Archive for March, 2012

The periodisation of nutrition, what to eat and when..

This article is the third of a 5 part series, which will aim to give advice regarding nutrition and it’s impact upon performance and recovery. The 5 articles will cover the following topics:

  1. Metabolic efficiency for endurance athletes.
  2. Planning your weekly eating to enhance training and recovery.
  3. Periodisation of nutrition, deciding what and when to eat.
  4. Sports event nutrition, what to eat on the day.
  5. Hydration strategy for sports events.

We operate a sports science testing facility in St Helens, Merseyside and have a particular interest in metabolic efficiency for endurance sports. Over the last 12 months whilst we have championed training to enhance fat utilisation, we have also reached the conclusion that manipulating training sessions alone may not be enough to change metabolism. We believe that weekly eating also plays a major role upon metabolism and should be address to work collectively with your training programme for maximum gain.

What is periodisation?

The term periodisation is more commonly used when referring to training programmes. The periodisation of training refers to breaking your training into time-phased blocks, each with specific objectives. Macro, Meso and Micro ‘cycles’ are commonly used within sport, these are Greek terms for large, medium and small training ‘cycles’. A Macro-cycle may be a year or more, for Olympic athletes, the macro cycle is often a 4 year cycle. Meso-cycles are commonly made up of 1 or more months and a Micro-cycle will generally consist of a weekly plan.

Endurance athletes commonly follow periodised training schedules, even if they don’t realise it! The race season tends to be summer based, so already your year is periodised. You may have 1 key event, which you are building towards and ideally would like to be at your peak level of fitness when you reach it. If you do have 1 key event, you’ve probably pencilled in a few practice events which will help you build your level of conditioning. If you resemble this scenario, in many ways you have already periodised your training plan.

Phases of periodisation

Depending upon your coach, schedule and personal preference, your schedule may be broken into several phases with very specific names for each time-phased block. For the purpose of this article, we will introduce a simple 3 phase model.

Phase 1: Base (8-16 weeks)

If you are an endurance athlete you will have heard of the concept of developing your ‘base’. Base training should provide a foundation for your later success and generally involves more volume and less intensity, presented as longer and slower sessions. Strength training is often included within the base phase as this helps to provide a strong foundation and reduce the risk of injuries as training progresses. Base training tends to be very ‘generalised’ and less ‘specific’ as training sessions are not directed towards a specific event, purely to develop a strong, general base level of fitness.

Phase 2: Build (8-12 weeks)

During the build phase, training intensity increases and may include interval type training. Due to the higher intensity of some sessions, the total volume (time in hours) may decrease but the actual stress on the body may be higher. You may enter some early season events as ‘training’ and sessions may become more ‘specific’ e.g. your long run may be at ‘race pace’ or you run with the same kit, shoes or pack.

Phase 3: Peak (4-6 weeks)

Phase 3 will hopefully help you to reach your peak level of fitness at the right time, to coincide with your most important event of the year. The peak phase may include very high intensity training sessions to raise your performance level, or alternatively more ‘specific’ sessions, which match your event demands as closely as possible. During this phase you will also make adjustments to your event strategy, decide upon the correct pace, nutrition and objectives for the event.

Is this a training article or a nutrition article??

Yes, I asked the same question and I actually knew what was coming next. The reason for the initial focus upon schedule planning is that training and nutrition are in fact interrelated and inseparable. Good nutrition supports your training, adaptation and progression, so before we can plan nutrition, we have to look at your schedule.

The specific objectives of each training block should be supported by the manipulation of your diet. In simple terms, your food intake at any current time should reflect your training at any current time. Before we plan nutrition we need to ask some questions regarding your training:

  1. What am I doing in this block?
  2. What am I doing this week?
  3. What am I doing today?
  4. What time am I doing it?

The answers to these questions then allow us to make decisions based upon:

  1. How much and what am I eating in this block?
  2. How much and what am I eating this week?
  3. How much and what am I eating today?
  4. What time am I going to eat it?

