Expert Nutrition Advice for New Training Prorgamme

A huge benefit of being part of the Science in Sport Winter Academy is the ability to ask questions of some of the country's top nutrition experts.  

Right at the start I promised to pass on all the expert advice I received, so here goes.  And frankly, if you've ever been sceptical of the benefits of nutrition advice, please keep reading.  

I recently wrote about my second fitness assessment - Junking the Junk Training Miles.  By the number of hits it received, it interested a lot of people.

The training programme I have followed since August has succeeded in increasing my body's ability to use fat as fuel, exactly as I need for endurance events.  However, I was slightly concerned at what appeared to be some loss of muscle and top end power.

My new training programme, set by Dr Garry Palmer of Sportstest, adds many more miles each week with greater emphasis on threshold training for power.  If you'd like to know more about this, check out his excellent book on Sportive riding.


How should I change my nutrition to tackle this increased workload and not loose more muscle or power?

A few months ago, Science in Sport put me in touch with Dr James Morton, senior lecturer in exercise and metabolism at Liverpool John Moores University, and nutrition adviser to Science in Sport.  

I wrote about that initial conversation here.

So I contacted Dr Morton again, seeking his advice on how to tackle the extra workload.  His reply was hugely encouraging and practically very helpful, so I'll reproduce most of it here:

"First of all, this is great! Your fat mass loss and increased ability to use fat as a fuel is exactly what I was hoping for!" he wrote.  

Apparently I shouldn't be too concerned about the lean loss as the measurement based on skin-folds.  Just in case Dr Morton suggests increasing my protein intake, in and around training.

"So, I would consume 30 grams of protein 45 min before your rides such as a Rego Protein shake (not Rapid Recovery) or scrambled eggs and smoked salmon etc. When you finish, consume 2 servings of Rego Rapid as opposed to one, this will result in increased protein intake.  I would also consume protein right before bed either as a meal or as Rego Night". 

All of which is hugely helpful.  Then comes the hard work...  

"If you want to maintain or increase lean mass, then you should also do relevant resistance training as well, perhaps 3 times a week". (Oh dear - more weights!)  "If your power is down then it sounds like you need to start training more for this (in conjunction with more endurance type work)".

Which is exactly what's programmed into the new training programme.  I hope that has been helpful, as the longer days arrive and the miles increase, so does the protein.

(All that said - I haven't been on the bike for a week because I've had a stinking head cold!)

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