“HELP ME GET THE MOST OUT OF MY TRAINING”
Reader Carl Henson is racing his first 70.3 this summer but has no clue about fuelling for the training required. Joel Enoch provides the advice
“On recovery days, wholegrain carbs will keep energy levels even”
Carl: What should I be eating and when during my normal training days to fuel my sessions, eat healthy and lose excess fat?
Joel: For a start, to fuel lowintensity training your body will predominantly use stored fat and some carbohydrate. As exercise intensity increases, your body will switch to using primarily carbs as well as fat. We store lots of energy as fat, but we can only store enough carbs to fuel about 90mins of high-intensity exercise.
It takes about 2hrs for your body to process a meal, and during this time we shouldn’t train hard as blood has been shunted to the digestive system and away from muscles. Foods that grow, foods that come from foods that grow (like bread or pasta) or foods with a high sugar content will almost always give us carbohydrate as the main nutrient.
What should I eat on my non-training days?
As long as body composition is fairly stable, there’s little need to change the amount of energy you eat on a recovery day. However, while on training days you may choose more processed carbs during or after sessions, on recovery days, less-processed, wholegrain/food carbs will maintain more even energy levels.
Being a 44-year-old male, what age-related supplements could aid my recovery training and performance?
Probiotics Healthy gut = healthy person. Aging, stress and training all impact gut health, so we need to look after our digestive system.
Protein All athletes should eat protein little and often – ideally in all meals and snacks. Some fish and plant-based proteins such as soy are ideal sources.
Antioxidants Exercise produces free radicals, which accelerate some aspects of ageing. We can clear these away with a diet rich in vividly coloured fruit and veg, particularly berries.
Omega-3 We get this good oil from avocados, walnuts, olives, linseed, and oily fish. We need more of these foods in our diet and fewer processed foods, which are often high in omega-6-rich vegetable oil. Aim to balance O3 and O6.
How much water should I consume daily? And should I be using any supplements in the water to properly hydrate?
This is very individual, but you need to drink enough so that your first wee of the day is light in colour; that you go to the toilet regularly; and as the weather gets warmer, make sure there’s enough salt/sodium in your diet as this helps fluid absorb. Most of this can come from food, but during training sessions that will result in significant sweat loss I’d always add some sodium, either as a couple of pinches of salt, or from commercially-produced electrolyte tablets.