Carbohydrate Load – Prerace / Competition

A lot of us do are bicyclists, runners, triathletes or other athletes (soccer, basketball, etc) of some kind that have more sustained efforts as competitions and are highly dependent on glycogen (carbohydrate) stores.
This is a prerace countdown and it will need some modifications for various sports.

Day 7

  • it is the time for one completely exhaustive workout
  • focus on the week areas, go through all areas that are important and don’t be timid
  • drink plenty during the workout and following the workout.
  • consume 400 calories of carbs followed by 800 over the next several hours

Day 6

  • tapered exercise starts (in endurance sports it often starts two weeks prior to the competition)
  • 75-80% Carb intake, 10 % protein and 10 % fat
  • total energy intake should be adapted to the reduced workout day.
  • Activities are either reduced by time or intensity or both

Day 5

  • still maintain a consistently high carbohydrate intake
  • reduce intensity and duration of your exercise even more
  • the activity should be definitely less than what you are used to

Day 4

  • time to finalize your race / competition strategies
  • your training should focus on the key elements of your special skills, but with emphasis on keeping your from becoming exhausted
  • protein intake is increased up to max. 2g / kg body weight to ensure all tissue repairs are taken care of and to improve creatine prodcution.

Day 3

  • low to moderate exercise intenisty
  • high carb intake (65%)
  • reduce other activities to put emphasis on recovery and relaxation
  • no exhaustion, overheating etc.

Day 2

  • no more morning training schedule
  • reduce the afternoon training schedule if you are a professional athlete
  • the focus is on reviewing skill and working on the mental strategy
  • carb intake 65%

Day 1

  • plenty of rest
  • no full routines, full speed runs, etc.
  • walk part of the course, get familiar with the competition venue
  • avoid watching opponents and focus on watching videos of your own success

Competition Day

  • plan everything
  • have a backup plan for things that can go wrong
  • don’t change your eating habits to something you have not done before

This is quite general and certain sports will need an adaptation, but it gives you a general idea on what to do.

Let me know if you have any questions

Have a fit and healthy day, make it happen now!

Michael Anders

Source: Benardot, Dan (2006). Advanced Sports Nutrition – Fine-tune your food and fluid intake for optimal training and performance. Human Kinetics.

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