Examples of nutrition periodisation     

The concept of nutrition periodisation can be a difficult one to grasp and the easiest way to explain is to give a simple example:

An endurance athlete is completing an 8 week base phase of training and one of the specific objectives is to develop metabolic efficiency by using larger amounts of fat as an energy source. With the base training phase, he continues to complete high intensity interval sessions twice per week which he does with his local club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

He adopts the following principles:

  1. Throughout the 8 weeks the athlete ensures that his daily nutrition intake is balanced, eating no more than 40% of total calories from carbohydrates, all of which are from good quality, low glycemic index sources. The remaining 60% of total calories is divided between good protein and good fat. Avoiding excessive intake of bad carbohydrates will encourage fat usage throughout the 8 weeks, so he applies the 40/30/30 principle at all times.
  2. The athlete has a 1 hour low intensity workout planned at 8:00am Tuesday morning and decides that on Monday evening, his dinner will be relatively low in carbohydrate (in particular the bad ones) as this will ensure that on Tuesday morning, the usage of fat will be higher than normal, due to lower glycogen levels.
  3. On Tuesday morning the athlete hydrates but avoids breakfast, thereby encouraging fat usage. If he feels that he needs to eat, he eats a higher fat/protein source with lower carbohydrate content such a yoghurt, nuts, seeds and a chopped banana. This is different to his high carbohydrate breakfast eaten before events, which includes a large bowl of cereal, followed by toast and jam. The lower carbohydrate breakfast encourages greater fat utilization during the session.
  4. During the training session the athlete avoids high carbohydrate sports products and opts for water only. If it’s a warm day, he adds an electrolyte supplement with zero calories. This continues to encourage fat usage during the training session.
  5. At 6:00pm on Tuesday (same day) the athlete has a very high intensity training session with the local running club. Understanding the importance of carbohydrates for this session, the athletes ensure that he takes a carbohydrate and protein/carb recovery drink once the 8:00am low intensity session is complete to repair and replenish.
  6. The athlete ensures that whilst remaining balanced with proteins, fats and carbohydrates, lunch contains a good source and quantity of carbohydrate, to supplement the evening training session.
  7. The athlete has a final high carbohydrate snack at 3:00pm consisting of toast, jam and a sports drink in preparation for the 6:00pm high intensity session.
  8. The athlete continues to use a sports drink throughout the evening session and follows it immediately with a protein/carb recovery drink to repair and replenish.
  9. As the planned training for Wednesday morning is no more than a 30 minute easy run with no specific objective other than recovery, the athlete east a normal, balanced meal on Tuesday evening.

The above gives a practical example of how eating with a 24 hour period is tailored specifically towards training sessions and their objectives. One of the prime objectives of the 8:00am workout was to encourage fat usage and the diet was adapted accordingly. The 6:00pm high intensity session requires a greater focus upon quality and intensity for which carbohydrates are a necessity.

Practical application of nutrition periodisation

Unless you are a full time athlete, you can’t spend hours each day planning your meals to match each and every requirement of your training plan, but there are some simple and practical guidelines you can follow:

  1. Go back to basics and always remember that your daily eating should be balanced. Your intake should consist of good carbohydrates, good proteins and good fats with percentages based upon 40/30/30 principle as previously recommended. This is the most important principle of your diet and provides the foundation for health and performance.
  2. Look at your weekly plan and identify a pattern. If you are a club athlete, it often consists of long session Sunday, with interval or harder sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. The other days may well be easier and shorter with rest days included. Identify both the longer sessions and the harder sessions and rate simply as how tired and sore you feel following each. Ultimately you need to know which training sessions are placing the most stress on your body.
  3. Make sure you increase carbohydrate intake prior to the harder sessions. The simplest way to do this and prevent the need to make adjustments to your food preparation is to add sports drinks, bars or a high carbohydrate snack 3 hours before. The remainder of the daily diet can stay the same. If the hard/high quality session is in the morning, consider an extra carbohydrate snack the evening before and again for breakfast. You may well have identified that your longer run session is one of your hardest, despite the intensity being relatively low. See point 5 below for more detailed explanation and advice.
  4. You don’t need to increase carbohydrate prior to any short duration, low intensity sessions e.g. 30-40 minute easy run and we would discourage you from doing so.
  5. For longer and lower intensity sessions such as a 90 min+ run or 2-3 hr+ cycle ride, it’s not necessary to increase carbohydrate usage. This is based upon the athlete maintaining a low intensity for the full duration and resisting the urge to work harder at any point. If fat utilisation is an objective for this session, you should consider low carbohydrate beforehand and in some cases no carbohydrate. If this is not possible, choose a low carbohydrate breakfast and refrain from taking any energy source until at least 60 minutes into the session. After this point, carbohydrate intake is unlikely to reverse fat usage and may allow you to continue for longer, recovering more quickly.
  6. The utilisation of fat occurs ‘during’ the training session only and is not affected by what you eat upon ‘completion’ of the training session. If you choose to take a recovery product or snack upon completion of the session to speed your recovery, this does not impact upon the benefits of fat usage, the training session has ended.
  7. If you choose to ‘push the boundaries’ of fat usage and train for 4-5 hours without taking on board carbohydrates, the outcome is likely to be negative. Aside from suppressed immune function, your ability to recover and train on the following days will be limited. Enhancing fat usage is an extremely useful training tool, but as with any other training method, there is an optimal level of application.
  8. Avoid sports products during all short duration, low intensity sessions (less than 60 min). No sports drinks, gels or bars (or any other source of carbohydrate).
  9. Recovery products are vital following harder/longer/high intensity workouts, which leave you feeling tired/sore for the following 12-24 hours. Take them within 20 minutes of completing the session, immediately if possible. They are not necessary for low intensity workouts and add unnecessary calories to your diet.
  10. On rest days or during ‘rest phases’ you do not need to eat high quantities of either carbohydrates or food in general. Fewer calories are used on rest days and this should be reflected in your diet.

