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what are some ueling strategies, common mistakes athletes make in their nutrition, and how to recover more effectively.

Athlete Spotlight: Hannah Otto

Here are our top show notes from an amazing and informative webinar with Hannah! See the video*for the full Q&A.

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Is there a tactic to keep up with fueling on big training days or races?

It’s a matter of planning it out ahead of time so you know what you have and are ready. For example, I’ll literally write out “Hour one = have these. Hour two = have these.”

For races, it’s really beneficial to understand what the course looks like and the terrain you’ll encounter so that you stay on track and can utilize that to know when you’ll be able to fuel easier.

What is the biggest mistake you see people make in nutrition?

1. The biggest one is ‘not staying the course’ to let your gut adapt. Often, we don’t want to give it the time necessary to get acquainted with higher carb protocols or different types of nutrition.

2. Hydrating enough. Fueling and hydrating go together because you need ample fluid to assist in breaking down any food you might eat…so that you don’t need to pull water into the stomach.

3. Listening to your hunger. You should not enter or perform a ride hungry!

4. Overextending your efforts with fasting. This has its place, but anytime you are looking to put in work then you need to make sure you’re fueling it.

How to approach eating too little (or too much) around training.

From personal experience, when I take on more calories [on the bike] I have more energy…which allows me to do more work, which burns more calories! Being afraid of “over-fueling” on your training rides, with the fear of gaining weight, doesn’t really check out in the application because of this and it can lead to more successful workouts.

What are some ways to improve fueling?

1. Have a quality recovery shake within half an hour of your training. This is huge for expediting and improving the recovery process after workouts.

2. Make a rule! For example, my rule [on training rides] is to eat every half-hour. Then, I have a pre-planned strategy for reaching my fueling goal.

How do you stay true to your nutrition?

Making the food really “handy” helps me. Like in the winter when you have multiple layers on, it can be a lot more difficult to get yourself to grab that food (bar bags or packs are very helpful here).

Would you fuel the same when on a trainer?

Yes, absolutely! The only thing that may change in that case is where you put/get the food. It can actually be a lot easier when you have a tray, table, etc. Additionally, you will likely be sweating at a greater rate and need to pay attention to hydration.

Keys to being on top of nutrition for Leadville?

Hydration is a big factor because you’ll be at great (10,000ft +) elevation. Not only will it be much drier there, but you will also see effects in the blood which increase the need for hydration.

Additionally, you are going to be burning more calories/energy across the board. Your basal metabolic rate will be higher and your workouts will be creating a greater energy demand. To make things harder, that elevation can suppress your hunger as compared to normal.

Pack extra food! There’s no need to pack light or not use drop bags. If you end up having a mechanical, losing fuel/bottles, or any other emergency you will want that “backup”

Be careful with cramming in things like iron supplements or sleeping in altitude tents. You need to know where *your* body is at and what it may benefit from. For example, sleeping in an altitude tent may seem beneficial but if your surroundings aren’t ideal you may be harming your sleep quality…which could be detrimental overall.

Suggestions for fueling for a crit (or a fast 40-60min) race?

The pre-fueling period is more important than “on the bike” in this case. Due to the short, intense nature of them, you want to come in pre-fueled and topped off and supplement if needed during the event with quick fuels.

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The Feed. / Wednesday, June 1, 2022