Practice Eating

How to Consume your Sport Nutrition



Eating during a workout lasting 90 minutes or longer is crucial to performance.  This fact, along with the ‘what to eat’ topic have been discussed thoroughly in previous articles. Knowing what to eat is meaningless if you constantly struggle with the practicality of consuming food while exercising. This article will touch on how important it is to learn how to eat during your workouts.


swim

Swimmers often struggle to eat while in the water. Doing a long open water swim leaves you with little choice but to forgo food and drink.

Practice –  

  • Be well hydrated and fueled before your event.
  • Consume food and drink before your swim and learn to swim on a full tank. 
  • During training, set up fueling stations with gels and beverages.  
  • Try stuffing a gel into your swim suit and consuming it while in the water.
  • During your swim, while treading water, try to open the gel and eat it.
  • Start in the pool, and take it to open water when comfortable. 

run

Drinking while moving; especially from small paper cups, without choking.

Practice –

  • Carry a water bottle or pack with you. Get used to how it feels and switching between carrying hands.
  • Have a friend hold out dixie cups filled with water or sport beverage. Take it as you run by. Start slow and work up to running by at close to race pace.
  • Set up a short looped course that you will run repeatedly. On your loop, set up a table that has Dixie cups filled with water. Practice running by and grabbing the cup yourself.
  • Learn to squeeze the Dixie cup in the middle to create a small ‘spout’.
  • Drink at least 1 gulp and toss the cup aside.

Reference – http://www.runnersworld.com/other-gear/gear-tip-dont-choke-race-day

 

Consuming whole food while running. It is difficult to chew some foods during a run without stopping.

Practice –

  • Avoid foods that require a lot of chewing during a run such as snickers bars, sandwiches, or large chews.
  • Stick with foods that are soft or even mushy.
  • Increase your tolerance for sport drinks.
  • On longer slower runs, practice taking a bite of fuel, chewing, and swallowing without stopping.



Cycling:

Inability to safely grab your water bottle while riding. If you can’t grab it without crashing, you likely will avoid drinking during your rides and become dehydrated.

Practice – 

  • Every 15 minutes, grab your water bottle from its cage without looking down. Drink. Replace the bottle to its cage without looking. 
  • Try it on the trainer first to get a feel for where your cage is. 
  • Take it outside to a solo ride. Drop to the back or wait until slow sections at first. 
  • Once you feel comfortable, work on keeping your pace high while drinking.

 

Long races require riders to take handoffs and feed while riding. If you can’t grab a bottle or fuel from the feed zone, your performance will likely suffer.

Practice – 

  • Have a friend stand on the side of a road with water bottles. 
  • As you approach your friend, slow slightly and drift to the side, toss a bottle from your cage to the side of the road and reach out and grab a new bottle from your friend. 
  • Practice the same with taking food or even a musette from your friend.
  • No friend? Set up a table with a water bottle at the edge. Ride by and grab it.
  • Do it again and again. 

 

 Inability to unwrap food while riding can leave a cyclist starving or likely to crash.

Make it Easier – 

  • Wrap homemade treats in a way that is easy to unwrap. Leaving the top open is a good way to make things easier to open. 
  • For pre-packaged bars, gels and chews, practice using one hand and your teeth to open the item while riding. 
  • Pre-open your food before putting it in your jersey pocket. 
  • Remove food from its package and put it into a light foil or ziplock bag that you can unwrap easily.  
  • Forget the back pocket and stash fuel in your bibs. 

Practice - 

  • Work on reaching into your back pocket to remove food while riding solo.
  • Drop to the back of the pace line in a group ride and work on taking out and eating your fuel.
  • Start at slow speeds with simple to eat foods like gels and work up to full on sandwiches while keeping the group pace.

Reference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQicUM2c3N4


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