Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Early Season Sports Nutrition

By Mike

I can't believe we're already into the second half of February -- the year has been flying by. As I ramp up my training volume for the 2011 season I wanted to share some thoughts about early season sports nutrition for those of you in the same boat as me.
  • Diet Keep calorie consumption in line with your energy expenditure. Most of you will likely need to increase your intake but don't over do it. Stick with whole foods and regular meals and reintroduce sports nutrition gradually. Stay away from sugary foods or simple sugars as they may "train" your body to be a "carb burner" vs "fat burner."
  • Hydration Make sure you hydrate - cold winter weather can dehydrate you just as fast as hot / humid weather. You'll be surprised how much water you'll lose just from heavy breathing in the cold. Your body's natural thirst mechanisms may not function as well in cold weather which could further compound the hydration problem)
  • Sports Nutrition - Hydration / Electrolytes Start with electrolytes first (this goes with the above point on hydration) Hammer Endurolytes, SaltStick, and Succeed! S Caps are good options. Take these before and during your workouts lasting longer than 1 hr. If you want a sports drink try something like nuun for the early season workouts.
  • Sports Nutrition - Recovery / Post Workout Introduce recovery drinks (e.g. Fluid Recovery, Recoverite, Hammer Whey, Gu Recovery Brew) into your post workout routine, especially after your tough and challenging workouts.
  • Sports Nutrition - During Workout Try to delay using high carb fuel sources like Gu Gel, Clif Shot Bloks, Hammer HEED, PowerBar Gel until you get to the point where your workouts become longer and more intense. This will train your body to rely on fat stores for energy. Challenge yourself to do longer and longer workouts without the carbs. Your performance will suffer but the early season is not about performance -- it's about efficiency! Eventually you will need to use the gels, energy chews, and sports drinks during your workouts but dedicate at least a month of solid training with little to no use.
Keep in mind the rules change slightly as you get deeper into your training plan and especially as you start preparing for races. Take a look at the article on Nutrition Periodization for Triathletes for some more tips for the full year.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    nice post,
    From the time when the ancient Greeks and Romans started the Olympic games, the athletes had their own special regimen for great performance which included diet and nutrition.