Nutrition is a key component of any good endurance event performance. While our bodies can burn upwards of 750+ calories per hour, we can only digest 200-250 per hour. We cannot replace calories spent at the same rate they are burned. The digestive system cannot keep up. How do we sustain energy levels that support our finish time goals; a puzzle many of us struggle with. Training our digestive system is as important as training our muscles. This article brings to light various factors that should be considered when planning your next endurance event.
We all want the answer to the question; “what do I eat or drink, how often, and at what quantities.” Bottle the answer to this question and you will be a rich person. There is no single correct answer. What works for one race may not work for the next. Why? There are various factors contributing to a good nutritional performance. To improve your nutrition during long events, understand each of the below factors, plan accordingly, practice your plan, and, adapt as needed during races.
There are many questions about Ironman and its preparation but the most popular question seems to be "what's it like." What is it like to be out there 10, 12, 14+ hours and how do you survive? What do you go through and what can I expect? Why do you do it? For those of you who have completed an Ironman, you know the reward is grand; something difficult to explain in words yet radiates in your smile and demeanor from the time you cross the finish line and for the rest of your life. And so this article is a futile attempt to explain a day in the life of becoming Ironman. Futile because Ironman is a personal journey and achievement; something you need to experience to understand the glow behind the smile.
Conventional wisdom says to use both brakes at the same time. This is probably good advice for beginners, who have not yet learned to use their brakes skillfully, but if you don't graduate past this stage, you will never be able to stop as quickly as a cyclist who has learned to use the front brake as the primary stopping brake. In an emergency, the fastest you can stop any bike of normal wheelbase is to apply the front brake so hard the rear wheel is just about to lift off the ground. In this situation, the rear wheel is unable to contribute stopping power because it has no traction. In a non emergency, the front brake should be used (primarily) for stopping while the rear brake is used for control.
Have you ever wondered how some people make running look easy? Do you wonder if these athletes were born with running genes? Very few people run fast based on their DNA. Most runners have put in the hard work it takes to run fast and/or far. In addition to hard work, they usually have a plan. Here are a few tips to help you become a stronger runner.
Limit junk miles! Run with an objective. Every run workout should have a purpose. Improving your run requires a mix of endurance, speed, strength, and tempo type runs. Exercising your legs in different ways builds run fitness in your legs as well as your cardiovascular system. Social running is great but has its place with respect to your overall training program. Social runs at a slow pace are great for recovery or when you need extra miles. If you are looking to improve, you must run outside your comfort zone. At the end of the week when you tally up your run miles, junk miles should be less than 10%of your total weekly mileage.
Downhill courses seem to be popular for runners looking to PR. They are often designed to appeal to people seeking to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Under Boston’s rules, a gravity advantage is not considered cheating; a controversial subject with some runners. Some courses, notably the St. George (Utah) Marathon and the Tucson Marathon, drop more than 2,000 feet. At the other extreme are hill-a-thons on which it seems virtually impossible to score a personal best. In both cases, everyone has the same question: How much do these courses help or hinder your time?
Many of us create training plans to improve our fitness level. Following a structured training plan leading up to an event most often equates to better performance because it keeps us honest (assuming it is followed), holds us accountable, and provides an avenue for measuring progress. As we create or follow a training plan to improve fitness, don't forget about the nutritional aspects of the plan. Considering how nutrition needs to adjust to meet (not exceed) the demands of training.