To summarise..

The topic of nutritional periodisation can often appear complicated upon first glance, but with practice and persistence you can apply basic principles. Advice and application varies widely between each individual which prevents us from providing a simple and objective approach. Our advice always remains centred upon eating the right foods, in a balanced manner, on a daily basis. Once that is achieved, the concept of periodisation can help you to fine tune your training adaptations, your recovery and ultimately your performances.

Go forwards, train hard and stay healthy

Regards
Marc Laithwaite
http://www.theendurancecoach.com
http://www.theendurancestore.com

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Recce Day 3, Dalemain to Ambleside, Final Details..

Recce day 3 takes place on the weekend of March 31st and April 1st and the format will be as follows:

Saturday 31st

Guest talks in Ambleside Parish Centre from 6:30-9:30pm. There will be basic refreshments available but please eat beforehand. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink to the guest talks. Please arrive from 6:15pm for 6:30pm start, the location of the Parish Hall is HERE, please note, this is not the same hall used in November for recce 1. If you wish to bring friends and family to the guest talks, it will be a £5 donation to charity. Money raised at recce 3 will be split between Fix The Fells and Cumbria Air Ambulance.

Sunday 1st

The coaches will pick up from the public car park at the head of the lake, to see the location GO HERE. The coaches will leave at 8:00am, please be there 7:45am at latest. The coaches will drop off at Pooley Bridge as opposed to Dalemain which shortens the course for the day slightly by missing a flat section across fields. If for any reason you intend to go direct to Pooley Bridge, please meet close to public toilets in centre of village, coach will arrive approximately 8:45am. You will need to locate Terry and add your name to the list of those running.

There are 3 checkpoints on this section during race day, only 2 of these will be manned for the recce:

1. Howtown (not manned)
2. Mardale (manned)
3. Kentmere (manned)
4. Ambleside (finish)

*Based on the above, we suggest that you do not descend the hill to Howtown checkpoint but continue to Mardale (On race day to reach Howtown you have to descend a steep hill for 800m, then retrace your steps back to the route).

We will have a list of all runners and walkers on the course and you must ensure that the person at Mardale and Kentmere checkpoints knows you have passed through. Basic refreshments will be available (water/flapjack/biscuits or similar) but please carry anything specific you wish to eat and drink. There will be a minibus in operation to deal with any potential drop out, but hopefully this won’t be required. Please note that if you are forced to retire at a checkpoint, there may be a significant wait until the minibus can collect.

At the finish (Lakes Runner Ambleside) you are required to ‘sign in’. PLEASE ENSURE YOU VISIT THIS CHECKPOINT and don’t return direct to your car. Lakes runner will be providing free mugs of tea to competitors at the finish, just visit the cafe above the shop!

It is your responsibility to navigate the route successfully and there are no ‘guides’ to follow. Please download a road book from the competitor area or download GPS files if applicable. We also suggest you bring a map with the route marked.

Please note that it is COMPULSORY to carry all kit as per list on competitor area. Please don’t be fooled by our recent spell of weather, we all know it won’t last!! Compulsory kit includes head torch, this is a long and difficult section and some people will be finishing in the dark on Sunday. The guys from The Endurance Store will be there Saturday evening and can bring anything specific required. You can contact them on 01257 251217 or email info@theendurancestore.com.

