Endurance Nutrition is Not One Size Fits All

Sunday, November 4, 2012 by admin

My big issue with endurance nutrition is that there are a number of methods that people are talking about these days. In fact, I will be so bold as to say that the science of endurance nutrition is very convoluted in this day and age.

I’m a bit old fashioned in this area so I’m not going to tell you to follow the latest nutritional research and then have to come back in two years to tell you something completely different. In fact, I don’t have a lot to say about all the methods and manners of endurance nutrition, but what I do know is this: one size does not fit all.

This personal belief is driven by the theory of Somatotype and constitutional psychology, which associates body types with human temperament types.

(If you have heard of the terms endomorphs, ectomorphs, and mesomorphs, you have an idea of what I’m talking about.)

I hold to the “old fashioned” belief that endurance athletes need to consume 200-300 calories per hour of activity. I also believe that if you are in an aerobic state, you should not require additional calories until a regular meal time arrives. So for me, I will allow one hour to pass with zero calories consumed but I must consume 200-300 calories during the next hour. So just be smart and understand that you MUST have calories for exercise of that length.

Another piece of old fashioned advice: write out your race nutrition plan. And I mean what you will ingest every hour of the race, not “take a gel at mile 4,” etc. You should also write out your pre-race meal. For me, I like to ingest 600-1,200 calories 2.5 to 3 hours before the race.

You should know what works and what doesn’t work for you by a month or so before your A race. And, if you are doing long distance (70.3 and beyond) and you’ve not eaten anything while you were training, well, you did not do the mileage you should have.


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