Are you fuelling up for training?
To prepare for a long car trip, mechanics and Automotive Bodies recommend a full tank of petrol, a check oil and water levels, ensure the pressure in tyres is correct and a full night’s sleep for the driver.
Do you take the same care when preparing for a long training session or race? Do you check in with your body, stretch and warm up? Do you ensure you have a full tank of fuel? That you are hydrated? That you are prepared with the right during session nutrition? That you have had a full night’s sleep?
We would consider not taking due care with a car and yourself for a long drive as negligent. But do you think the same about your training sessions?
At Eat Smart we have the privilege of assisting athletes, weekend warriors and just your average Joe to compete in long distance events such as fun runs, triathlons, adventure races and the like. There is no greater pleasure as a Sports Dietitian than seeing a patient through their training journey, then creating their race event plan and then receiving an email or text with ‘I did it!’.
To be better prepared for your longer training sessions, use this checklist:
- Can I have a pre-training snack approx. 2 hours before I start?
- If yes, what do I need to pack or buy to make this happen?
- If the session is first up in the morning you may like to eat or drink something immediately upon waking, but if this does not suit then you need to fuel up the night before with a good quality dinner and possibly a snack after dinner.
- How can I start the session well hydrated? Do I need to take a water bottle with me to work or school to ensure I drink enough?
- Is the session longer than 60 minutes?
- If yes, then do I need to take a carbohydrate source with me for extra fuel?
- Have I packed a water bottle for during the session?
- Have I planned a meal or snack for recovery after the session? This meal or snack should be consumed within 60 minutes of completing the session.
To grow, improve and adapt to training, reflection on the successes and potentially the faults in our training is important. So after the session ask yourself, what could I have done better? Do I need to discuss my training or competition nutrition plan with my Eat Smart Dietitian to maximize my performance and enjoyment in my training or event? We look forward to helping you not only get to the start line, but more importantly, the finish line!