Kate Percy's Commando Challenge Nutrition Tips
Posted on September 26th 2016 by Kate Percey
So you’ve taken on the challenge! The ‘real deal’ training course, a course usually tackled by the Royal Marines trainees themselves; the toughest of the tough! You may have the grit and determination, but wouldn’t it be perfect if your energy levels were at their very peak too? I’m Kate Percy, author of Go Faster Food and Go Faster Food for Kids. As a cook, athlete and food for fitness writer, I’m absolutely passionate about helping active people be their absolute best they can be by fueling themselves with great food. Food that packs a punch, deliciously, to give you the edge!
Here are my top tips to prepare for your best Commando Challenge ever!
1. Taper and take it easy
Resist the temptation to train too much in the week before your race. You've done the groundwork now, the best you can do is rest your muscles, sleep well, eat well and take it easy! Look after your legs! The day before, try not to walk too far.
2. Don't eat too much!
Many athletes fall into the trap of eating too many calories, or eating the wrong foods during those critical few days before a race. The last thing you want is to stand on the start line feeling heavy and sluggish! All you need to do is eat a little more carbohydrate and a little less protein and fat. This is because carbohydrates are converted into blood glucose and used for energy or stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle. Your body can store enough carbohydrate to keep you going for approximately 90 minutes. Your job in the run up to the race, especially if you are signed up for the 17K course, is to eat enough carbohydrate to keep your glycogen stores at their optimum. Choose nutrient-rich, slow-releasing (low to medium GI*) carbohydrates, the less refined the better, to help sustain your energy levels. Oats, basmati rice, pasta, sweet potatoes, English muffins, wholemeal toast, plenty of fruit and starchy veg are great choices. See Kate’s Top 10 Go Faster Carbs.
3. Stick to plain and familiar
Pre-event nerves can play games with your tummy and the last thin
g you want is a loo stop mid-race! In the three days before your race, avoid unfamiliar foods as well as high fibre and spicy foods, such as lentils, pulses, bran and hot curries, even if you normally include them in your healthy training diet.
4. Little and often
If you feel too nervous to eat a proper meal, try to eat smaller meals and snacks – ‘little and often’. Try these yummy flapjacks.
5. Hydrate well all week
You’ll enjoy the challenge far better if your body is well-hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you and sip it throughout the days prior to the event and don’t forget that tea, coffee, squash, smoothies, juicy fruits and fruit juices, even soups, will also boost your fluid intake. Keep checking that your pee is a light straw colour and try not to drink too much alcohol! See Rethink Your Drink.
6. Pre-event breakfast
As you’ve been taking it easy on the training all week, you should be feeling like a coiled spring, ready for action! On event day, eat what you normally eat before a workout. Not too much, you just need to ‘top up the tank’. Eat around 2 hours before the challenge. We love this Porridge with Blueberries. Packed with slow-releasing carbohydrate and not too heavy, it’s a perfect fuel-up breakfast.
Drink 500ml water, or diluted juice as soon as you wake up, or with breakfast and sip on a bottle of water on your way to the start, if you like. Don’t drink too much now, or it will be sloshing around in your stomach during the challenge. Do the pee test - once your urine is light in colour, then you are fully-hydrated.
Lastly? Get to the start in plenty of time & enjoy the challenge!
Relax, soak up the atmosphere, pace yourself and imagine you’re Superman!
You’ll find more information on the Go Faster Food books on www.gofasterfood.com – you can claim 10% discount by using the code COMMANDOCHALLENGE. Do also join me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more recipes and useful info to help fuel your training.