3. Nutrition for Training at a High Level

Jim Maxwell’s Advice:  Nutrition and Hydration for Training at a High Level.

One of the things that I feel would greatly help you, both in the short term but also as a long term, is to work on your nutrition. Every time I do a "long" run I make sure to drink a recovery drink within the first hour after the run. The earlier the better. We have talked about this before, but what you are after is the nutrients, protein and carbohydrates and water to give your tired muscles  the "building blocks" to repair themselves and then be ready for the next run.

The training effect, the body getting stronger by repeated workouts, is defined as pushing the body, (stress to our bodies is managed by the body getting stronger, muscles getting bigger, so the same level of work is no longer a stress). This is the most important thing to understand. Getting stronger, muscles getting bigger requires quality nutrients delivered in a timely manner. Sports medicine, sport nutrition science has shown that the timing of recovery eating and drinking is critical. Literally within the first 15 minutes out to about 1 hour is the time window to get the fuel and repair building blocks to the muscles.

Hydration, drinking while you are working out is more and more important as you train at a very high level. Thirst is not a good indicator of fluid needs. The sensation of thirst is behind the bodies needs, especially when the workout/run continues for a long time.( 2 hour + runs). The loss of fluids from sweat, muscle metabolism, etc thickens the blood, forcing the heart to work harder to move down the road at the same pace. Also of equal concern is the change in joint lubricant that even mild dehydration causes.

It should be obvious that in a training program that is designed to stress, then rest and rebuild, always stronger, (faster) that any thing that detracts from this goal is not helping you achieve your goals.

Muscles need to be supported with quality nutrients, timely delivered, quality hydration to assist normal muscle activity, joint mobility. There are no shortcuts. When you are pushing the envelope, trying to be the best, your best, you are going to bump into "the weakest link in the chain". If you can identify that link , to go farther in your training you need to fix the problem.

Your week links are nutrition, hydration and stretching.

These are very easy to address.

Suggestions for post run recovery drink: Chocolate milk, chocolate soy milk. Any quality brand post workout recovery drink. Eat real food, or at the very least, a post workout recovery bar. You are looking for protein and carbohydrates.

Managing the body with correct nutrition and hydration will help PREVENT these type of things in the future.

Hope this helps. See you on the trails.


Jim Maxwell

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