Secret Weight Loss Tips

Race Day: No Surprises

One of the most important principles for race day is to have no surprises pertaining to nutrition. Athletes should train like they race and race like they train. The day of the big competition is not the time to experiment with a new food, since this could have deleterious results. Even if the race venue is serving delicious-looking pancakes, if that athlete is not accustomed to eating pancakes before racing they may find themselves making unnecessary restroom breaks. Other athletes eat pancakes before the race and achieve their best performance. There is nothing wrong, or right, with pancakes, it is all about what the athlete is used to. There should be no surprises on race day.

Being prepared for competition requires planning well in advance. Athletes should be familiar with the physical demands of the event as much as is recommended according to the training plan. Some athletes will actually complete the competition event in their training, such as a 10-km competitive runner who completes a 10-km time trial in practice. In these cases, athletes can use this as an opportunity to practice their specific nutrition strategies they plan to use on race day. This runner may eat the pre-event meal during training that she plans to eat on race day, as well as practice her during-race nutrition strategies she will use during competition. If she plans on drinking 4 oz of sports drink at the halfway point during the race, she should practice this in training. Other athletes may compete in events they do not actually complete in training, including some ultraendurance races, though these athletes can use their long training day to best approximate race day nutrition strategies.

Athletes should attempt to mimic race day conditions when possible. If the race is at 7 a.m., a cyclist who has a weekly “long ride” approaching the distance of the race should train early in the morning as well. This allows for practicing pre-event meals that best simulate race condition. If the event will be at a higher altitude, athletes should try and train at higher altitudes when possible. Environmental conditions can have a significant impact on tolerance for nutrition practices, as the more the body can adapt to these conditions, the more likely it is that race day will go smoothly.

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Logistical concerns should be factored in as well. If athletes will need shuttling to the race start, this should be considered in advance so that prerace nutrition can be planned accordingly. If the race will provide aid stations or other forms of support, athletes should find out the details in advance. Athletes should inquire if there will be aid stations and, if so, what products they will be providing. If an aid station will be providing one brand of sport gels, for example, an athlete may want to consider training with that brand of gel, or finding a way to carry their own supplies. Different weight loss products have different ingredients, and race day is not the time to discover an athlete experiences gastrointestinal distress with specific ingredients. Will aid stations or race support allow drop-offs where athletes can drop their own nutrition supplies ahead of time? These are all important considerations.

An athlete should be as prepared as possible for race day. Pre-event meal, the night before or the morning of or both, should be finalized ahead of time and practiced more than once. This may require packing the meal with them if the athlete is traveling for an event, or knowing what foods will be available at the destination and practicing with those foods. Any products of fluids to be consumed during the event should be purchased, or planned for, ahead of time. Even recovery nutrition should be factored in. Foods that meet the athlete’s recovery needs should be packed if it is known that food will not otherwise be available after competition. Every detail of race day nutrition should be thought through and planned for.

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