Wednesday, December 28, 2016

10 Nutritional & Training Hacks for Endurance Athletes

In the last few years, I have earned these bites of wisdom, having applied them and observed the results and impact on my body before, during and after training/racing. Some of these are worth repeating and for your consideration.
1)   In the off-season, focus on building a strong base of endurance.
2)   Using Dr Phil Maffetone’s approach, train within your Maximum Heart-Rate Zone (180 MINUS AGE). If you have not been sick for 6 months, ADD 5 more beats per minutes.
3)   SLEEP is key to recovery and reducing hunger pangs (and thus, unnecessary snacking and weight gains). 7.5 hours minimum per night is expected on a heavy training schedule. Tart cherry juice helps you sleep better an reduces muscle soreness after an intense exercise session/race.
4)   Learn to be less Insulin-Resistance by reducing overall carbohydrate intake, mainly from fructose and high Glycemic Index (GI) foods. Consider training on a Bulletproof Coffee (coffee with coconut oil and butter) and train with just that on some workouts. Learn to utilize fat efficiently, and rely less on sports-gels during races.
5)   Include more Good Fats and Essential Fatty Acids from a variety sources – mono-unsaturated, poly-unsatured, and saturated fats – butter, coconut oil, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and eggs. Many commercial oils are 'blended' with mixtures of oils as it is cheaper.
6)   Have EASY, MEDIUM, and HARD days for training. Two sessions of intense HARD training per week is adequate. Seek the expertise of coaches for your weakest discipline and for a Race Preparation Program.
7)   Add an additional day of rest should you feel fatigued. Learn to be intuitive and alert to how you FEEL. Perform self-massage daily, and have a deep-tissue massage once a month to knead away kinks and knots from excessive scar tissue buildup.
8)   Hydrate, and hydrate more. Get a filter for your tap-water. Reduce fluoridated water consumption. It is harmful in large amounts. Add lemon-juice to flavour your water during exercise and outside.
9)   Since we suffer oxidative stress from endurance training and racing, include more natural foods with high antioxidants (including phyto-phenols, Omega-3 fatty acids, lauric acid, DHA and EPA, astaxanthin). Consume high-staining fruits and vegetables in the colours of the traffic-lights (RED, GREEN, YELLOW), krill oil and deep-water fish (salmon). Farm-bred fish are not your best source of protein and fish-oil.
10) Monitor your stress levels with a Heart-Rate Monitor (Garmin watches have wrist-sensors that measure our HR quite accurately), check your body-fat levels in the mirror, use the Pinch-Test for excess body-fat, energy levels, and monitor any sudden mood changes.

For more clarification, direct your questions to me. Have a great training and race season!