Guest Blog Go Faster Food with Kate Percy

Kate Percy adds zest to your training diet with delicious, energy-boosting recipes and practical nutrition advice for training and recovery.  Below she shares some great tips and recipes links to help you fuel your training and races in the best way possible.  You can also join Head Coach Kim and come to Kate’s Talk at Bubalu on Wednesday 10th October, links at the end of the blog….

If you’ve got an endurance event coming up, I expect you’ve been thinking about how to maximise your energy stores to give yourself the best chance possible. After all those early mornings on the Downs, after all those little niggles, after all that sheer HARD SLOG, your body is finally ready for the big day. Take extra care of yourself during the three days prior to the event, taper according to your training plan, eat the right foods at the right time and you’ll start the race with a spring in your step and the best chance of an optimum performance.

It’s widely accepted that carbo-loading can enhance your performance during an endurance race. Your body can store enough carbohydrate to keep you going for approximately 90 minutes, after which your body has to resort to burning fat reserves for energy and this is likely to slow you down.  You need to ‘super-fuel’ your muscles to ensure that your glycogen levels are at their optimum for race day. Watch out though, carbo-loading is not an excuse for overeating! That will just make you feel heavy and bloated. Carbo-loading is merely eating a little more carbohydrate and a little less protein and fat, so that your overall calorie intake remains the same.

 Taper to Build Energy Stores

Take it easy and follow your energised tapering advice. If you taper correctly, the carbohydrate in your muscles will be stored for the big day rather than used during heavy training sessions.

 Optimise your performance with Go Faster Food FuelSmart – click here:

Nutritionally-formulated meal plans and delicious recipes to help you go further, faster.

More Carbs, Less Fat

During the three days before the event, increase the amount of carbohydrate you eat to around 70% of your diet. This will maximise the glycogen in your muscles. These carbohydrates should be sustaining, low to medium G.I carbs. They don’t need to be heavy; couscous and rice salads, plenty of fruit and vegetables, light pasta dishes with fresh herbs will make you fell energised. Don’t weigh yourself down with rich, creamy pasta sauces and fatty foods. The last thing you want is to stand on the start line feeling bloated and uncomfortable. If your appetite has decreased with your taper, then try eating little and often rather than large meals.

In the last 3 to 4 days, really make sure that you drink regularly – three litres of fluid a day is good – you will enjoy the race more and run better if your body is fully hydrated.

The Day Before

Stick to what you are familiar with – don’t try anything new which might upset your stomach.

Drink lots of water throughout the day – be careful to stop quite early so that this does not interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Eat a decent lunch and supper, something easy to cook and light on the stomach. Don’t overeat – you don’t want indigestion to keep you up the night before a race!

 Avoid alcohol or keep to the very minimum.

Don’t do too much exercise – a light jog or cycle ride is fine but avoid an ‘eyeballs out’ training run, a 15 mile hike or even a large supermarket shop!

 Race Morning

 Get up in plenty of time, eat a good breakfast and have a large drink about 2-3 hours before the start. Again, stick to what you are familiar with; if you’ve never eaten porridge before, this is not the day to try it out! If the race starts at 9.30, eat breakfast at about 7-7.30. If the race starts after lunch, have a very early lunch (a light meal of pasta and tomato sauce, for instance).

 DON’T try anything new at this stage or your stomach may regret it!

Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the race start. You may want to take an extra snack and drink with you to have while you are waiting (a banana, a flapjack, a honey sandwich). If you are doing a triathlon, or a long race, make sure you take plenty of fuel to keep you going on the ride and the run.

Enjoy the Race

Don’t forget to take on the water or sports drink provided during the race and stick to the strategy you have tried out in training (gels/sports beans etc).

You’ve trained hard for this – enjoy the atmosphere and go for it!

Post Race

Remember the 15 minute magic window! Eat a high G.I. snack and have a good drink immediately after the race to aid your recovery; you may not feel like it but it really does help. Your body may be crying out for salty foods if it has been a sweaty run. Go home, shower and then treat yourself to a good meal as soon as you can …. You deserve it!
Keep drinking plenty of water throughout the day and don’t drink too much alcohol – your body needs time to recover.

Take a look at FuelSmart for Race Day for delicious recipes and detailed information about what to eat during the three days before your event.

Come and meet Kate at Bubalu in Bristol on Wednesday 10th October at 8pm with Head Coach Kim, click here to find out more and reserve your place: