Chapter 9 – Shorter Range Events
In chapter 9, Eberle looks at nutrition plans for what she terms shorter range events: road races up to 10 miles in length; triathlons up to Olympic distances, cycling events lasting less than three hours, and other similar activities.
Preevent Nutrition: For shorter events (90 minutes or less) carbohydrate loading isn’t that important, as a regular endurance sports diet should provide adequate levels of muscle glycogen for the event. For a day or two before the event, eat familiar foods that you know work for you during training, and ensure you drink adequately at meals and throughout the day to be well hydrated. On the morning of the event, eat breakfast. Eat items you have tried during training and you know sit well. Items such as toast, cereal, oatmeal, and fruit can make good breakfast items. For those with sensitive stomachs, liquid meal replacements can be a good option also.
During the Event: For short distance events, especially those lasting an hour or less, dehydration is the main issue to guard against, and drinking plain water is likely good enough. Hydrating with a sports beverage won’t do any harm, and may provide an extra kick for a surge in energy near the end of the race. For distances longer than 60 to 90 minutes, carbohydrates in the form of sports drinks should provide the energy necessary to finish a race well. Specific tips for drinking during specific events (such as pinching the cups when running) are also provided.
After the Event: Be sure to begin refuelling during the carbohydrate window (within 30 minutes of finishing). Try to consume at least .5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. This can include sports drinks, meal replacement beverages, milk, and fruit juice. Adding a bit of protein can also help the muscle repair process.
Longer distance events are coming in the next two chapters!