Look forwards to seeing you all this weekend

Regards
Terry & Marc

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Planning your weekly eating to enhance training and recovery..

This article is the second of a 5 part series, which will aim to give advice regarding nutrition and it’s impact upon performance and recovery. The 5 articles will cover the following topics:

  1. Metabolic efficiency for endurance athletes.
  2. Planning your weekly eating to enhance training and recovery.
  3. Periodisation of nutrition, deciding what and when to eat.
  4. Sports event nutrition, what to eat on the day.
  5. Hydration strategy for sports events.

We operate a sports science testing facility in St Helens, Merseyside and have a particular interest in metabolic efficiency for endurance sports. Over the last 12 months whilst we have championed training to enhance fat utilisation, we have also reached the conclusion that manipulating training sessions alone may not be enough to change metabolism. We believe that weekly eating also plays a major role upon metabolism and should be address to work collectively with your training programme for maximum gain.

The basic principles of healthy eating

As an endurance athlete, it is critical that you optimize your diets to keep you healthy, injury free and performing at your best. The foods that you eat have a huge impact upon your ability to train on a daily basis, recover between sessions and compete successfully. An endurance training programme should be supported by a high quality diet if you hope to achieve your long term goals.

Getting the right balance

Many endurance athletes overestimate the daily carbohydrate intake required and eat predominantly carbohydrate foods. This excessive focus on carbohydrate intake can result in a detrimental lack of proteins and fats. Coupled with this, over emphasis upon carbohydrate intake can also affect your metabolism and reduce the ability to utilize fat as a fuel source.

Our recommendation is that your total daily calorie requirements are supplied, based upon the following basis:

Good quality carbohydrates: 40% total calories
Proteins: 30% total calories
Good quality fats: 30% total calories

No such thing as a bad carbohydrate, just depends upon when it’s eaten..

Carbohydrates are used for energy within the body and are generally categorized as good and bad. The bad versions may be referred to as refined, processed or simple carbohydrates and the good ones more commonly referred to as complex. This is a little misleading as not all complex carbohydrates are good and not all simple carbohydrates are bad.

Essentially, the most important thing is how quickly the carbohydrate enters the blood stream. The good carbohydrates enter more slowly and ‘drip feed’ us with energy whilst the bad one’s enter quickly and lead to high blood sugar levels. The glycemic index rates foods from 1 (slowest) to 100 (quickest) and is one of the best guides for assessing good and bad forms of carbohydrates.

It is important to get most of your daily carbohydrate intake from the good varieties of carbohydrate such as wholegrain foods, fruits and vegetables. Refined or processed carbohydrates should not form part of your general balanced diet.  However, there are times during training training and racing when bad carbohydrates are most useful. If you are part way through a long training session or race and your carbohydrate levels are low, you need foods which will provide you with an instant energy hit. We’ll discuss more of this when we reach the topic of training and race day nutrition, but for now, they are off the daily menu. See table 1 for examples of good and bad carbohydrates.

Proteins

Good quality proteins should be consumed with every meal and snack. When introducing strength training or increasing training volume/intensity, this should be accompanied by an increase in protein intake. They are vital for recovery so should be taken following each training session. See table 2 for examples of good quality proteins.

Fats

Fats are essential to health and performance. Their roles include controlling blood glucose levels, assisting immunity and reducing inflammation (more on inflammation later). Good fats should be included on a daily basis.  See table 2 for examples of good quality fats.

Table 1

Good carbohydrates: Bad carbohydrates:
Muesli
Allbran
Fruit n fibre
Porridge oats
Bulgar wheat
Quiona
Brown/wild/basmati rice
Wholemeal pasta
Wholegrain bread
Sweet potato
Vegetables
Fruit
Sports drinks
Sports gels
Cereal bars
Jelly sweets
Jaffa cakes/fig rolls
Pancakes/breads
Sugar cereals
White bread or rolls
White rice, pasta and noodles
General potatoes, boiled/mashed/new/baked
Rice cakes
Milk chocolate

Table 2

Good proteins: Good fats:
Turkey
Chicken
Lean beef and lamb
White fish
Tinned tuna/salmon
Oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna)
Eggs
Milk
Plain yoghurts
Oily fish (other e.g. mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, pilchards) tinned varieties are ok.
Olive oil/nut oils
Nuts and seeds
Avocado
Flaxseed/linseed

