Training for Competition
Whether you are new into competing, or have been competing for some time, it’s always worth reviewing your diet to see where you can make improvements. You’re likely to be doing a mixture of regular training and competition (which may be seasonal), and you probably hold down a job too, so may feel like you’re stretched fairly thin. Getting your nutrition right both in your training schedule and on competition days can have a big impact of your performance.
The following tips may give you some initial advice:
- Your nutrition the day before a race (as well as the day itself) can have a big impact. ‘Carbohydrate loading’ (a higher carbohydrate intake for 3 days leading up to the race, whilst reducing protein and fat intake to keep the same calorie intake) may help improve performance in races lasting over 90 minutes in duration. For shorter races, e.g. 5km or 10km, this is not required.
- Your nutrition on your competition day should be tailored to your schedule
Don’t underestimate the importance of good planning… Have you packed extra snacks for unforeseen circumstances, such as travel delays before or after your event? Have you planned for other snacks to keep your energy levels up whilst waiting for your event or competition time?
- Don’t forget about the importance of fruits and vegetables. They provide important support for general health, including the immune system and disease prevention
- Don’t neglect your hydration in the lead up to your event, during and after training or competition – a simple bottle of water may not be enough. It’s generally accepted that a 2% level of dehydration can adversely affect performance. To check this, you can weigh yourself before and after a training session, to calculate the amount of water loss due to sweat. That way you can be sure to better hydrate next time