Now that I am training for more than five hours just about every Saturday, my nutritional needs have changed. I am all about carrying food that contains a lot of calories that is easily digestible. Many thanks to the nutritionists at Clif and GU for their patience and understanding in helping us with our nutritional needs. I am trying to write an article on nutrition but I keep complicating things and not making any progress. I am making progress in a lot of areas which I will share with you now.
I know that my body can only process (or convert to glycogen) between 200-400 calories per hour while it is burning between 500-1500 calories per hour. I also know that my consumes calories glycogen stores very quickly when I am working hard. The trick is to train your body to burn calories from fat on these long workouts. To do this, you must slow down. The trainers say slow to 70-75% of your max heart rate. I don’t know what that is, so I say slow to 60-80% of max heart rate.
What has been working for me is packing the calories into my sports drink. My current favorite is Clif Lemonade flavor electrolyte drink. I make it about 50% stronger than the instructions say.
I have two 28 ounce bottles on my bike. Each bottle has 6 scoops of electrolyte powder. That gives me close to 500 calories per bottle. I also like to eat a clif bar, marathon bar or energy gel while riding the bike or running.
My stomach is more forgiving on the bike than when I am out running. Practice consuming the calories on the long, slow workout days.
The better you get at staying well nourished, the lower your chances of crashing when you over do it. Bonking is a bad thing, you want to avoid it, if possible. I have a couple of baskets of training goodies. Variety is best. I favor Clif for a variety of reasons, such as they try to stay as natural as possible, they care about their customers, the stuff tastes good enough to eat and they are local to me.
GU is another small company that is local to me with quality products and they care about their customers too. Of course the top product in my picture is a Snickers Marathon bar but it does taste good and it is loaded with good calories.