Nutrition is Key

Building a Healthy Body

The Food Around the Race: How Kit Walker Fuelled and Won the European Long Distance Tri Champs

OTE Fuelled supported athlete and triathlon star Kit Walker shone bright at last weekend’s Challenge Weymouth. The local lad took on the challenging conditions to win his age-group and become ETU European Long Distance Triathlon Champion as well as finish 8th overall. A fantastic day out for young Kit. So we wanted to know, how did he fuel the event? But more specifically what did he eat around the event? Fuelling during the event is very important, but getting your intake right before and after the race is just as important but can get over looked. Let’s here from the champ..

“Challenge Weymouth is the only “big” race this year that I am able to stay at home for, living local makes life much easier going into the event and keeps the pre race stress and nerves down! It also makes all food preperations a breeze, my own kitchen and full access to all the food i would normally have without trying to understand foreign food labels or prepare food in a hotel room with no facilities!

Monday to Friday for me was a normal working week, with training reduced from normal I stuck to my usual routines ensuring i was eating enough to recover from the sessions I was doing but not doing anything silly. My pre race eating really begins on the Friday before sunday’s race, this is usually a full rest day from training so a good opportunity to make sure i have something in the tank. My day looked a bit like this:

  • Breakfast is my usual overnight oats, 1 cup of oats soaked in coconut milk topped with berries and a few walnuts, this is something i eat a variation of most mornings after training so i know it works and agrees with my body. 
  • Lunch was another standard meal of chicken stir fry with sweet potatoes.<
  • Dinner was a salmon fillet with rice and some veg.
  • During the day i would have had a couple of snacks as well, usually some fruit with dark chocolate or my absolute favourite of almond butter, banana and honey on rice cakes, cant get enough of these!

The day before the race:

  • Breakfast was the same accompanied as always by a black coffee, then it was out for my last 45 min training session before returning to an OTE recovery shake and yes more of the almond butter, banana, rice cake combo.
  • Lunch was a simple affair enjoyed out with my wife, nothing fancy here just a chicken breast with new potatoes and a small salad with a pint of water.
  • Dinner was a bit unusual for me actually, with some friends staying at ours we headed to the supermarket to get something to eat and decided on keeping it light with a chicken salad. What happened was a creation of a giant salad including spinach, beetroot, Avocado, olives, feta cheese and chicken among other things. By the time it was on the plate there was barely any room to add some rice but i somehow squeezed it on! I followed this with a banana and was drinking water throughout the day. Again though this is a meal i would normally eat during a training week so was confident that it would not give me any issues and my body could digest it well.

Race morning and a 4.30 alarm for breakfast, again i had made my oats and left them overnight and these were topped with a few raspberries, a banana, a spoon of Almond butter and a good drizzle of honey. Thankfully i can eat at anytime of day so that went down well followed by a black coffee and it was off to the race. I have a bottle with some OTE Energy Drink in it with an added electrolyte tablet to sip on all the way until 15 mins before the race where i took a Pineapple Caffeine Gel, a final mouthful of drink and prepare for the start!

Around 10 hours later once it is all done and dusted, i had gotten a massage and drank a bit of water i got my after race bag which had in it an OTE Chocolate Recovery Sachet which i made up and drank. Not feeling like eating anything its the easiest way to get some calories in and get the body recovering. After that it took about 2 hours until i actually got hungry and after nibbling on some flapjack got a large portion of chips with salt and vinegar! That kept me going until around 3 a.m monday morning where my hunger woke me up and i headed downstairs to raid the kitchen!!”

Key take away points:

  • Always consume foods you are familiar with and enjoy. Don’t take any risk with unknown meals before your big event.
  • Use your training taper to allow you to carbohydrate load your muscles. By backing off on training this means by eating a similar amount you can load your glycogen stores for the event without over eating.
  • Recovery after the race is very important, especially after such a long race. Struggling to eat is very normal after any hard race so use recovery drinks to help get the enrgy back in and kick start that recovery.

Posted in: Nutrition Advice, OTE Fuelled Athletes

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