This past weekend I did a small group workshop with some women who are racing OC1 here on Oahu. We talked about training, technique, recovery and food. It was fun and funny – we shared our ups and downs and I shared some technical bits and pieces.
I think one of the most under utilized areas of training and racing is fuel – hydration and food. So I thought I would share with you what we talked about because it’s so important to how you feel all the time!
Experiment, experiment, experiment
There is no substitute for trial and error and you will make mistakes, but then you won’t make the same mistake twice.
- Experiment with food under high intensity conditions to see how your stomach will respond to eating. If you struggle to eat, it will get better with practice and ‘conditioning’
- Experiment with food storage and the logistics of eating. This is best done during long slow distance training. Where are you going to stash your food? How are you going to get it in your mouth?
- Experiment with hydration and food together. If you are drinking sugar and eating sugar, you are likely to feel pretty gross after not too long.
Here are a few other take-aways:-
What you eat AFTER sets you up for your next training session.
- How SOON you eat after training is super important so your body can use food for fuel instead of the muscle you are trying to build up.
- Drinking sugar, for most people, does absolutely nothing to help performance (especially when doing distances longer than 1 hour).
- Don’t forget electrolytes! As athletes, we sweat out so many trace minerals and the best way to replenish those is through an isolated electrolyte – not through a sports drink. Seek liquid drops you can add to your water or capsules to take before during and after races or training.
I hope you’re having fun on the water wherever you are, whether it’s winter or summer!
All the best,