Enhancing your recovery

Effective recovery is arguably the most important component to your training but often the most neglected and least planned. Recovery is the period of time where you reap the benefits of your training and the adaptations occur. How you choose to recover can have a profound effect upon:

1. How well you can train in your next session

2. Your ongoing risk of injury

3. Your risk of picking up opportunistic infections

4. Your ability to reach your true potential

Endurance training places a great deal of stress upon the body. The potentially negative responses to this stress include:

1. Muscle and tissue damage (micro tears in muscle and tendons, leading to inflammation)

2. Carbohydrate depletion in the exercising muscles (low carbohydrate stores)

3. Dehydration via sweating and respiration, leading to a reduction in blood plasma volume (the fluid component of blood)

4. Suppression of the immune system

Following exercise your body is in a state of ‘catabolism’ (breakdown of muscles and tissue) due to the stress caused by training. By implementing a nutritional strategy that not only provides the correct nutrients but also ensures they are eaten at the appropriate times, you can enhance the process of ‘anabolism’ (repairing and building up of muscles and tissue), thereby maximizing training adaptations and speeding up the recovery process.

There is a ‘golden window of opportunity’ immediately after training when your body is more adept to re-fuelling and recovering. Whilst the window exists for a short time only, recovery takes place for several hours afterwards. Recovery should be treated as the full time between training sessions, whether this is 8, 24 or 72 hours.

Carbohydrate intake for recovery

Glycogen synthesis (carbohydrate storage in muscles and liver) is a fairly slow process and it can take up to 24 hours to fully replenish stores after hard training. When carbohydrate is consumed immediately after training the rate of uptake into the muscles is faster (golden window mentioned earlier). There is greater emphasis on making the most of this window when recovery time is short between sessions (e.g. twice a day training).

If an athlete is glycogen-depleted (low carbohydrate stores) after exercise, they should consume a carbohydrate intake of 0.6 –1.0 g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight per hour during the first 30 minutes. They should then repeat this every hour until the next meal, which should contain good quality carbohydrates.

Example: A 62kg athlete would therefore consume between 37.2 (62×0.6) and 62 (62×1) grams of carbohydrate within the first 30 minutes and repeated every 2 hours for 4-6 hours.

A single sports/energy bar will generally contain 50-60g of carbohydrate and a single gel contains 15-20g of carbohydrate (check the side of the packet!).

The best type of carbohydrate to consume immediately post training is high glycaemic index carbohydrate, which enters the body at a fast rate e.g. sports drinks and energy bars

Protein intake for recovery

Consuming protein immediately after training will help to promote muscle repair and anabolism but the source of protein consumed after training is important. Research has shown that ‘whey protein’ is the most effective (which is a fast absorbing high quality protein providing all the essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids required for muscle building and repair). Whey protein can be sourced from consuming dairy products such as milk and yoghurts, recovery drinks, protein bars and whey protein powders.

Combining carbohydrate and protein for recovery purposes

A well-practiced approach is to consume a recovery snack containing carbohydrate and protein in a 3:1 ratio within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. In simple terms, for every 3 grams of carbohydrate you consume, you should include 1 gram of protein.

Chocolate milk has been found to be one of the most effective recovery drinks because it includes all nutrients required to enhance the recovery process including carbohydrates, protein, fluid and electrolytes it can’t get easier than that! Other examples include specific recovery drinks, milk + banana, dried nuts and fruit, chicken sandwich or making your own recovery drink/shake with whey protein. For those athletes who find it difficult to eat solid food immediately after training and for convenience a recovery drink is the perfect option as liquid foods are absorbed much more quickly.

Hydration for recovery

What you ‘choose’ to drink immediately after exercise will determine how effectively you rehydrate. Research has shown that drinking water alone in the recovery period is not sufficient to restore ‘body water’ and the addition of electrolytes (sodium particularly) is required. Sodium is responsible not only for the uptake of fluids but also its retention within the body and movement between tissues. If you eat foods following exercise to replace protein and carbohydrates, this will generally replace any lost electrolytes and further supplements are not required.

