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Breakfast of Champions

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Breakfast of Champions

Postby andygarner » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:57 pm

Hi Steve,
Here's a typical scenario for me: A 9am road race (cycling) of about 40 miles. Assuming I finish breakfast by 6am, what's your ideal breakfast menu? I'm a 38 year old male and weigh 158-160 lbs. I live in the Southeast, so it's typically hot when I race (90+ F.) Your thoughts?

P.S. I recently tried Perpetuem + Endurolytes as an all liquid diet on a 5 hour ride and LOVED it! This changes everything...
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Re: Breakfast of Champions

Postby steve-born » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:09 am

Hello Andy -

In general, how long does a 40-mile road race take you? The reason I ask is because it will help determine the best answer to give you. Please let me know and we'll proceed from there.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Breakfast of Champions

Postby andygarner » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:00 pm

A little less than 2 hours. Usually average in the low 20mph range.
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Re: Breakfast of Champions

Postby steve-born » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:23 pm

Hello Andy -

The reason I ask is because - assuming you've been refueling properly after all your workouts leading up to the race - you should have sufficient amounts of muscle glycogen available to not have to strictly adhere to the "no calories 3 hours prior" recommendation. In other words, unless you typically will get up at 5:30 am, with this time being for the reason of finishing a pre-race meal 3 hours prior, I don't think it's necessary.

In fact, if your race is going to be in the 1.5 - 2 hour range, I think that a something very easily digested - a piece of toast, a banana, some cantaloupe, a small serving of Perpetuem, or something along those lines- would be more than sufficient. Then, I would also suggest sipping on a bottle of HEED leading up to the start. In doing this what will happen is that your glycogen stores will get used up more rapidly... but who cares? By the time they're drained your race will have been completed. Put another way, you will be "riding the insulin freight train" from beginning to end, which I believe is highly advantageous in these shorter-duration events.

Now, anything longer than 90-120 minutes yes, you will want to preserve your glycogen stores and utilize them as efficiently as possible... that's where the "no calories 3 hours prior" recommendation comes into play. But when your race is going to be over in 90-120 minutes I believe that this recommendation isn't necessary AND that keeping all of insulin's hormonal influences on glycogen utilization still very elevated and active will enhance performance (that's why I suggest sipping on a bottle or two of HEED in the couple hours leading up to the start).

I would suggest using HEED as your fuel during this race. You can cover all of your fluid needs, all of your calorie needs, and at least some of your electrolytic mineral needs (if not all of them), via this one fuel.

Bottom line is that if you habitually wake up that early, fine, have a little something to eat... no problem at all doing that. However, don't sacrifice sleep just to eat; I don't believe it's necessary to do that (following the "no calories 3 hours prior" recommendation) given the duration of your race. I also don't think it's beneficial to deliberately get up early when you don't really need to for a race of this duration... all you end up doing is losing a few hours of the recuperative benefits of sleep (and most likely at the time of the morning when you're hitting your deepest REM state sleep).

Again though, if you do find yourself waking up at that time and want to have something to eat, the main things to remember are to not go overboard in the volume of food that you consume (no more than 500 calories is really ever necessary), and to make sure you're consuming quality food choices (primarily meaning low-to-no refined sugar and saturated fats).

I hope this information and suggestions will be helpful to you, but if you need clarification on any of this please let me know.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Breakfast of Champions

Postby andygarner » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:46 pm

Hi Steve,
Thanks so much for the feedback. I'll definitely put it into practice. Everything you said makes perfect sense.

This Spring I'm also planning to complete a "super-randonneur" series, consisting of 200K, 300K, 400K, and 600K distances. Each ride will begin at 7am. I definitely won't be getting up at 3:30am for breakfast! What do you recommend for pre-event fueling in this scenario? (I'm planning to use Perpetuem multi-hour bottles as my fueling source during the rides.)

Again, thanks for your response!
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Re: Breakfast of Champions

Postby steve-born » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:48 pm

Hello Andy -

With your events starting so early in the morning, and with them being of long duration, my recommendation is that you sleep as long as possible (but without missing the start!), eat nothing prior to the start, and begin refueling shortly after the ride begins (for me, this is usually about 15-20 minutes into a long ride). It may sound counterintuitive but physiologically speaking this makes perfect sense.

Remember, if you go to bed with 60-90 minutes of muscle glycogen, the first fuel your body is going to use when the ride begins, that's exactly what you're going to wake up with in the morning - you won't have drained one calorie. Now, with these events being longer in duration, you're going to want to conserve your muscle glycogen stores and use them as efficiently as possible. How do you do that?

1) Finish a pre-event meal 3 hours prior -- Seeing as the event starts at 7 am, this is not a fun sounding option to me. As you said, you definitely won't be getting up at 3:30 am just to eat and I couldn't agree more (it's simply unnecessary to wake up early and sacrifice all the restorative properties of a full night's sleep just to eat).

2) If you're absolutely jones-ing for something to eat prior to the start, have a drink from your concentrated bottle of Perpetuem about 5 or so minutes prior to the start.

3) Simply start the ride on an empty stomach and begin refueling shortly after you start feeling comfortable (when your body says, "OK, I'm sufficiently warmed up now and am ready to take on some calories")

I always go with #3 and it's never failed me. In fact, it works like a charm.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Breakfast of Champions

Postby andygarner » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:06 pm

Thanks Steve! As always, very helpful. I've followed Hammer Nutrition's internet and printed advice throughout this entire cycling and have noticed remarkable, measurable improvements in my performance and results. I'm a believer!
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