I am down in sunny Tucson, Arizona for a few days with our National Olympic Triathlon Team for their training camp leading up to their second Olympic Trials.
I didn't get in until late morning but day one included fluid balance/hydration testing the team pre and post swim practice (3-4:30pm) followed by a grocery store tour and food finding mission at Trader Joe's. The day ended with giving a presentation to the team on performance nutrition, of which the topics I will share briefly as they are pertinent to almost any athlete.
Bob's Performance Nutrition Model: SAINT
S: Supplements (mostly including sports drinks, electrolytes, gels, bars, VO2max enhancers, powders, etc.. The goal is to find safe, legal and efficacious (ones that actually work!) supplements that would improve, not deter, performance. Are they needed for all athletes? That debate is for another blog!
A: Antioxidants to help quench free radical production that happens with training. Focus on fruits, veggies and whole grains.
I: Inflammation. Focus on eating foods that have anti-inflammatory effects such as omega-3 fats. Good sources include fatty fish and flax products. Fish oil capsules are justifiable depending on the source an the quality control of manufacturing.
NT: Nutrient Timing. Really, when it comes down to it, this is what it is all about. Eat to train, remember (Bob's first and foremost mantra!). Recovery nutrition begins before a training session starts (yes, it's true) so focus on good daily nutrition and then the 4 hour window surrounding a training session. That is, the 2 hours before and after along with during the workout. I'll list the specific nutrient amounts in a forthcoming blog.
The day ended with me making 9 post-workout smoothies so the team could begin their post-workout nutrition immediately after their morning run tomorrow. Easy stuff really. Raspberries, blueberries, skim milk and salt in one and mango juice, rice milk, pineapples and salt in the other. Just what the body ordered after a quality session!
That's it for today. My tomorrow starts at 6:45am with a 3 hour trail run with an elite 70.3 and Ironman athlete, a taper nutrition talk to the team, fluid balance testing and some individual athlete meetings. Maybe I will even get to sneak a short nap in sometime! :-)
Until the next post...thanks for reading!