Fuel, or food, is of utmost importance for an athlete. Even more so as I get older. In my swimming days way back when, I remember beginning race day at Dunkin' Donuts. As a 16 year old without much direction, I really didn't know better. I had carbo loaded the night before with my team and figured as a sprinter, that's all I really needed to do. Fast forward 20 years and I now know how misguided I was. I wish I knew then what I know now about sports nutrition.
This past Saturday, I failed the nutrition part of my weekend for sure. I was staying at a friend's house so I didn't have the normal staples I keep at home; oatmeal, bananas, yogurt, etc. Nor did I eat very well on Friday. Friday night's steak dinner with heavy appetizers probably didn't do much for me.
I began Saturday's ride with a trip to Einstein's Bagel. OJ and a whole bagel with egg is all I ate. Out on the road, I managed to get 2 Gu's in and some water. That isn't much for a 4 hour ride with intervals and fast groups. Once I made it back to town, I quickly downed a Rockstar and some peanut M & M's which got me home. I finally decimated an all meat pizza while watching KU take on Texas. Not exactly a model for proper fueling techniques.
Here's what I would normally have eaten on a long Saturday ride:
That's what an athlete's plate should look like! Not my hodgepodge thrown together bits. And the proof is in the proverbial pudding. I limped home. Granted after a 4 hour ride I should be tired, but not almost bonking.
Check you diet with a food diary and I'll bet you'll be surprised by what you actually consume in a day. I've been tweeking things for the last 2 years and its really paid off. I also recommend Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. It really has been my bible over these years.