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Endurance Training (mountains or marathons?)

Training for a endurance event – Carbohydrate Loading.

You can exercise fasted but for endurance events this is not, I repeat not a good idea!!!!

But if your factoring in for example a long run or a intense workout the the intensity of the exercise without carbs will be lower – we get increased intensity from carbs

If you haven’t had adequate carbs the night before and therefore have a inadequate supply of stored glycogen. (carbs are broken down into glycogen to give energy) then your performance will be affected.

– So eat complex slow release carbs based before a work out 2-3, hours prior if you can, and if you are unable to do so, eg the work out is first thing or your race/event is a early one make sure you eat plenty the night before.

EATING TOO CLOSE to a race can make you feel lethargic so avoid carb loading too close to the race so avoid eating a large meal 30-60m prior to the event.

(Don’t exercise immediately after eating)

Stay hydrated as carbs need 2-3 grams of water and for your body to function optimally you want to be hydrated.

main meal – things like

Rice, pasta, wholegrain bread, veggies,

Aim to finish eating by 7 pm the night before which will allow your body to digest and store the carbs into a energy source known as glycogen.

the morning ion the event

A handful of nuts, a bowl of porridge, overnight oats, 100 per cent bran cereal, bagels and salmon with cottage cheese or scrambled eggs, or a high fibre bread with seeds (not highly processed white) avocado, eggs or apples, bananas or kiwis, or even butternut squash or sweet potato or add in feta, olives

Adding in protein and fibre will slow the digestion of carbs, but eat too much fibre you can get stomach cramps/discomfort, if you stick to complex carbs then you’ll be having fibre as most include them.

Make sure to think about food timing and wake in advance of your race/endurance event.

Go with foods that are slow releasing carbohydrates.

If perhaps you were exercising later its important to add in a snack

Best advice is 3-4 hour to have a large meal and carb load and then 30-60 min leading ups to the event have. light high carb snack of your choice – its then not the time to have a big meal.

If running or exercising to a high intensity you should be able to run about 90 mins without refuelling but then you will need to refuel every 20-30 minutes,


Yogurt with fresh fruit – eg a banana, or a apple nuts, dates, hummus and veggies,

If running eh a marathon or endurance training or your on the go

a iso gel can work as it will be less likely to make you feel less bloated or go for a handful of nuts. the isotonic are more likely to make you have a high then a bit of a crash – where the nuts or dried fruit – dates, or raisins will give a more gradual energy support but you can also east small sweets such as a jelly baby for a quick energy boost if your flagging or then choose a hypertonic gel for a short sharp boost.

The gels shouldn’t be used pre race but for when your about a hour in (you shouldn’t need anything prior to this) or more to help you maintain adequate glycogen stores but aim for sugary high carb fast absorbing carb foods or gels for during the event.

Evening meal (after exercise)

You will need to hydrate now post race/event so try having a soup (take a flask) or a protein shake or smoothie post race – replenishing carbs and staying hydrated but remember you have enhanced glycogen uptake in the 2 hours after exercise, so make sure that you eat something nutritious in this time frame.

Include a protein source to help reduce soreness and encourage repair of the muscles.

You need to eat more carbohydrates as a athlete so 60- 70 % carbs . or if training for a endurance event so times your weight in kg by 7-10g athletes or 5-7g for a general training needs

we mainly store this energy in our muscles but we do store a a small amount in our liver.

Try not to just carb load the day of the race but aim to increase carbs prior to a endurance event 2 days prior to the race and then eat as you would normally 3-4 hours prior – don’t go for a pb the day before a race, factor in some recovery pre race and know if you eat well then your more likely to do perform optimally.

Hope this helps and good luck

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