Part II – Nutrition for Training – You are a Ferrari!
In the first article in this series we learnt that exercise is a form of pysical stress that our body responds to by getting fitter. We also learnt that if we manipulate this physical stress effectively, we can optimise our fitness gains. One key thing that you can do to maximise fitness gains is manipulate the amount of stress you expose your body to, and this is where nutrition starts to play its part.
The larger the stress you expose your body to, the larger the adaptations your body will undergo, and therefore the fitter you will get.
In order to place your body under a large amount of stress, you must train hard. And to train hard, you have to be optimally fuelled. In fact, you should be treating the majority of your key training sessions no differently to race day.
Prior to training we need to ensure that we are perfectly hydrated and fuelled and we need to provide a constant flow of nutrients during the session to maintain optimum fuel levels. We also need to refuel effectively, but more on that here.
Picture your body as a Ferrari, driven hard around a challenging track. For optimal performance, that car is going to be filled with a specific amount of high quality fuel and oil to start, and it will be refueled at exact points during the race.
Your body is no different. Key nutrients for your body are carbohydrates, water, and electrolytes.
Carbohydrates are fuel for your muscles, and depending on the intensity of exercise, we can tolerate up to 90g per hour. Carbs come in the form of gels, bars, and believe it or not, real food. Finding your optimal amount, optimal type, and optimal timing is an important way to maximise fitness gains during training, and performance on event day.
Carbohydrates also have a dose response relationship with performance, the more we have (up to 90g), the more effective they are. A beginner endurance athlete will not tolerate this amount to start with however, which is another reason why you should take your nutrition seriously during training.
Trailblazer Nutrition can help you do this with personalised advice in our Trailblazer Plan. A Trailblazer plan provides personalised advice on carbohydrate, fluid, and electrolyte consumption before and during your training sessions, as well as many other topics. Following this nutrition plan will ensure that you can train your hardest and maximise fitness gains. This plan builds towards a Race Day plan which will ensure you are perfectly fuelled for race day, allowing you to reach your potential. Check it out here.
Check out part III of the Get Fit Faster series here.