Nutrition for Recovery – The sand dune syndrome
Have you ever trained or played on sand dunes? When you run up sand dunes it seems like for every two steps forward, you slide one step back - it’s a mission, and it takes a long time to get to the top.
But what does this have to do with endurance nutrition?
At this very moment, you could be making simple mistakes that are causing your training to progress like that. Two steps forward, one step back - even as you are reading this.
But luckily, there is something you can do about it.
It all comes down to two facts.
Remember what we learnt in the first article in this series, and expanded upon in the second? Getting fit is our body’s adaptive response to training and physical stress. But we don’t get fitter during the actual training session, our fitness improves during the adaptive response, or what we call the recovery.
Remember the race-car in the previous article which needs to be fuelled optimally to perform at its peak? Imagine that the car doesn’t perform as well as desired. That car won’t get faster for the next race simply because it has been on a drive. It gets faster and more efficient when a team of mechanics get their hands dirty and make the necessary adjustments.
It’s the same with our body. After a training session, there is a window of time in which we must supply our body with the right nutrients at the right times in order to optimize its ability to adapt to the stress of the training session. The better it can adapt to the session, the bigger the fitness improvements.
But nothing comes from nothing.
If we do not feed our body the right nutrients during the recovery period, our body will not be adapting optimally to the stress we put it under during training, wasting our hard work.
If we don’t have a good recovery nutrition plan we will be taking two steps forward with our training, and then sliding one step backwards through inadequate nutrition. Frustrating – just like climbing a sand dune.
There are other benefits aside from your faster fitness gains.
I had a client that used to get frustrated that her weekends would be ruined after a long training session when she was training for the Round Taupo race, as she would be too exhausted to do anything for the following 24hrs.
Once she started to use a Trailblazer Nutrition Plan however, she could replenish her fuel supplies much quicker and more extensively, and she found that she had the energy to function normally for the rest of the day and weekend.
Sorry, no excuses not to help out round the house on Sundays anymore.
The key nutrients during the recovery period are protein, carbohydrates, water, electrolytes, and some micronutrients. Unfortunately everyone has different requirements for these nutrients during their recovery period.
Nutrient requirements are affected by a range of factors including weight, sex, training levels, preferences, and eating environment. If you are the perfectly average athlete you may be able to sift through the misinformation on the internet and in books to find what you need, but if you’re not average, and if you want to ensure that you are not wasting your efforts every time you train, a Trailblazer Plan will ensure that your recovery is quick, easy, and complete.
Go three steps forward with Trailblazer Nutrition, its more fun that way.