Lets get that very clear from the start.
I have played with my food since a very young age and I don't intend to stop anytime soon. I tweak and twiddle with diet and exercise combinations all the time.
Recently I very kindly received a nutrition presentation from Barry from http://www.optimumnutrition4sport.com/ as part of a recent presentation he gave in Galway which makes very interesting reading indeed. In a quick summary Barry recommends a strategy for race day preparation which when you read it makes complete sense it what it should achieve, and in the manner in which it is achieved.
Is does fly in contravention of the typical preparation that us amateur tri-athletes would have expected. But thats why we aren't nutritional experts!
Over the course of the past season I have been training, generally, early in the day, usually in a fasted state. Basically training without breakfast after a nights sleep with nothing more than a coffee for the 'get outta bed' factor and water / electrolyte (Zym) drink for company if on the bike.
A note of caution here - if on the bike for more than 2 hours bring a 'get you home' bar (Mars / Snickers) or couple of gels, just in case you bonk.
Running on empty my theory was that the body would source fuel from stored fat, helping reduce my overall body mass, but it would also create a hunger for the proper post exercise nutrition to replenish the stores. I found the best results I was getting is from a dedicated recovery drink immediately after a session. I choose Kinetica Sports 100% Recovery (I pay for it!) and find that my empty state post training allows the proteins to be 'sucked' in to the muscle vacuum where nutrition is needed most.
Barry calls this Carb Depletion or squeezing the sponge dry. Essentially preparing the body to soak up more of the goodness.
The Race Day Priming program I am going to follow next week (for the Galway 70.3) is based on a carefully plagiarised section of Barry's presentation:
- Carb Depletion - empty the carbohydrate 'tank' so that it can be fully loaded for race day. Now I am going to do this for the week, rather than 2 days beforehand as it is taper week and I would like another 500g of body weight off, I will train this off with easy sessions next week.
- Open the gates - 30 minutes of light exercise with short tempo efforts to switch on the metabolism. This creates a need in the body preparing for the fueling of the turbos :) This I will do on Friday as we start early on Sunday and nerves will hit me through Saturday too
- Carb load - normally 24 hours before the event (not a week as previously thought) rebuild your glycogen stores in the muscle and liver ready to fuel the system.
- Prime - this is the final top up in the countdown to the race start. Ignition time, switch on the brain, fuel systems, hormones (adrenaline) ready for the starters pistol.
With the help of Barry's information I will prepare my diet for next week and my race nutrition strategy. I will keep you all in formed of the ups and downs through next week and hopefully the results Sunday week will bear witness to the 'wisdom' of this strategy.
Be sure to check out Barry's website, blog , Twitter and Facebook.