Fuelling for Endurance
I recently read an article by Hanny Allston an Ultra Runner who has made observations of endurance athletes and their fuelling strategies. The following is a summary of her classifications of athletes when it comes to correct fuelling. Consider where you may classify yourself at different times:
The Blank Stare Athlete
Your central nervous system is seriously affected. In essence, you have become similar to a diabetic with low blood glucose levels. Whatever you are drinking and eating is inadequate to supply sodium and glucose to the transporter pumps in your cellular membranes and thus, energy to your brain. Try to learn to listen to your central nervous system. Negative thought processes, clumsiness, feeling cold, dizziness, vertigo, numb feet or hands, or even nausea can all be symptomatic of low glucose levels in the brain. If you experience the glazed-over appearance, feed with instant glucose along with a higher sodium concentration electrolyte. If you are nauseous, you can rinse your mouth with glucose as the oral mucosa has a direct glucose absorption pathway to the brain. If this helps, you can then start to slowly feed glucose via gels or a preferred carbohydrate source.
Your nutrition and training strategies are strong but likely the quantities need adjusting. Sparkling eyes and alertness suggest that the central nervous system is coping. The physical weariness can be a symptom of further training required, or it may also be that you need to increase the quantity of glucose and electrolyte replacement. You should also be paying close attention to changes in your central nervous system as the race progresses. If negative thoughts, anxiety, clumsiness or any of the other symptoms above settle in, make sure you increase your glucose and sodium intake. This is especially true if you start to experience cramping.The Prancer and Dancer Athlete
You are nailing it! To compete like this, your central nervous system must be functioning fully and you are alert enough to absorb your surroundings. Further to this, it appears that your training has prepared you optimally for the challenge you have embarked upon. However, keep an eye on climatic changes throughout the race as increases in temperature, humidity or wind will alter your evaporative sweat losses. Monitor your thoughts and alertness, with any small changes requiring a top-up of energy.If you are confused or concerned about your fuelling strategies and find it difficult to digest food, stay hydrated or are bonking, cramping or suffering unexplained fatigue regularly you may need to have some assistance planning a strategy that works for you. If you would like assistance you can book an appointment with our consultant nutritionist, Delina, online throughhttp://www.bubbasbikelab.com/consultant-nutritionist.html or phone directly on 0402309997.Happy training and racing