carb drink and integrated food storage on the top tube makes it easy to access gels. If you are using a bottle in a cage then practice this and also think about where you will have gels (back pocket, taped to your bike) and how easy they will be to access. Also consider having a spare just in case you drop one.
I always take protein recovery after hard training and racing. Remember if you’ve done a hard endurance session it’s important to replenish carbs as well as protein so something like REGO is fantastic for that. With a sensitive tummy I found I couldn’t stomach the standard REGO formula so was really pleased when Ben recommended REGO+… this contains whey protein as a different protein source and 40g carbs per serving, so is great as a fast acting recovery.
The SIS WHEY20 are my number one favourite product though because they are so easy to take straight afterwards and you don’t have to worry about mixing anything. I always have one in my handbag and have them as a protein top up during the day.
- Don’t wait until you are hungry to eat, by then its too late… start refuelling after 45mins
- Make sure you drink enough fluids even on cold days
- Don’t forget to replenish protein and carbs within 30-60 minutes of finishing a session or race
- Practice refuelling especially when fatigued
- Don’t try anything new on race day
- Fuel for the sessions you are doing
But I bet you still really want to know what was in my bike box huh?
I hope that’s given you an insight into how I fuel my training and racing. Any questions please ask.
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Happy running and riding 🙂