I love trying really freaking hard. I love digging deep, tapping the last reserves, and emptying the tank as I push my limits physically and mentally on the rock. I pursue climbing as a way of life because I enjoy exploring new places, meeting fellow adventure enthusiasts, and playing in the great outdoors. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Sport Nutrition at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. My goal is to help athletes use nutrition to maximize their health and performance. Through my studies, I have grown aware of the past inadequacy of my own dietary practices as well as the widespread acceptance of an unhealthy approach to food, diet, and weight throughout the climbing community....
Getting your nutrition dialed for cross race can be trickier than you might think. Races are relatively short, but they are also incredibly intense. The only thing I've encountered that comes close to their physical intensity are short-track mountain bike races, but even they are not quite as vomit inducing. Sprinting over barriers and up steep hills by foot as commonly encountered during cross races pushes the intensity level through the roof. You need glycogen stores to be at maximum to fuel these and other anaerobic efforts, but you also don't want much food in your stomach come race time. That is, unless you want to be distracted from going your fastest by burping up breakfast. It's not a pleasant feeling.
Pushing our bodies to their limits also helps us become more aware of foods that just don’t sit well with us. And, sometimes, doing so can make us aware of or even induce, sensitivities to certain foods. Ever notice that you have trouble tolerating certain foods, or beverages, after a hard workout or race? Or worse yet, during a race? This is why we avoid using ingredients that contain common allergens in Enduro Bites.
Given your entire race / event season could be up in the air, you may find yourself riding, running, or training less than you normally would, which could lead you to wonder if you should make any changes to your food intake. The short answer is: it depends. There are a couple of things to consider when answering this question, and not all of them are based specifically on your fitness or training endeavors.