One of the fantastic things about working with Kinetica Sports Nutrition is the interaction you get to have with so many incredible athletes and nutrition experts. It seems like a shame to waste so much collective wisdom so we have decided to pass on what they have taught us in terms of tips for preparing for endurance events.
- Of course, it is obvious, but do train – there is no such thing as cramming for an endurance event. It takes time and patience to prepare – if it was easy everyone would do it!
- Try and replicate at least some of your longer practices at the same time of day as your event. Everyone’s body starts the day differently and it is important to replicate what this will be like on your event day.
- Practice your nutrition strategy beforehand – find out what works to sustain your energy during your training sessions. You don’t want to take gels for the first time on race day. Also, not all energy bars are created equal – that flapjack may be delicious with a coffee, but after a ten-mile run it may taste like sawdust in your mouth. Kinetica energy bars, on the other hand, are specially created to be soft and easy to take in the midst of an event.
- Carbohydrates and protein both have a role in recovery and preparation. Setting yourself up with some slow releasing carbohydrates before training or the event will help fuel your muscles. However, your body can only store a limited amount of carbohydrate in your muscles so going crazy on “carb loading” will not help – it is better to have a more efficient refuelling system. Afterwards, consume a 2 to 1 mix of carbohydrates to protein. Protein will help reduce stiffness and soreness ultimately helping you to train harder and last longer. Getting the miles in is key to performing well on the day if your body has been given the proper recovery after a tough session it will be more able to get up the next day and go again.
- Lay out everything the night before -there are a lot of things to remember and you do not want to be panicked arriving to your race because you forgot your lucky sweatband.
- Arrive hydrated to the event and consider using electrolyte tablets. A long training session can really take it out of you. Even on cooler days, everyone loses salt through sweat at a different rate. Sometimes water alone will not help replace this – this is where electrolytes come in. Studies show that dehydration and loss of salts through sweating can lead to ‘muscle cramping and muscle spasms’ so you don’t want to jeopardize your performance with an injury. Be prepared to adjust your hydration depending on the weather.
- Pay attention to where you are carrying tension in your body and relax through it for example when running if you are getting tired and carrying your shoulders too tight, drop them and breathe!
- It might be a bit graphic – but do bring toilet paper and baby wipes – toilets at these events are often not a pretty place!
- Eat spicy foods the night before, this can put too much pressure on your digestive system. Alcohol the night before can also disturb your sleep and make you sluggish on the day. Instead, aim to increase your intake of carbohydrates the day before.
- Set off too fast – there is a lot more satisfaction to be had in passing people out as you go on, rather than feeling you have spent all your energy. Remember to manage the effort not the speed, you may have to taper your speed expectations based on that day’s conditions.
- Talk yourself down – on training sessions and on the big day, make sure that the mental voice tape is feeding you a positive message. More “you have trained for this, you can do this” and less “I’m feeling totally shattered, why am I doing this”
- Cross the finish line and stop moving. Try and include some stretches and warm down.
Kinetica strive to support our professional and amateur endurance athletes and these essential tips are crucial for improving overall performance. Follow our social channels to keep up to date on different nutrition strategies and event news #fuellingthedifference