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What to eat before a BIG day of training

What to eat before a BIG day of training

So you have a BIG day tomorrow on your training calendar.  After preparing all the necessary "equipment" and getting that ready for the day, often little thought other than "which restaurant are we going to eat at tonight" is given to what actual equipment you will provide your body with for the next day's training session.  Let me put it another way.  You spend a significant amount of money on training, coaching sessions, time away from your family and friends, yet expect your body to deliver what you think it should be able to deliver.  And all too often, athletes look at nutrition last on the list of things "To Do".  Can I suggest you start flipping that thinking on its head.  If you take a little bit of time planning what you "need" to eat for that training session, you'll less likely be thinking about "food" during the training session and more importantly thinking about what you are doing in the session.  Can you hear your swim coach saying "high elbow on your recovery", your cycling coach reminding you of "get your cadence in that sweet spot".  This is what I want to be thinking of during a training session.  Yet how many of you are dreaming of food during your actual training session?  This shouldn't be happening!

Macro Nutrients, Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates

Surprisingly, we as athletes do not need to eat the copious amounts of food to get through an endurance session that many of us "think" we need to.  I like to focus on a couple mandatory points when working out my meal options.  You will see one of the photos below of a simple dinner most people can muster up in the kitchen consiting of;

  • Lamb Chops (how much?  We only need 0.8g-1.0g/kg of lean body weight of protein per day.  Ultra endurance freaks may go up to 2.0g/kg).  So if you spread that daily requirement over 2 meals a day, that looks like 2 lamb chops if you are 50-55kgs in weight or 3 lamb chops for someone who weighs 60-68kg, and so on.  Not a lot right, but it's enough.  If you aren't into meat.  That's fine.  You could go with 3 boiled eggs or a simple 3 egg omelette with cheese.  Extra protein can be found in healthy seeds and nuts which give salads great "crunch" and also provide some healthy fats to your meal.  That's right, we need fats, but we need the correct types of fats.  And nuts and seeds are a great source for these.  I make some tasy seed crackers which are full of goodness and they are easy to eat whilst on the bike too!
  • A fresh salad will provide you with enough carbohydrates to satisfy most palates and give your muscles the necessary fuel to fire the next day.  I like leafy green vegetables and really anything goes here.  Look for different colours on your plate.  Be creative!  I have shown below with my lamb chops a salad with baby spinach, some pumpkin, avocado, and a cauliflower rice and tabbouleh recipe I like.
  •  Chew the fat!!!  Importantly, I look for some healthy fats to complete my meal and provide the necessary transport mechanism for the vitamins and other micronutrients I am eating.  Vitamins A, K, E and D are fat soluble.  That means that unless fat is present, they will not get absorbed into your body.  So add some fats people!  I like extra virgin olive oil, mixed with apple cider vinegar and salt.  I also pour any left over fats from cooking my meat onto my meat and vegetables.  Other people like coconut oil as a flavour.  For those that can tolerate dairy, go for some good quality butter.  
  • Finally, I ensure my gut is getting looked after by adding some simple fermented vegetables to my plate.  Sauerkraut or pickled onions are a good option here.  If you can tolerate it, eat some natural probiotic yoghurt to your veggies or salad.  Just know that unless your gut is working well, it doesn't matter what else you are going to feed your body.  It simply won't break it down properly.  So look after your guts!
  • AND IF YOU ARE STILL HUNGRY...try for a healthy dessert.  Last weekend, I made up a bowl of fresh figs, with sheeps milk yoghurt, some shredded coconut meat, some cacao nibs (for potassium and magnesium) and walnuts.   It was AMAZING!!!

Other ideas I like are boiled eggs, some cured meat freshly cut off the bone, some sweet potato and generally a simple salad.  If you eat well the day BEFORE your training session, you may not even need breakfast the day of your big training day.  I often start off my sessions completely fasted and eat when my body tells me to.  

So keep it simple people.  Eat real food and start planning your meals with some thought.  Your next PB may thank you it.  If you want to chat more about any of this, then just shout out to me.  


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A Certified Bating Coach (CBC) is a handpicked, passionate Banter with a successful Banting story, certified by the Real Meal Revolution through it's training program, armed with the knowledge and skills to run Banting groups, provided with tools, recipes, meal plans, and LCHF content, and dedicated to help you achieve your weight-loss goals View More

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    About Me

    I’m David Daffey and I love food, along with swimming, cycling and running (that’s right…I’m a triathlete). In fact, I am an Ironman triathlete (multiple times) and this year in 2018, will be travelling to Kona, Hawaii to compete in the coveted Ironman World Championships!  I live in Sydney, Australia and have a degree in Psychology and Human Movement Studies. I am also a qualified Triathlon Australia triathlon coach.

    Most importantly, I became a Certified Banting Coach in 2016 with The Real Meal Revolution and Dr Timothy Noakes.   After regaining my own “health” after decades of sugar addiction and suffering from what I now know to be chronic inflammation, I now teach people like you how to get off Struggle Street and follow “A Banter’s Life”.