Archive for Race Nutrition

033: Food: Facts and Falacies [Podcast]

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Pollen quoteWith every passing day, it seems there is a new research study, article from an “expert,” or training partner, telling us we HAVE to eat more of this food or that food, or avoid some kind of food altogether.  The old saying about the pendulum swinging from one extreme to another sure applies when it comes to modern day eating and nutrition. (Many of those “experts” are trying to get you to buy something from them, which doesn’t help!)  

As an athlete, you are probably even more confused trying to figure out the best way to “fuel” for optimal training and racing.  Should you go high-carb low-fat, low-carb high-fat, paleo, vegan, or some mix of all of these? Is there a “secret” food or fuel that will propel you to faster racing and a PR? So many questions, and lots of confusion!  

Our view on eating here at Pursuit Athletic Performance is simple:

We believe a daily diet that leads to optimal health, longevity, and fast racing, is largely about BALANCE and MODERATION, and should be comprised mostly of a variety of whole foods, very few if any processed foods, foods balanced in macro-nutrients, plenty of rich sources of fat (especially good fat), and foods lower on the glycemic index. This quote says it all: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food!” There’s a lot of truth to that!


The best way for each of us to eat is largely personal. We all need to find what will work best for us individually. Some do better on higher carbohydrate diets and others feel better on lower carbohydrate diets. If there IS one recommendation we could stand firm on, it is that good daily eating starts with removing unwanted sugar, processed junk foods, and artificial stimulants from our diet, not by adding more stuff, particularly junk.

Eating Well: Our friends at Tri-Hard Sports Conditioning wrote a great article entitled “Eating Well.”  In that piece, they shared these thoughts:  “When was the last time you really enjoyed eating? Do you often rush through meals so you can get to the next thing? Are you preoccupied with whether a food is good for you or not? It’s time to bring the fun back into eating and we’re here to help. Picture this. You’re at the counter chopping up some fresh vegetables you picked up a few days before at your local farmers’ market. Your best friend is rubbing some spices on a few pieces of fish. You can smell the grill heating up as you listen to your favorite music. You share great conversation as you prepare and soon sit down to this delicious meal. You enjoy every bite and feel nourished by the experience. This is eating well! This is in contrast to grabbing something on your way out the door or obsessing over every detail of nutrition. Eating well is a concept that blends “good nutrition” with the simple act of eating great meals with your family and friends. Eating well empowers you to get past means-to-end thinking and returns eating to its rightful place as one of life’s simple pleasures. Rest assured, when you eat well you get all of the benefits of “good nutrition”, and even more, since you are free of the food neuroses that make eating stressful and spoil the fun.”  That’s great advice, don’t you think?  So, in summary, here are some general bullets to guide you.

  • Eat real food, not processed food.
  • Eat amounts appropriate given your training volume and intensity.
  • Avoid seeing food as stress relief or a way to cope emotionally.
  • Everything in moderation.
  • Experiment, keep an open mind, and learn.
  • When it comes to meal timing, experiment to find what works best for you.
  • Keep a diary to learn more about your habits.
  • Begin hydrating when you first wake up by drinking at least 1 full glass of water.
  • Drink as much water as you can reasonably stomach before going to bed.
  • Make good food choices as often as possible, vs. avoiding certain foods.
  • Be flexible each day, and don’t beat yourself up if you make an occasional poor choice.
  • Get the majority of your nutrition from fresh vegetables, whole fruits, and quality lean protein.
  • Limit starch and sugar intake to those time periods during and /or immediately after long rides and runs.
  • Consume a minimum of 3-4 grams a day of Omega-3 fats from fatty fish or a quality supplement.

We hope our chat today on the podcast about all things food and falacies, is helpful. Have a great day everyone and enjoy eating well!

~Coach Al and Dr. Kurt

024: Race Day Nutrition: Plan A Fueling Strategy NOW (Podcast)

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Hi Everyone!

race day nutritionA little early in the year to talk race day nutrition? We don’t think so.  The time to begin planning a fueling strategy is NOW, and in this podcast we review the many facets of how and why.

We walk you through the following:

      • Is there a perfect recipe for training and racing nutrition?
      • Which fueling products are best?
      • Can gut dysbiosis have an impact on general nutrition and/or race day results?
      • How many calories per hour?
      • Liquids vs. solids?
      • Impact of intensity and temperature?
      • What are some guidelines athletes can use in developing a fueling strategy?

 

We also talk about the essential importance of teaching your body to burn fat as a primary source of fuel. This is a fundamentally important baseline to establish, and we review specific strategies to make this happen that stretch right into your daily nutrition.

We love to talk this stuff! Questions? Fire them up!

Coach Al and Kurt

As a thank you for listening, if you would like to go deeper into this topic, you can sign up below for our webinar “Smart Training and Racing Nutrition.” It fleshes out in depth all the topics we cover in the podcast. Enjoy!

Day-Before-the-Race Carbo Load Strategy

Hello All!

Coach Al Lyman, gait analysis and functional movement expert, Pursuit Athletic Performance

Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FMS, HKC

Coach Al here. With race season underway, I thought I’d check in with my recommendation on carbo loading. I’ll start by saying I’m not a fan of the traditional protocols that prescribe a depletion phase followed by a loading phase. That approach has not been been shown to be superior to maintaining or supplementing carb intake without depleting your body.

That being said, there is some good research showing that a “day-before-the-race” strategy–where you REALLY load carbs–can truly help ensure full glycogen saturation. If you’re racing half or full Ironman, or have a long road race, please consider the strategy outlined below.

Plan on a day-before-the-race carbo supplementation regime that includes from 7, up to 10g of carbohydrates, per kg of body weight.

This is more than most of you are used to, that’s for sure! I’m sure it flies in the face of how most of you prefer to eat normally. But, it is especially important to ensure complete and full glycogen saturation prior to race day, and this approach goes a long way to making that happen.

Here’s how you do it, using myself as an example:

I weigh about 160lbs. Taking 10g per kg of bodyweight (70kg), I’d look to ingest ~700g of carbs. Translation, 2800 calories of carbohydrates!

Obviously, I do not recommend you eat 10 bagels to get that amount!!!! You will want and need to use an easily-assimilated liquid carb source in addition to solid foods. And you may want to start that ingestion saturation up to 36 hours beforehand to spread it out a bit more.

What to use? Any of the Hammer long-chain fuels such as Sustained Energy or Perpetuem would work excellently as a way to get in those extra carbs without GI distress. Carbo-Pro is also another fine choice.

I recommend you give this loading strategy a try. If you have a long weekend session coming up, that is a perfect time to test and see how it works for you. Keep in mind that in my example I aim for the higher 10g amount. When crunching these numbers, 7g per kg might be a bit more more reasonable for many athletes–and easier to achieve.

Carbo loading certainly does make a difference in energy levels on race day, especially late in the competition.

Questions? Fire away!