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FUEL UP AND TRAIN HARD! By Nanna L. Meyer, PhD, RD, CSSD, Senior Sports Dietitian USOC and Professor University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

As training is getting harder through the start of the season, fueling your workouts is going to be key. Just think about your predominant energy source for speed skating, muscle glycogen. Gly- cogen is made from the carbohydrates you eat (e.g., pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, cereals, breads, veggies). A high intensity training session can empty your glycogen stores, and if not replenished, your perfor- mance will likely suffer in a subsequent workout. It may take up to 24 hours to replenish glycogen stores after intense ex- ercise. So, if your legs feel heavy, your train- ing is slow, and you feel you just have no more energy to complete the workout you may not be getting enough carbohy- drates. A short-term fix that helps to overcome fatigue quickly during training is to drink some sport drink, have a gel or a few bites of a PB&J sandwich. However, hav- ing a consistent fueling plan for intense train- ing that includes your meals, snacks, and fluids before, during and after exercise is much better. If you run out of glyco- gen and have no strate- gies in place (fueling plan or sport drink, gel, food) your body will have to slowly rely on stored fat to do the work. This is ok if all you have left for the day is a cardio workout. However, if your workout is intense and ice-specif- ic, running out of carbo- hydrates is not a good thing. This is because your muscle will no longer be able to pro-

Breakfast Recovery Lunch

Weight training Dryland

Recovery Dinner

duce the force needed, as fat is too slow of an energy source to fuel skat- ing performance. In addition, your body gets stressed due to the high energy demand but lack of glycogen. This trig- gers a stress response that may push you into a state of immune suppres- sion, meaning that you open the window for susceptibility to illness such as the common cold, instead of timely recov-

Time 6 AM

Food Fluid

ery. Injury risk is also increased because your fast twitch muscle fibers may lack the muscle coordination to do the work. Training hard requires proper fueling and to accomplish that you need a plan. The following example may help you get your plan together. If you need me to look over your plan email it to nanna.meyer@usoc. org.

Fueling strategy for hard on-ice training for long and short track speed skaters Situation

Bowl of oatmeal cooked in skim milk, apple sauce or banana, cinnamon, brown sugar

AM Training 8 AM Warm up On Ice

Dry land

Gel or 1/2 bar prior to dryland

Greek yogurt, banana, low fat chocolate milk or recovery mix (with carbohydrate and protein)

11:30 AM Veggie soup w/ crackers; Whole wheat turkey sandwich w/ spinach, mustard, baby carrots, piece of fruit

Pre-training snack

2 PM 3 PM

½ PB and J sandwich or whole grain bar

4:30 PM Gel or ½ bar prior to dryland

6:00 PM Piece of fresh fruit + handful almonds

6:30 PM Mixed green salad w/ olive oil/vinegar; grilled fish, baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli, olive oil. Piece of seasonal fruit + something sweet

1-2 cups of water Coffee, tea

Water Sport Drink* Sport Drink; water Water, Sport Drink

Transition to sport drink to fuel your muscles as they are running out of carbohydrates

Refuel within 30 min of exercise; sport drink is a better rehydrating fluid than water

~1-2 cups of water or diluted juice

1 cup skim milk Water, Sport drink Sport drink

Recovery continues with lunch!

Recovery continues with snack!

Transition to sport drink, gel, bar to fuel your muscles as they are running out of carbohydrates.

Water or sport drink Water

Sport drink is a better rehydrating fluid than water.

Recovery continues with dinner.


The closer to training you are, the smaller your meal should be

Fall 2011


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