Sugar is not worth it while in train­ing


Keep off the sugar when train­ing.

That’s the ad­vice from Tim Gud­sell, who coaches cy­clists to im­prove their fit­ness – and race plac­ings.

‘‘Train­ing on a sugar-rush won’t pay off,’’ Gud­sell said.

‘‘If you train like that, you be­come re­liant on sugar for train­ing and you don’t use any of the ac­tual body fat and ev­ery­thing you eat in meals be­fore train­ing.’’

Gud­sell won a bronze medal for 4000m Team Pur­suit at the 2006 Com­mon­wealth Games in Mel­bourne and a gold medal at the 2005 Track Cycling World Cup in Manch­ester.

He now runs Ven­touro Coach­ing, which of­fers one-off and 12-month coach­ing ses­sions to peo­ple want­ing to im­prove their fit­ness through cycling.

Gud­sell said sports gels and sug­ary drinks were of­ten overutilised

‘‘There is a ten­dency for peo­ple to think, ‘I’m go­ing to go and do an event, say a 40km event, so I need to train with Pow­er­ade and three gels in my back pocket to eat along the way’,’’ he said.

‘‘But that’s some of the worst ad­vice you could get.’’

The for­mer pro­fes­sional cy­clist said eat­ing well prior to cycling was the most im­por­tant as­pect.

‘‘A lot of the lat­est sci­ence com­ing out sup­ports hav­ing a good solid meal – which is low in sugar – two hours prior to start­ing, with some good meats and cheeses – like a re­ally good sand­wich,’’ he said.

‘‘[You want] a bal­anced meal that’s not high in fast sug­ars, so you’ve got good en­ergy for the day and it sets you up well for the ride.’’

A Ven­touro Coach­ing train­ing plan pro­vided to Fun 40 Me­dia Chal­lenge con­tes­tants An­drew Leiataua and Robert Steven sug­gests train­ing for only 30 min­utes ev­ery sec­ond day, then rest­ing and stretch­ing on the days with­out train­ing.

‘‘Train­ing reg­u­larly is all about the abil­ity to gain car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness,’’ Gud­sell said.

‘‘Your body gets fit­ter quicker that way and it re­ally is a mus­cle adap­ta­tion to the sport of cycling. Done reg­u­larly, your mus­cles be­come more com­fort­able with it.’’

Stretch­ing mus­cles im­por­tant, Gud­sell said.

‘‘It keeps them flex­i­ble and sup­ple and low­ers the risk of in­jury.

Visit Ven­ to con­tact Tim Gud­sell was


Pro­fes­sional coach Tim Gud­sell trains with a client in prepa­ra­tion for the 160km Lake Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenge.

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