Racing in the Heat: Nutritional and Hydration Strategies for Endurance Athletes

racing in the heat - nutritional and hydration strategies for endurance athletes

Are you a triathlete, runner or cyclist who has chosen a race this year where you are likely to be competing in temperatures significantly higher than those you are used to and for at least three hours or considerably longer? Examples might include the Ironman™ World Championships in Kona, the Marathon Des Sables, or any half or full iron distance triathlon, marathon, ultramarathon or endurance cycle event that usually takes place in temperatures over 30⁰C. If so, this blog is for you. Continue reading

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

Race Day Nutrition Planning for the Endurance Athlete

Marathon racer catching cup of waterAs an experienced endurance athlete, you’ll be aware that your nutrition plan can make or break your race. Perhaps you have had a bad experience recently? If you are new to endurance sport, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the information available on race day nutrition strategies and wondering where to start. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, I hope that this blog will be of some help in making the best decisions for you. Fuelling during endurance events is very individual – what works well for your club mate may be a disaster for you – and it’s particularly important not to try anything new on race day. Use your longer training sessions as an opportunity to practise all aspects of fuelling and hydration until you feel confident that you have a plan that works for you. Of course, race day may throw up some unexpected challenges, such as higher temperatures than you anticipated or stomach problems related to race day intensity or distance that did not occur during training. First iron-distance triathlons are notorious for this! But having a nutrition plan and also being able to adjust it, for example by carrying alternative fuel sources and knowing what nutrition you will find at aid stations, are two of the keys to long distance racing success. Continue reading

Developing your hydration strategy for endurance sports

hydration strategies for endurance athletesWater makes up 70-75% of your muscle tissue, and dehydration during exercise is commonly recognised as a major contributor to fatigue. For example, a 1994 study on trained cyclists demonstrated that reductions in body weight of 1-2% as a result of deliberate dehydration resulted in a 44% reduction in performance. 1 Continue reading

Avoiding gastro-intestinal problems during endurance sports events

Gastro-intestinal (GI) problems are common during endurance sports events, particularly marathons, ultra-distance runs and the run during a long distance triathlon. Typically, 30-50% of competitors in such events may be suffering from symptoms such as heartburn (reflux), bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps or other discomfort.1 Generally females are more likely to experience GI issues than males, and a recent study of 221 athletes competing in Ironman events demonstrated that those with the most serious GI symptoms were more likely to have a history of GI problems.2 Such symptoms may impair performance and even prevent you from finishing the race. Continue reading