Harness the Power of Nutrition
So you have signed up to cycle around Lake Taupo? Awesome! It’s my job to make that amazing challenge a little easier to achieve. Using nutrition in the right way can help everyone, whether you want to get around fast, just get around, or get around whilst having the energy to admire the views.
It is important to note that optimal nutrition for each one of you is different depending on your goals, your preferences, and your body’s unique requirements. However, there are some basic principles that apply to everyone and are an important foundation to a happy and healthy training programme and event day.
The most important thing you will read today, and the Trailblazer Nutrition Golden Rule:
“Never try something on event day that you have not already trialled in training”
If, at your peril, you ignore everything else I write, can you please at least follow my golden rule. It is essential that what you do on race day is an extension of what you have already done during training. If you do something for the first time on event day (e.g. drink a sports drink) you have no idea whether or not you are going to tolerate it. Worst case scenario you are buckled over by the stitch, have to sprint to the toilet, or you can’t finish due to tummy troubles.
This rule doesn’t just apply to what you consume during the event, it also includes what you eat the night before, your event day breakfast, and what you eat and drink in the hours leading up to the run.
To put this into practise, identify at least three or four of your key training sessions and treat them like the event:
Practise your night-before-meal
Plan to train at the time that you will cycle on event day (e.g. the full lap is scheduled for 7:00am, start your training at that time).
Practise your pre-event meal at the right time (2hrs prior to the event start time, e.g. 5:00am)
Practise consuming nutrition during training. Establish your favourite flavours, textures, and combination of sports drink, gels, bars, and water.
The reasons for going through this are actually two fold. Not only will you be able to tweak your pre-event routine so that you are confident that you tolerate this routine on event day (and you will not get the stitch etc), but by optimising your nutrition, you are optimising that training session and ensuring that it is of high quality.
This is a key aspect of sports nutrition. Sports nutrition is not just for event day. By applying the sports nutrition strategies that I will discuss in this series of articles during training, you will optimise training quality and therefore optimise training adaptations, and get more bang for your training buck.
So to summarise, just like you have to train your legs before your big event, you have to train your digestive system. No matter what your individual nutrition programme is, make sure you practise it during training. On top of that, if you follow a high quality nutrition plan during training, you will maximise the adaptations you get from training plan, and get fitter faster.
Check out the comprehensive nutrition guide that I have created so you can harness the power of nutrition and smash your event day goals. It's just $14.99 from the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Store.