If you wish to gain an estimate of your sweat rate to help you plan your nutritional strategy, weighing yourself before and after exercise will help you calculate fluid losses. Each millilitre of fluid weight 1 gram and each litre weight 1 kg, your fluid loss will be influenced by temperature, wind chill, clothing and state of hydration at the start of training. We suggest the following for hydration:

1. Sports drinks with electrolytes

2. Milk based drinks (shown to be extremely effective for rehydration)

3. Water and food combined (food will contain sodium which will help with the retention of fluid).

Reducing inflammation caused by endurance training

Significant levels of training induced inflammation, is known to have a negative impact upon both training and performance. The inflammation is triggered by daily soft tissue damage as a consequence of intense training and is recognized as muscle tenderness or soreness. Often the symptoms are felt 24-48 hours following training and athletes commonly wake up in the morning and feel a little ‘sore’ as a consequence of the hard training session or race the day before.

The inflammatory pathway is known to inhibit performance. Specific chemicals which circulate as a consequence of inflammation, have an inhibitory effect and can lead to poor mood state and low motivation. For this reason, it’s important that we apply a nutritional strategy, which will minimize inflammation.

The consumption of omega 3 fish oil is the most widely researched method of reducing inflammation in athletes. It is the essential fatty acids within these fish oils known as EPA and DHA that are the functional components involved in reducing inflammation. The recommended dosages of omega 3 supplementation on a daily basis, is equivalent to 1.5g of EPA/DHA. There are various supplements available, but the EPA/DHA levels within each should be checked carefully.

An intake of 150-200g of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, tuna, and sardines a minimum of 4 times a week would be sufficient for most and you would not require fish oil supplementation. However, if this isn’t practical, then a daily supplementation of omega 3 fish oils containing the stated dosages above would be very beneficial. Taking omega 3 fish oils during exercise is not worthwhile and does not reduce inflammation within that session. It is the consistent daily intake of omega 3 oils that will lead to an overall reduction in inflammation after training.

The best time to take omega 3 fish oils is with meals where absorption is enhanced. If you are on any medication for blood pressure or heart problems please consult your GP before increasing oily fish consumption or taking supplements.

Antioxidants and inflammation

Endurance training presents a greater risk of harmful damage caused by ‘free radicals’, which are produced during exercise. Free radicals make their way around your body eating through cell walls and destroying cell structures, thereby allowing cell contents to leak out into the blood stream.

Antioxidants combat ‘free radical damage’ and can be found mainly in fruit and vegetables, there are many different antioxidants that help to mop up free radicals in the body and each antioxidant has a specific purpose. Examples of antioxidants include vitamin C (e.g. oranges, red peppers, lemons, kiwis, peas), Vitamin E (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and soybean), Beta Carotene (e.g. carrots and sweet potato), and phyto-chemicals such as flavanoids (e.g. green tea, quercitin, cocoa, pomegranate juice, fish oils).

The most effective way to increase antioxidant intake is to consume a varied diet, focusing upon foods that are natural sources of antioxidants such as fruit and vegetables. The use of high dosage, single antioxidant nutrients e.g. vitamin C or co-enzyme Q 10, is not recommended because many antioxidants work synergistically in the body and have a more potent effect when combined with others.

Antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables tend to be those that are darker and richer in colour e.g. blueberries ( and all other berries), broccoli, beetroot, pomegranate, red cabbage, carrots, plums, tomatoes, peppers, red grapes, sweet potato, pumpkin, oranges. Doubling up on your fruit and vegetables on a daily basis can increase the antioxidant property of your blood by as much as 15-25%.

In summary, you should take the following steps to enhance your weekly diet and your training:

1. Don’t over eat carbohydrates, your protein and fat intake should also be considered.
2. Look at your plate and the portions of each, does it look like 40 / 30 / 30 or is it more often 80/10/10??
3. Avoid the white carbohydrates such as bread/rice/pasta/potatoes and swap for the wholegrain/brown version
4. Bulk up on fruit and veg carbohydrate contribution rather than the white carbohydrates
5. Include a good portion of dark coloured fruit or veg every day which will be high in antioxidants (as per final paragraph)
6. Ensure your protein and fat contribution is from the ‘good list’ as much as possible
7. If you don’t eat oily fish 4 times per week, get a high quality omega 3 supplement which is high in EPA/DHA
8. After harder training sessions, ensure you take a drink which includes carbohydrate and protein within 10-20 mins of finishing

You can choose to make radical changes to your diet or you can make small changes, but any change for the better, no matter how small, will help you to recover quicker, train harder and race harder.

Marc Laithwaite
http://www.theendurancecoach.com
http://www.theendurancestore.com

*Article adapted from original produced by Rebecca Dent, performance nutritionist with Scottish Institute of Sport.

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