At 21km, Skyrace Comapedrosa is the shortest race of the season. This means, different preparation and nutrition is required. Here are 5 ways to fuel your body for shorter races from the nutrition experts at PROZIS:
Comapedrosa 2018 – MRSWS ©iancorless.com
Short races are those which last between 1 hour and 4 hours at a moderate to vigorous intensity and are usually bellow 50 km. These shorter and faster races put a different strain on the body compared to a longer, lower intensity race or an ultra, therefore athletes need to prepare differently.
Fuelling strategies change based on the length of the race, so if you’re thinking about doing a shorter distance, here are some useful tips to help you improve your performance, prevent fatigue and avoid dehydration:
1. “Train the gut”
This can be done by increasing the consumption of carbohydrates in the weeks preceding the race and then in the evening before. Also, avoid the consumption of fiber and fat in order to minimize gastrointestinal symptoms.
2. Try not to lose too much weight
During the training season track how much weight you lose at each session so you can manage it. You should try to avoid losing> 2-3% of body weight to prevent dehydration. For example, if your weight is 70kg before the race, you should not weigh less than 67,9kg at the end. By tracking how much weight you usually lose during a run you will be able to get a better overview of how many liquids you should be consuming during and after a race.
3. You should not drink water/low sodium beverages in excess.
Instead, try adding some sports drinks with added sodium and carbohydrates during the race to prevent low sodium blood concentrations.
Carbohydrates (CHO) are important to maximize the performanceof an athlete running a short race. There are practical options to easily achieve the right quantity of CHO depending on the duration of the race, such as thermoresistant gels/snacks. Here’s a rough guide of how many are necessary during a shorter race:
- 30g CHO/h if you are running 1-2h ~ 1 gel per hour.
- 60g CHO/h if you are running 2-3h ~ 2 gels per hour.
- 90g CHO/h if you are running more than 2,5h ~ 3 gels per hour.
5. Get your caffeine fix
Caffeine is one of the most used supplements in endurance exercise and its beneficial effects in endurance performance have been widely accepted. An interesting strategy might be to ingest a dose ~3 mg/kg of weight – 1 hour before the race and then 1mg/kg every 2 hours after that. By caffeine, we don’t mean drinking a cup of coffee. Caffeine can be found in a variety of different products, the most commonly used by athletes are capsules and gels with added caffeine.
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