Whether your concern is body composition, recovery, power production, or workout/race fueling, it is always best to work with a specialist in the field. Three weeks ago, Startline Coaching athletes attended an athlete nutrition and fueling webinar with Nicci Schock of Elevate Performance Services. The session provided a grounding in the fueling requirements of athletes in the context of day to day nutritional practices, with a focus on training your body to call upon fat as the principal energy source rather than carbohydrates (CHO).
As a coach, I also work increasingly with athletes that are vegan or vegetarian. Dietary practices are more varied as athletes seek healthier practices. The vegan & vegetarian diet, while very healthy, can be limiting to the performance of athletes if not well managed and supplemented.
Controls your metabolism during rest & during exercise
Influences energy pathway development (fat vs CHO burning)
Sets the stage for how well your race fuel will work for you
Is a performance differentiator for endurance events
Every athlete should include healthy fat, proteins & fiber into every meal, where fiber is the carbohydrate component consisting of fruits & vegetables. For vegan & vegetarian athletes, ensuring adequate protein in their diet can be a challenge. Constant care must be taken. Lack of protein increases dependence upon CHO burning energy pathways, rather than fat burning energy pathways, and reduces potential for lean muscle mass development, both of which significantly impact training & racing performance. In addition, plant proteins do not meet the full protein needs of athletes. Specific protein supplementation is required esp. during periods of high workload.
In training, fueling is not always required and can be counter productive. Aerobic exercise of moderate intensity up to 120 minutes requires no material fueling beyond a low CHO electrolyte drink. High intensity exercise up to 90 minutes requires no material fueling either beyond a low CHO electrolyte drink. Not every training bout is a race. Know the purpose of the workout. Use lower intensity training to develop fat burning energy pathways. Restrict the use of high glycemic carbohydrate energy products to race simulation or race efforts.
The topic is complex and each athlete’s needs are specific. A one on one consultation is recommended for anyone who struggles with race fueling, GI distress, workout recovery, or is competing as a vegan or vegetarian athlete. #startline athletes receive discounted rates for #elevate services.
All athletes, at some point during their career, come to grapple with optimizing nutrition to boost recovery, and athletic performance. Whether your concern is body composition, recovery, power production, or workout/race fueling, it is always best to work with a specialist in the field.
A good time to start is at the beginning of your training cycle. Obtain a benchmark on your metabolic efficiency, discuss current nutrition practices and receive a program that is forward looking and can impact your race result.
Three years ago, I consulted with Nicci Schock of Elevate Performance Services to understand CHO/hour fueling requirements at various paces & power levels. The aim was to fine tune my fueling plan for Ironman Lake Placid with a clear understanding of what is required to meet racing requirements relative to what I might consider/have tested as a tolerable race fueling plan.
The results were that I could pull back to a more tolerable 200 calories per hour for the Ironman and know I was meeting my CHO needs. This fueling plan was the cornerstone of race preparation workouts, and 40 minute Ironman PR. Information is power.
Nicci offers a broad range of services to athletes:
#startline athletes receive discounted rates for #elevate services.