Contributing Monkie Brendan Brazier
Published on February 2, 2009
Photographer: G Monkie (CC)
Staying properly hydrated and fueled during exercise improves endurance, we know that. But what is the best way best way to ensure that you maintain hydration and blood sugar levels?
Drinking and eating of course. Simple.
The trouble is, sometimes while exercising intensely – especially in a race situation – we can actually forget about the need for fluid and calories until faced with the result of their absence. At this point, of course, it’s too late to hydrate and fuel without a decline in performance. We must drink before we are thirsty and take in calories before we are hungry or feel the first onset of fatigue.
To time this correctly, practise in training. I recommend eating what you would normally eat before a race, then go on a training run / ride. Allow yourself to get slightly thirsty, then look at your watch and subtract 15 minutes from the length of time you’ve been out. That’s when you should have stated drinking.
If you feel it helpful while racing, set your watch to go off at intervals to remind you to drink based on the info you have found in this trial. Apply the same logic to taking in calories. This way you will never feel thirsty or hungry while training hard or racing.
Your performance will reflect this.