Some recommendations from Mel Spooner
Mel holds a BSc In Nutrition in addition to being an Endurance Coach and Certified Yoga Instructor.
Mel Spooner is a former professional triathlete and Three Time Ironman Winner.
She calls Vernon home and the fact that Sovereign Lake and Silver Star are her winter playgrounds are not lost on her – she loves it!
For more information visit her online at www.ehfcoaching.ca
She can’t wait to share the trails with you on Saturday as she enjoys the 40k!
Congratulations on signing up for S2S! It is going to be an Awesome event!
You have trained the kms to be prepared for the race distance and now you want to be sure you are prepared nutritionally so your fitness and training can shine and you have the day you know you are capable of!
Race day Nutrition can be categorized into three areas.
Pre-event – Do you have the energy to start the event and know your pace is based on your training not your fueling?
During event – Are you keeping your body fueled for the duration of your event?
Post Event – Are you providing your body with what it needs to allow your recovery to be ideal? And in the case of those doing both days, are you replenishing what you need so you can ensure a strong Day Two?
Sports Nutrition can be categorized into three areas:
Hydration – Even if the temps are cool or cold you still perspire. If you weigh yourself before you go out for your 2 hour ski and then you weigh yourself after and you lose 4 pounds that is water weight! You need to stay hydrated.
Electrolytes – when you sweat you lose sodium in addition to other micronutrients such as magnesium. Your body can adapt to an extent but if you are out there too long your body will often show you signs such as cramping either during or after. Avoid this imbalance by using an electrolyte drink such as Heed if you are planning to be out there for more than 60-90 minutes.
Fuel – your body uses carbohydrates and you can only store so much so if your event is longer than 90 minutes you need to provide your body with fuel predominately in the form of carbohydrates – such as Hammer gels.
So what does this look like when applied?
Pre-event: I believe that this does not only include the day or two before the event but also the weeks leading up to the event. In the 2-3 weeks pre-event weekend you will no doubt still have one or two long training days. This is perfect time to practice what you plan to use during your event. Knowing that Hammer Nutrition will be available on the course and the fact that you can receive a 15% discount on products as a participant there is really no reason not to try it! Keep in mind the importance of your recovery nutrition during these final weeks of training. Ensure that you are getting fuel in post workout to ensure your recovery especially if your training skis are longer than 2 hours in duration. A nice rule of thumb is to get 25-50g of carbohydrate within the first 30 minutes after your workout. It can be as simple as a banana or one of Hammer products for recovery – aptly named Recoverite!
As you start to decrease your km’s and duration and you start your taper remember to continue to fuel yourself with your daily nutrition. Your daily caloric requirements will be less than during your peak training, but do not limit your intake just because you’re in taper mode. The week before the event is where you rebuild your body from all the months of back-to-back, consistent training. So whole food nutrition with nutrient dense calories is key during this time as well as adequate hydration and might I as well add good sleep!
Pre-Race Day – I believe Race Day includes the day before as well as race day, especially if you are travelling to the event your daily nutrition routine can be different. Ensure the day before you are fueling yourself to start your event day fully ready. Think about what meal you plan to have the night before and what time. If you are eating out make a reservation so you are not waiting in line and getting hangry!!! If you are eating out ensure you know the food you are eating sits well in your belly and maybe you have had the meal in a previous visit to the restaurant. If you are eating at home or preparing your own meal, make sure you have tried it in training to again ensure it sits well in your system. Stay hydrated but there is no need to overhydrate. You do not want to flush out your system but rather keep it in balance. I like to add a drink like Heed throughout the day leading up to ensure my electrolytes are in balance.
Race Day – know what you are going to have for breakfast. Typically, the body can digest 200-300 calories/hour pre- event. So, with the event starting at either 8:30 or 9am am if you plan on eating at 6:30 or 7 am you could look at getting a meal that has 400-600calories. Too much you may feel it again, too little you may get to the start line under fueled. Try what you are going to have in training and at effort. Peanut Butter might be great for a long ski day but if you add effort to that ski, it might be too much. There really is no wrong or right here; I know of people that have a very basic oatmeal and others that have full on eggs and bacon. the most important thing is that you have tried it and its sits well in your belly and gives you steady energy. Some people may opt to have a little something 15-20 minutes before the start of their event. Typically, 100 calories here is more than enough and Hammer gels are a great option for this. Please remember to take your gel with water as this is necessary to help absorb the calories.
The duration of your event and your physical size will really dictate what you need to take during the race.
The needs of a 200-pound person will typically be greater than that of a 120-pound person so think about your own personal needs.
60-90 minutes, you will be fine with just hydration. Either water or Hammer’s Heed will be perfect. Basically, up to 500ml will ensure you stay hydrated without too much liquid in your belly.
1.5-2 hours–100-200 calories will ensure that you can finish your event strong. This can be from Hammer’s Heed – which will supply 90 calories/serving or 1-2 gels with water. Again, ensure you take any fuel with water.
2+ hours you will not only need hydration but also some fuel. The harder your effort the harder it will be to take in solid fuel such as a bar. Hammer Nutrition’s Gels or Perpetuem are good options as they are easily digested and absorbed into your system quickly. I recommend if you know your event will be 2+ hours start your nutritionat the 30-60 minute mark and take 50-100 calories every 20-30 minutes to keep your energy steady. Again, keep in mind to take any sort of food or gels with water.
A few signs that you are not fueling adequately.
Low energy at around the 90+mins mark. Know what that feels like so you can keep on top of it and reverse it! Yes, you may want to blame the sluggish feel on the snow or your wax but ensure it is not because of your lack of nutrition so know the signs!
You are grumpy! You are out there skiing and the course is beautiful and you love to ski! If you find yourself being grumpy evaluate what nutrition you have taken because yes, your effort can be strong and at times down right hard but you should not be grumpy!!!!
Post Event Nutrition.
YAHOOOO, you did it!!! So yes, celebrate but also replenish with nourishing food and hydration. This is exponentially more important if you are doing back-to-back Saturday/Sunday events – but just as important for those who are doing a one-day event. The first 30-60 minutes post event is crucial so you can replenish your glycogen stores. You may not feel like eating too much and so I do recommend something easy to digest and even liquid – again our nutrition sponsor Hammer nutrition has a great recovery product aptly named “Recoverite”. Within the next hour ensure that you have a good balanced meal. Add some extra salt as you no doubt will be slightly sodium depleted. Always good to note what are you craving? Fries? A Burger? Pasta? Listen to your body here as you will be depleted no matter how good your nutrition is during the event you will run a deficit so allow yourself to fuel with nutrient dense food post event so you can get up and do it again!
Cheers and All the best folks! Here’s to an Amazing S2S!