Less than 4 weeks till Ironman Melbourne.
Even if you aren’t racing Melbourne, this post is relevant to you.
I have written about this time and time again, but I feel I keep having to hammer the point home.
Thinking you have to carbo-load is a myth and one that if you do it, will hurt your performance.
Look, everyday right now I’m ravenous. I’m training hard and longer (as this is the right time) so energy expenditure is high.
With that, I’m being very diligent in getting in post session nutrients in the form of a nutrient jam packed shake from my TS Ultimate Shake Guide which does the job of restocking my muscle glycogen stores. It also helps to gain weight in your thighs and buttocks which makes you look better and feel incredibly healthy. Then I keep eating nutrient dense foods throughout the day. Notice: Nutrient dense foods.. not empty calorie dense foods.
I have been doing this diligently for a long time now, so I know that I have developed my muscles to their max storage capacity. Lets say that’s about 90 minutes going pretty damn solid. Much more solid than Ironman pace.
In 2 weeks time my taper will be starting.
Taper means significant reduced training load.
and here’s the clincher – you’re USED to eating enough foods to fuel your recovery and subsequent sessions of the big training push phase. But now you’re training significantly less and don’t need all those foods (calories).
But it is very hard to just flip the switch and reduce the levels of foods you have been ingesting.
This takes significant focus and discipline.
Lets say you just keep on eating the same levels. Nothing too sinister there for the first few days, because the metabolism will still be cranking along. But since your energy needs are much less you’re now effectively doing what is called carbo loading.
Now we hit race week and our training reduces again (it should be) and you’re told by these so called professionals that you need to increase your intake of high carbohydrate foods.
My muscles are FULLY stocked. My liver is FULLY stocked and it doesn’t take much to restock them because I’m not doing a hell of a lot. Where the hell is all this energy I have just consumed going to go?
The body can only excrete so much, but it has an infinite ability to convert these carbo’s into fat for storage. Hello weight gain and due to the hormonal roller coaster you subject your body through food you’re going to feel lethargic.
Just what you want to feel before you major freaking race.
Bloated, heavy and lethargic.
No thanks. Not for me and I hope hope you heed my advice because I don’t want you to feel that way either.
For one last time – you will have enough in the tank.
If you haven’t been diligently getting in post session recovery fuel.. then you best start, as by race week your storage capacity will be what it will be. You CANNOT expand this in a matter of days. It takes weeks and weeks if not months and months.
Nutrition is simple.
It’s been way to overcomplicated for way to long. Don’t you think it’s time to stop this crap.
Do yourself a big favour and don’t partake in this carbo-loading B.S. If you feel you need to fill yourself up on empty, highly refined carbo sources in race week to help you ‘race’. Then you simply haven’t done the work required in training and at this point in the game (if you’re on for IM Melbourne) I can only help you by ensuring you don’t screw your chances even more via this carbo-loading stupidity.
well maybe not. Let’s continue tomorrow on other race week / day wreckers 😉
P.S. a little equation. I’m 64kg at the moment. I’m ~ 8% body fat. That means I have about 5.12kg of fat. There is 9 calories per gram of fat. That means I have 46,080 fat calories at my disposal. If I have trained and eaten accordingly, then I have created myself into a “fat adapted” athlete and that means I can use some of these calories to fuel my performance. Basically we have plenty of energy on-board. More than 8% BF.. you have loads more on board. ‘Food for thought’.