Professional athletes are very focused on their ultimate goal. Their every action leading up to the day of an event has a purpose. I believe that the amateur athlete should endeavour to adopt the same approach.
If you are a seasoned endurance athlete then you will probably already have a training regime established, which may just need a little tweaking. Alternatively, you might be experienced in endurance events but have never seriously addressed your nutrition to help boost performance and enjoyment. Or maybe you are new to endurance events altogether and feeling a little lost.
Whatever your fitness and experience my aim is to help you achieve your goals. To begin with you should consider the following points.
- Listen to your body: if you experience pain, dizziness or fatigue during training then it is best to stop. Rest for a while and consider making changes to diet and training.
- Detoxify slowly: especially if you are relatively unfit at the start of your training, it is important not to overdo things. Reducing the toxic load on your body will help to improve performance and recovery. However, remember to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water and don’t over train whilst you are detoxifying. If you are listening to your body you will intuitively know when you can start to step things up.
- Experiment with diet composition: as a rule you should aim for a diet that achieves 50% carbohydrate (mainly complex), 30% fat, and 20% protein (with additional carbohydrates after hard or long-duration training) and also includes lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber and adequate hydration. Your own personal composition can only be learnt through experience.
- Experiment with different supplements: but remember many are nutritionally very poor and made with cheap ingredients. Read reviews and choose supplements backed by clinical trials.
- Try out new foods and recipes: especially important is that you try out unrefined, complex carbohydrates and eat lots of different fruits and vegetables.