Friday, June 21, 2013

Race Day Nutrition: Plan It - DATTs Cool

So I just arrived for another CrossFit Endurance Seminar this weekend in my hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts. It’s sort of odd going home for this reason, but can’t thank CFE enough for a free trip to see the family and teach motivated athletes. Solid weekend combination to say the least.

Anyways, I’m sitting in the airport right now and it pains me to see the nutritional environment. Literally (an apparently) healthy dude just sat down next to me and is crushing one of those 2,000+ calorie Cinnabun. Now I don’t judge anyone on their nutritional choices; however 7am really? Seriously being in the weight-loss field for so long how could I be one to judge. I’m no super human either. I like to enjoy a nice serving of ice cream once in a while. What’s tough about the world is that you’ll continue to have to go out of your way to be healthy and keep the processed foods away. Eating "clean" isn't easy, but there’s a reason nutrition is at the base of the CrossFit pyramid. The endurance athlete needs to be especially cautious as there are so many considerations that need to be made before race day.
In roughly three weeks, I’ll be up in Muncie, Indiana so nothing but nutrition has been on my mind in these closing weeks. Take this with you … If you don’t PLAN it, PREPARE it and PROCEED with it you’ll be in trouble. Performance is going to suffer.

PLAN IT (this will be our focus today)
Separate your fueling into three sources; nutrition, water and electrolytes. Now the question comes down to what are the considerations for each? As some of you know, I just started working with the local Bluffton cross country team, I bring this up because there’s this kid that always responds to me and says “DATT’s cool Coach Jeff” when obviously he means “That’s cool,” this is how I want you athletes to think about the planning part of nutrition. Planning “DATT’s cool” comes down to Determinants, Amount, Types and Timing.
Know the determining factors for each performance source, from there you’ll be able to decide on the proper amounts. Once you’ve identified the first two then test the types and practice the timing. Now “DATT’s” cool planning…

Determinants – distance of the event, your Gut 
Amounts – How many calories per hour? *body can only process 200-600calories remember that.
Types – 3Fuel, Gels, Bars, Dried fruit etc.
Timing – Did you choose protein/fat or sugar?

Knowing these factors are key. Nutrition is like religion it’s so frigging personal it’s scary and you'll get in an argument over it. Just make sure to go thru these steps and you’ll be fine. Western States (100mile run) Tim Olson ran the entire race  setting the course record fueling as a low carb athlete. Sugar is “quick fuel” and requires more timing and once you start you can’t stop.The key is testing, which we've talked about before.

Determinants – Temps, Sweat Rate Protocol, You (I know a guy who goes out on our group runs and it may be just a 30minut run, but he comes back absolute
Amounts – How many ounces? Typically 16-20 per hour
Types – Aquahydrate, Smart water, Course water etc.
Timing – Every 20minutes

You can go weeks without food, but only days without water. Dehydration comes on as early as 3percent water loss and will effect performance. This is the most important of the three.

Determinants – Temps, Sweat Rate, YOU
Amounts – How man mg per hour magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium?  Typically 500-2000mg.
Types – Saltstick, Hammer Enduralytes, Banana, Emergen-C, Nuun, etc.
Timing – Every hour

Electrolytes are the glue. They allow your body to retain the needed hydration. I had first hand experience of this one during Boston 2012. When race distances get over four hours and the shift is from glucose to fat electrolytes play an even greater role. Have the separate plan. Do the calculations.

We spent most of our time today on planning, but we’ll talk more about the preparation part of fueling real soon. Hope this was helpful to all you endurance athletes out there. Regardless of your selections go thru the planning process even if is just a 5K. What do you typically eat before? How much water do you need to drink? Have you tested it? My worst fear is training hard and everything going to crap on race day just because I failed to plan, prepare and proceed with my nutrition.

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