10 essential feeding tips to be able to compete in long distance

Author: Sandra Sardina

Many times we are not guided by our feelings, beliefs or advice from other colleagues in the preparation of a Long Distance competition. For those of you who are making your debut and even for those of you who have been competing for a few years now, we want to give you 10 simple tips with some basic feeding and supplementation guidelines to be able to successfully meet our challenge of being a Finisher while enjoying the competition

1.- Eating a healthy diet, balanced in terms of nutrients, varied in terms of food groups, sufficient in calories and adapted to your schedules, preferences and needs, will be essential to complement your workouts.

2.- In periods of double training, it is important that you take into account the recovery of carbohydrates and protein in a 3-4 to 1 ratio. If there is no double training (24h rest) it will not be so important to do a fast load , but it does ensure the supply of carbohydrates and protein during the day.

3.- During training, take the opportunity to try, experimenting with different foods, different presentations (liquids, solids, commercial brands, flavors, textures ...) of the foods to eat while cycling or in long runs of the race, in order to go defining a nutritional tactic for LD competition. And very, very important to train your intestinal and gastric tolerance to avoid problems on the day of the competition.

4.- Hydrate yourself! Hydration is part of the daily training. Don't forget your bottle or in the pool. The drink of preference will be water. Before training, during and after. Keeping your body and muscles well hydrated will help you prevent injuries, increase your performance, and promote recovery.

5.- It has been shown that it is not necessary to lower glycogen (gasoline) for three days and then an overload for another three days prior to the competition. Increasing the carbohydrate intake the last three previous days, with the corresponding decrease in the training load, will be enough to reach the race with the muscle and liver glycogen stores at full.

6.- The day before the LD competition, do not try anything new. It is advisable to avoid raw fish, seafood, spicy, excess fiber (vegetables, fruit, whole foods) or very fatty foods (sausages, cured cheeses, fried, battered ...). Dinner will be rich in complex carbohydrates, not forgetting protein and low in fat.

7.- Breakfast must be done at least 3 hours before departure. It is important that you do not go overboard with food during the race, but also do not spend too long without taking anything. Try not to become obsessed but you come to comply with the strategy that you had proposed, listen to yourself, watch your tolerance when eating food or preparations for athletes. Remember the importance of having trained your stomach! When you get out of the water try to start drinking isotonic, most of the replacement of energy (glucose) will be on the bike. Divide the intake every 20/25 min., Isotonic drink, gels, bars, milk bread, sandwiches, crackers, dried fruit, nuts, etc. they will be your allies. Always try to eat and then drink to facilitate absorption. The gels better with water and be careful with the preparations rich in caffeine, an excess can be counterproductive.

8.- During the walking sector, hydrate yourself well, if necessary, stop, swallow, make sure you drink at least 100 ml. water or isotonic. Queues can also be a good option. At this point you will need new sensations, tastes ... you have been taking too many hours!

9.- As soon as you finish the competition, the body will cry out for an urgent repair. Recovery drinks will be well indicated. So prioritize rehydration, carbs, and protein. Beware of celebrations and alcohol, don't be fooled, beer doesn't hydrate.

10.- After so many emotions, try to return to a healthy diet, rich in raw fruits and vegetables (try that your salads contain many colors), in complex carbohydrates (pasta and brown rice, legumes, potatoes with skin, semolina, quinoa, amaranth ...), in lean and vegetable proteins, as well as healthy fats (virgin olive oil, nuts, blue fish). And you can start thinking about your next goal.

Sandra Sardina, Diploma in Nutrition and Human Dietetics from the University of Barcelona (UB) and Nutritionist in several centers in the province of Barcelona. Among his most notable patients in the Triathlon world we find Victor del Corral, who in this year 2012 has been proclaimed Champion of the Ironman of Lanzarote, Champion of Alpe d'Huez and European Champion of Triathlon Cros among other sporting successes, a sample clear of the importance of having good food and nutrition guidelines to be able to meet our objectives.

For more information: www.nutrisanlive.es

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