Any adventure or challenge begins with a moment where you tell yourself : “it wouldn’t be too bad doing (insert here any idea that makes you step out of your comfort zone).” Fortunately, this nonsensical idea often finds its way into our minds, and we end up planning all its details. Because yes, any challenge deserves to be properly planned to increase its success rate.
The logistics of this adventure are made concrete by planning its various facets : supplies, shoes, partners, clothing, etc. Everything must be taken care of. Then comes the fateful question of nutrition. Because this science is not innate, it must be learned and demystified. Three easy steps can help us understand: what to eat, when and how much. Read David Jeker’s article on the subject, it may save you the trouble.
On the nutritional front (and during training, and even life in general), it’s worth starting your thinking with three big questions:
- What do I usually do?
- Does it work (really)?
- How to improve it?
Many other elements can also potentially encourage a better success rate on our part:
- Do I know how to manage heat and its impacts on my system?
It is interesting to know how to reduce our body temperature with the help of ice on certain critical areas of our body, to know how to manage our hydration and our dehydration. In other words, knowing how much our sweating impacts our efforts.
- Is my stomach used to exercise at the time of the challenge in question?
- What will my diet look like in the pre-exercise phase? And post?
If an event is early in the morning or late in the evening, the diet will be different. For an early morning event, an early morning breakfast may be necessary, while for late night events, a large snack a few hours before is recommended. Once again, everything should be tested by replicating the conditions of D-day as much as possible in order to improve your chances of success. The post-exercise phase should not be neglected either. Moreover, knowing what to take immediately after the effort, but also in the following hours to promote the best possible recovery is essential.
Personal advice to be taken in moderation
- A breakfast, a meal or a big snack 4 hours before an event, limiting proteins and dairy products, is my formula to fill up on energy. I then maintain with bars or lighter fruits until one hour before the start, if needed.
- Learning and practicing running with liquid in your stomach is essential to be able to hydrate during an event.
- A bar or a recovery smoothie always waits for me in my bag or on my kitchen counter after an event.
- Non nutrition related but a 10-minute meditation session or simple deep breathing exercises help relax and lower our heart rate before an event.
Normally, knowing all these answers allows us to establish the basis of our strategy. That is how, after many hours of reflection (or maybe not enough, finally), D-day arrives.
Despite our good intentions on following our diet plan, it will most certainly be modified along the way, according to the vagaries of the moment. Let’s not panic, the diet plan serves as a guide to help us in perfect circumstances. By following the plan as much as possible, we make sure to keep a constant energy. On the other hand, it is how we adapt, according to how we feel, that will define the success of our journey.
At the end of our adventure, we often ask ourselves why we had that idea in the first place, despite the pride of having completed it.
On Monday mornings, while talking with our colleagues at the coffee machine, we remember the good things we did and we think about our next adventure. However, before starting the reflection cycle again, take the time to write down what you learned. Taking the time to learn from our mistakes is the most important phase of planning and it is with many trials that we eventually find our winning formula.
Looking forward to seeing you on roads and trails soon!😊