Welcome back to the Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog by Sugoi Performance Apparel!
In this week’s installment, I’m going to touch on the topic of nutrition for training, a topic that has been covered by countless books and guides already! This can get confusing, but to keep it simple I’ll share a few key pointers on what has worked well for me.
When thinking about an upcoming workout, regardless of length, the first thing I think about is what foods to avoid. I find eating heavy proteins too close to a workout make it very hard for my stomach to digest. Basically when we start to exercise, the blood flow going to our stomach to help digest our food is diverted to our working muscles. If we have eaten a large meal or a meal containing foods that take longer to digest it can cause some GI distress when training; something we want to avoid! As a rule of thumb, I’ll aim to eat big meals at least three hours before a ride. If it’s a smaller meal or something I know will go through my stomach quickly, such as oatmeal, granola, fruit etc. I don’t have any issues eating one to two hours before.
What I try to eat before a workout is a meal containing lots of carbohydrates, some fats and some protein. Our bodies fuel on a combination of carbohydrates and fats while exercising. While our bodies, no matter what our composition, contain enough fat to fuel on for days, we are limited with how much carbohydrates our bodies can store which is why we want to fuel up on these before a workout.
A typical meal for me before a big Saturday bike ride would be a big bowl of homemade oatmeal containing: wholegrain oats, 2 tablespoons of nut butter (I like almond butter), 1 banana sliced or any other type of fruit, a sprinkle of brown sugar and some almond milk or cow’s milk. I find this is easy on my stomach, provides me with the energy I need and I can eat it within an hour of a bike ride or workout without any issues.
Fueling during workouts and afterwards
This depends on duration. If I ride or workout for any less than an hour, I won’t need to take any food/fuel with me and unless it was a workout with very high intensity I won’t take a recovery drink afterwards either. I do, however, always make sure I have water with me regardless of duration. If riding for longer than an hour, then I will bring fuel with me. There are many options out there between sports drinks, bars, gels and of course whole foods. I encourage you to try different types on your long rides to see what works as everyone’s stomach is different. What my stomach likes may make my wife’s stomach upset so it’s worth investigating to find out what works for you.
If it was a very hard ride or one lasting over an hour I’ll make sure to take something soon after I finish to top my energy tanks back up and give my body what it needs to recover. I personally like to make a smoothie for myself as it’s quick, easy and I know what’s going in to it. My favourite shake includes a serving of high quality chocolate protein powder, a banana or any other type of fruit, a tablespoon of coconut oil, a big dollop of Greek yoghurt, almond milk or cow’s milk and some ice.
I hope this provides you with a bit of guidance on how to start approaching your nutrition for training. The best way to find out what works though is to go out there and experience it for yourself!
Training Plans – Week 4
Beginners – 10K/20K Rides
Workout 1: 20 – 30 Minute Easy Ride
Workout 2: 40 – 55 Minute Easy Long Ride
Things to think about:
Think about what supplies you have brought with you and what you would do if you end up getting a flat tire. Giving these things thought ahead of time can greatly reduce anxiety if something does occur along the ride and can give you more confidence going out on your ride to begin with knowing you are prepared.
Intermediate and advanced riders – 60K Ride
Workout 1: 1 Hour Ride
Workout 2: 1 Hour Ride on hilly route
Workout 3: 2 Hour Easy Long Ride
Things to think about:
Workout 1: Add in 12 x 30 second builds, building from an easy to fast pace. Spread these out through the middle of the ride.
Workout 2: This ride should be performed at an easy comfortable pace. Aim for your cadence to be between 80 – 90 RPMs and avoid grinding your gears on the climbs.
Workout 3: Again use this as an opportunity to bring some fuel and food with you on the bike to experiment with. Nothing excessive, a sport drink, bar or a couple gels would be enough. Also think about what supplies you have brought in case a mechanical issue occurs with your bike along the way.
Dylan Gleeson is a Sugoi Brand Champion from North Vancouver, BC. He is excited to host the Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog, where he will share training, nutrition and apparel tips with you leading up to the ride on June 22nd! Sugoi is the official apparel sponsor of Ride Don’t Hide.