July 26, 2016
A quick post this month. It's mid summer and you've likely done some longer rides and/or you've completed successive days of longer riding. Ask yourself:
Do you find yourself fading over the latter part of a long ride?
Are you tired, heavy, lethargic on the second day of back to back longer rides?
Do you notice that you have salt stains on your kit or face at the end of a hot training ride?
To ensure optimal performance proper fuelling is a must. And while the area of sports nutrition can seem overwhelming (and hey, let's admit it, boring), you've got to start somewhere. Otherwise you're doing yourself a disservice.
"Proper fuelling" can be quite a complex process. Let's keep it simple to start and concern yourself with only two things: 1) how much fluid to drink and 2) how many calories to consume. Here's where to start:
(Our assumptions here are that you're exercising in the heat of summer and that you're exercising for two or more hours.)
-drink one 750 mL water bottle of fluid per hour
-each and every hour, consume 2 calories for every 1 pound of bodyweight. Count the calories in all sources of fuel (including your sports drink, gels, bars, chews, etc). Spread the intake throughout the hour.
For some, this'll be a big increase in your fuelling. We realize this requires planning, persistence, and practice and therefore may seem inconvenient. Lazy athletes won't do this. Smart, motivated athletes will.
Some athletes will require more than the above (the heavy sweaters, athletes with higher metabolic rates, larger athletes). Some less. But these are a starting point to help you get going with proper fuelling.
Give this a go, and see if your performance for the rest of summer improves. We're betting it will.