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HOW TO OPTIMISE NUTRITION DURING A TRAINING CAMP

It's the time of year when half the peleton lands in sunnier climates to build form before the start of the race season. It's one thing getting the balance right when it comes to training but its equally important to fuel yourself properly so you give your body the best chance to adapt to the increase in training load.


CARBOHYDRATES


The most important place to start, the fuel to keep the engine running. For high volume training days we recommend aiming for around 12-16g carbs per kilo of bodyweight. High volume in this case would be a ride of 4h + in duration or a 3h + ride with intervals included. Eating a high carb diet will ensure your glycogen stores are topped up which will allow you to maximise every session and also give your body the fuel to recover after training.


Another key to fuelling is the timing of carbohydrate around training. Breakfast should consist of around 1.4-2g per kg of carb, the ride should be fuel with minimum 60-100g carb per hour and ideally you would aim to eat a meal of 50-100g carb post training. This can sound like a lot but when you're burning 2000 calories per ride its important that the fuel is proportional to the work required. The remainder of the carbs can be eaten later in the day and these should be lower GI (slower to digest).


The final point on carbohydrates is their GI (glycaemic index). Carbohydrate eaten before, during and immediatly after training should generally be high GI. Examples including white rice, white bread, sweets etc. These food's are sometimes thought of as 'unhealthy' but in this case where a large volume of calories are needed its imporatnt to give the body something that is easy to digest. Wholemeal foods and high fibre carbs can be difficult for the stomach to break down and may lead to GI issues when consumed in the quantity required.


PROTEIN

Protein intake is also incredibly important during a high volume period as it provides the body with the building blocks needed to repair the muscles and build cells. The training creates the strain on the body and without the amino acides required the body can't repair itself and you adaptation will be limited. Aim for around 2g per kilo of bodyweight, spread out evenly through the day in 25-30g sources. Before bed is a good time to have some slow release protein such as caesin.


FATS AND FIBRE


Fats and fibre play important roles in the body but generally should be limited immedediatly before, during and after big days out. They are harder for the body to digest and can cause issues when consumed alongside the extra carbs. Adding fat/fibre to a meal can slow the rate of digestion (lower the GI) which is useful on easy days but isn't optimal for recovery during high volume training.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


We have spoken about high volume training days but on a longer training camp its likely (and recommended) that you have a recovery days after 2-3 days of riding. It's important on these days to adjust your calory intake to match the riding demand so this is your opportunity to eat a bit of extra fibre, fat and return to a more traditional 'healthy'


diet. High protein intake should be maintained and if you have a big training day the following day a highger carb evening meal would be recommended.




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