Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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This video discusses recovery, rest and nutrition during intensive triathlon training.
So what I am going to do is take the subject of nutrition and look at it strictly from a recovery perspective. I am also going to look at it in terms of your full day, because the full day is essentially a period of time in which you are recovering. So with that in mind, what I do is, I break the day down to five periods of time, five stages if you will, and in each stage there is something we are going to do unique about nutrition during each of those stages.
So here are the five stages. The first one is before exercise. Stage No 1, is what you do right before your exercise. So it could be, you get up in the morning, and you got to workout immediately. You get up, and you got to be at swim practice at 5:30 in the morning, or you have got a race at 7:00 am, or you have a race at 10:00 am. Sometimes races start late, for some folks, for some unusual circumstances, but that's the possibility also.
First before exercise, stage 2 is during exercise. When you are swimming, biking, or running, or lifting weights, or anything else you maybe doing for exercise, what should you be doing as far as first nutrition? That's stage 2.
Stage 3 is an interesting one. This is one of the critical ones we will talk about later on. This is the first 30 minutes following exercise. So you finish your workout and then what you do -- what you do in the next 30 minutes is very critical to your recovery. If you get this phase right, you are well on your way to fast recovery. Screw this period of time up, and you have just screwed up the next several hours of your day as far as your recovery is concerned. Just remember it's critical time.
Stage 4 is a bit open ended. It's as long as the exercise was. So if this exercise is about -- was let's say 2 hours, 2 hour bike-ride right here. You had 30 minutes after, you now have another hour-and-a half-after the 30 minutes to be in stage 4.
So it's really the combination of 30 minutes subtracted from whatever the total time of the exercise was. That remaining portion is what stage 4 is all about, and I will tell you why do you need a little bit also.
Then stage 5 is until the next stage 1 occurs. So those are the five stages. I am going to take you through each stage, and talk about what's unique about each one, and how you can use food and drink to maximize your performance, maximize your recovery during each of these periods of time.
Let's talk about first stage 1, eating before exercise. There are several things we are trying to achieve. We are talking about before exercise, and let's back up here again, this could be that you have got very little time at all, like you wake up first thing in the morning, and you know in an half hour you got to be in the pool. You got to drive across town to get there.
So obviously you haven't got lot of time here, or it could be a situation where you are going to do a race, and it's a 07:00 am, or 08:00 am start, and you are going to have a few hours. You could get up if you wanted to at 5:00 am, or 4:00 am, and prepare yourself for the race. That's not an unusual offer for athletes to do that.
So we have got actually two different situations: you have got no time, or you have plenty of time to get ready for the race nutritionally. What are we trying to achieve during this period of time? What are the goals?
First thing is simply to satisfy hunger. Now lot of us wake up in the morning, and we are really not hungry at all. We're just fine the way we are, and it is until later on when we really feel the need to eat. Other people wake up, and they are ready to eat immediately, like my son. You know my son is like an eating machine. First, I don't want to feed him anymore now, but he really eats the same way as he used to. He wakes up first in the morning, and he has got to find food immediately, sort of things. He is always hungry when he wakes up.
Personally I can go without food for a couple of hours, and I am quite alright. So we are kind of unique in each different way in terms of satisfying hunger immediately. If this is your situation, and you've just got to satisfy your hunger.
More importantly, I think in a lot of ways, is restock the carbohydrate stores, that was depleted during the night. As you slept, your body was using carbohydrate. You are staying alive, you are breathing, your heart is beating, you have got metabolic processes occurring from the supper from that evening, the night before, and lots of other things going on. And all the stuff requires energy, and that energy in part is going to come from stored carbohydrate in your body. And we need to replenish that.
So if you go to the race, or the workout the next morning, and you haven't replenished that, it's kind of like starting with your fuel tank on half. You are not quite ready to go fully yet. So it can be very difficult if you are going to do a challenging workout, especially first thing in the morning.