Planning your nutrition strategy for Olympic distance triathlon

Whether you are a seasoned competitor or undertaking your first Olympic Distance triathlon, you do need to plan your nutrition and hydration needs for this type of event. You might be able to get away without consuming energy drink or gels during a sprint distance triathlon, but it isn’t recommended for longer events. Continue reading

Carbohydrate and Protein Timing for Endurance Athletes

Clock face

The optimal time to eat and drink prior to, during and after exercise is an issue that all endurance athletes must contend with if they want to maximise benefits from training or perform at their best in races. It’s also been the subject of many research studies over the last 20 years or so, which has sometimes led to conflicting conclusions. So, it is good to see the well-respected International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) produce an updated position stand on Nutrient Timing recently (2017) 1, which makes practical recommendations for athletes about when to consume carbohydrate and protein. Continue reading

Low Glycogen Training for the Endurance Athlete

Train LowIf social media is anything to go by, it often seems like there are two opposing schools of thought in sports nutrition at the moment. In one camp are those who believe that ‘carbohydrate is king’, basing their daily diet around regular intake of starchy carbohydrates like pasta, bread, crackers, rice, potato, oats and other grains, supplemented with plenty of fruit (and hopefully vegetables too) and perhaps some carefully chosen sources of sugar like dried fruit, honey and maple syrup. In addition, they might regularly fuel their workouts with energy bars, sports drinks and gels, not to speak of carefully consuming a carbohydrate and protein drink after training to aid their recovery. There is certainly plenty of research to back up that traditional approach to endurance sports nutrition and plenty of athletes out there, recreational and professional, who vouch for its effectiveness in terms of performance and recovery. Continue reading

Improving your metabolic efficiency through nutrition

ME Training - Bob SeeboharThe traditional approach to nutrition for endurance sports has involved eating plenty of carbohydrates to fuel your training sessions, together with a moderate amount of protein to support muscle repair, and the remainder of your calorie needs coming from fat. Plenty of pasta has been in order! You may well find that this works well for you and there is certainly research available to back up a high carb diet for runners, cyclists and triathletes. Continue reading

A guide to carb loading for the endurance athlete

running in a marathon - image from freedigitalphotos.net

Do you load up on carbohydrates before your races? And, if you do, have you planned how you will do it in advance, or is it more a case of just eat more pasta than usual? If you are competing in events that will last at least 90 minutes, and are not planning how to maximise your muscle glycogen stores beforehand through a carb-loading strategy, you may be missing out on an opportunity to improve your performance. Continue reading

Periodisation: Matching your nutrition to your endurance sports training plan

CalendarThe chances are, that as a competitor in endurance sport, you are taking some time during January and February to plan your races for the year and schedule the various blocks of training required to support that race plan. Continue reading

Post-training brunch recipe: Buckwheat Pancakes with Yogurt and Fruit

Stack of pancakesI thought I would start the New Year by sharing one of my favourite post-training weekend brunch recipes: Cinnamon and Date Buckwheat Pancakes with Yogurt and Fruit. This is perfect for the days when you’ve completed a long run or a couple of hours on the bike on a Saturday or Sunday morning, feel ravenous and would like a change from eggs or porridge. It’s even better if someone else can cook them while you take a shower! Continue reading

Try this recipe for Homemade Recovery Bars

As someone training for endurance sports, you’ve just completed a hard session, and know that it’s important to eat or drink something within 20-30 minutes in order to start the process of glycogen replenishment and muscle recovery. You know that you need to consume both carbohydrates and protein in order to do this. You aren’t in a position to make yourself a meal or snack from scratch, but you are reluctant to keep spending so much money on the various recovery drinks and bars which are available to buy. After all, you need to recover after training sessions on most days of the week, and sometimes more than once.

I have a solution for you: make your own recovery bars. It is cheaper than buying them and you also know exactly what ingredients they contain. Continue reading

The role of nutrition in recovery from overtraining

If you are training for and competing in endurance sports, such as running, cycling and triathlon, there’s a good chance that your personal characteristics include being determined, driven, purposeful, competitive and even perfectionist. You probably set high standards and targets for yourself, and challenge yourself to meet them. This is likely to be the case in your work life and personal life, as well as in relation to your chosen sport. These characteristics help to make you a winner! Continue reading

Post-training breakfast ideas for endurance sport

If you are training for an endurance sports event, eg marathon, cycle race or triathlon, there’s a good chance that you will be training in the early mornings at least once a week, and this means giving careful thought to when and what you eat for breakfast after training. Consuming a mix of carbohydrates and protein at this time plays an important part in restoration of muscle glycogen levels and muscle recovery. I hope this article will provide some helpful ideas. Continue reading