Fresh off her victory at the 2014 Los Cabos Ironman, professional triathlete Linsey Corbin offers the following five nutrition tips to get the most out of your training:
1. Know what works best for you: During your training you can afford to make mistakes and learn what you should and shouldn’t be eating. However, on race day you almost want to be habitual in how you’re going to eat. Particularly in an endurance event like a marathon or triathlon, you should have a nutrition plan set out beforehand.
2. Think carbs: In an endurance race you’ll end up tapping into all of your fuel reserves. Since carbohydrates feed the muscles, you’ll need to be thinking about carbs the moment you sign up for that long-distance race. Most athletes need 55-65 % of their calories to come from carbohydrates, and should be consumed the night (or day) before a race, long run or hard workout. You should be getting carb intake from “high-quality” whole grains, such as KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat, as it offers immediate energy while also providing lipids to store additional fuel.
3. Keep hydration top-of-mind: Gulp 6 to 8 ounces of H2O or other fluids every 15 minutes to stay hydrated. If you’re running for over an hour, your body may require more than just water. Sports drinks can give you the electrolytes, fluids and sugar-filled carbs you need to make it through a long-distance endurance race. Linsey also suggests energy gels, as they can also provide a similar surge and settle your mental fatigue.
5. Make recovery nutrition a priority: It’s important to get calories in within 30 minutes of finishing an endurance activity, when your muscles replace their power supply fastest. Linsey suggests the right combination of carbs (75 to 80 percent) and protein (20 to 25 percent). Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink because it has a quintessential ratio of carbs to protein and it’s easy to drink. Four or five hours after a race, Linsey suggests eating a well-balanced meal, as well as a celebratory treat.
More on Linsey Corbin
Linsey, who claims the fastest Ironman time recorded on U.S. soil and holds five triathlon course records, believes that a proper diet is an essential part of any training program and can have a major influence on your results. She is currently working with Kamut International, who produce an organic, non-GMO, ancient wheat variety known as KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, to talk about nutrition for endurance training.