Joulukalenterin 24. luukku, Darby Thomas

Jouluaaton luukusta löytyy Darby Thomas ja hänen vinkkinsä. Darby on ammattitriathlonisti ja tänäkin vuonna suorittanut neljä ironmania ulkomailla, jotka hienosti sijoille 6, 7, 6 ja 7. Edelliset kolme vuotta Darby on napannut suomenmestaruudet triathlonin puolimatkalta, lisäksi muitakin kultamitaleja, mihin on vain ehtinyt osallistumaan ulkomaan kisojen lisäksi. 🙂

Darby kirjoittaa harjoitusten aikaisesta energian tärkeydestä. Thank you Darby! 🙂

Energy Management

Hero Training
6-hour bike ride, 2 water bottles, and maybe a banana: Hero Training. A friend once introduced me to this term, which means those really long, hard training days some athletes do without much or any nutrition. Usually this is training done to compensate for a lack of training. It’s also known as ‘cramming for a test’, which comes from the same idea applied to studying all night for an exam, the night before the test. At the time when my friend explained Hero Training to me, I have to admit, I was guilty of doing just that. Fast forward a few years down the road and I now have a much better understanding of why Hero Training is a waste of precious training time.

When I started racing professionally three years ago, I also started working with a professional coach. Nutrition is one area he has taught me many lessons and the core of those I will share with you today so perhaps one less person will go out the day after Christmas to do some Hero Training to compensate for the excesses of the holidays.

Food for a purpose
Food in a normal person’s diet is mostly decided by flavors and availability.   So if something tastes good and it’s available, they eat it. When it comes to triathlon, a sport that requires a high level of nutrition focus to be successful, food needs to serve a purpose. Different types of foods serve different types of purposes. If your body is fighting to recover from a tough workout, you need high nutrient density foods like vegetables, fibrous grains and proteins to help the recovery process. You don’t really need high-energy foods like simple carbohydrates.   On the other side is during training and competition where you DO need those high-energy foods to fuel your engine. Not only do you need those high-energy foods, but also you need to eat frequently to keep energy coming in throughout the workout. There are two reasons why: 1) draining your own body’s energy supplies hurts your recovery substantially. With three different sports to train, triathlon requires quite a lot of training. If recovery is at all done poorly, the next training session will not go very well. 2) having adequate energy in your body during training will allow you to perform at a higher level. If every workout can be done just a little be harder, this adds up a lot over the course of a year. So keeping energy coming in during training is really preparing your body for the next training session as well as allowing you to perform at a higher level on the current session.

Food for the holidays
And then there is the holidays… Most will expect I have a very scientific and clearly organized nutrition and training plan to get through the holidays but I actually have a more human approach. 51 weeks out of the year I do most nutrition components correctly. When the week of Christmas comes around, that is my chance to eat what ever tastes good and is available, which is generally not the healthiest stuff. My idea is that by enjoying this week of excess, I gain mental strength and motivation (as well as a couple kilos) that will help fuel me throughout the coming months of training. My advice? Ignore everything I just wrote above and enjoy the holidays! There is only so much damage you can do to your body in a few days.

Darby Thomas

Ihanaa ja omanlaista joulua kaikille lukijoille!! <3

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