Real Food Fueling for Endurance Training
By Rob Gilfeather, Co-Founder of Fuel For Fire, Pofessional Chef and Ironman Triathlete
Thursday is always a long training day for me. This week was a 5-hour tempo bike ride followed immediately by a 45 minute run. The typical approach of most athletes would be to stock up on energy gels and sports drink. In the past, a workout like this for me would have meant a minimum of 12 energy gels and 8 bottles of fluid. The thought of consuming all of that is enough to make you feel sick even before you start your workout! Luckily, I don’t have to do that any longer and I had plenty of Fuel For Fire in my pantry.
So many people fail to understand the merits of proper fueling. It’s crazy to me how people continue to ignore this topic. This is the one thing you CAN control on race day. Why wouldn’t you set yourself for success? You train your tail off and make all those sacrifices leading up to your big race. The last thing you want is to get derailed by a poor nutrition strategy.
Whether you are a beginner or a veteran triathlete, start by having a consistent nutrition plan every time you workout. This means that you should train with the same products you plan on using during your race. Get comfortable with how and when to use them in training and you can avoid experiencing gastrointestinal problems during your race.
So, how did I get through this monster workout? I started off with a Fuel For Fire Apple Raspberry fuel pack and then alternated 5 more fuel packs (Banana Chocolate and Sweet Potato) with energy gels for the duration of the workout. That's 6 less gels to choke down. I felt great throughout the ride with no highs or lows from blood sugar spikes – just a nice steady burn of energy. Fuel For Fire has roughly the same amount of calories as an energy gel, slightly less carbs, andhalf the amount of sugar. The big difference is that Fuel For Fire has 10 grams of high quality whey protein isolate in each pack. Having a bit of protein during that long ride kept my hunger quenched as well.
Here’s the deal….your fueling plan is something that you can take charge of, and, when necessary, make adjustments to. Know your body’s fueling requirements with the same level of detail and care that you take when picking out your running shoes or tuning your bike. It’s that important.