Training for the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie, a 60 hour cycling marathon of 1,000 km (600 miles) held in Québec, Canada, requires a lot of training and a lot of … eating!
At this stage, 20 days to the event, participants should be riding one 100 km (60 miles) outing and two more of 40 to 60 km (25 to 37 miles) per week as well as doing strength and power work once or twice a week.
Team Maxmedia members cannot count on the professional services of a nutritionist and don’t have the pocket change to have balanced-researched-performing meals delivered to our door. We work full time and have families and most frequently, our post-ride meals consists of left-overs from dinner or a quick protein shake.
For nutrition tips, we’ve turned to magazine articles, the internet research and information accumulated from speaking with other sport aficionados.
By now we know that protein shakes are great recovery drinks and huge protein jars have become counter items in our kitchens ride beside the knife block and spice rack. Active people should have a protein mix as a back-up post workout recovery meal because you need to eat proteins and carbohydrates in order to rebuild your muscles to get ready for your next outing.
Our personal research shows that most nutritionists agree athletes should eat no later than 30 to 45 minutes after exercising. “Wait longer and it’s too late to stop the body from producing cortisol, a hormone created during exercise that causes muscles to atrophy.” reports Gordy Megroz from Outside magazine. “A bottle of Gatorade and a protein bar will get your muscles on the road to recovery.”
Members of Team Maxmedia prefer their own recovery meals that are a bit more natural and family friendly. Below are our favorite easy-to-prepare recovery foods:
- Salmon or ground turkey pasta: Salmon and turkey are lean proteins. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil appear to help reduce post-exercise muscle inflammation. Don’t over indulge on the pasta; 1 ½ cup will do and will allow room for protein and vitamins.
- Smoothies: In the summer heat, smoothies are great! Brendan Brazier, vegan Ironman athlete states that “The liquid form is easily digestible, so you are not putting extra strain on your body. Instead of sending extra blood to your stomach to aid digestion, that blood can be used to heal leg muscles that have worked hard in training.”
- Chili con carne: easy to prepare in large quantities and freeze in individual microwavable portions. It is very high in protein and gluten-free. Add real chili pepper. Its B vitamins, particularly the B6, help transport oxygen to body tissues, including muscles.*
- Chicken fried rice: for the above-mentioned reason (prepare in large quantity and store in individual portions. It is high in calories and we all need to replace the burnt calories after a three hour bike ride!
- Turmeric, ginger and honey: Turmeric and ginger have been used for centuries as painkillers in eastern medicine. Curcumin, the active ingredient in both roots, suppresses the switch that triggers inflammation. Honey also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, not to mention the carbohydrates needed to help rebuild muscle fibers. I add honey, turmeric and/or ginger to just about anything: tofu, chicken, sautéed veggies, muffins/cookies, smoothies…
Oh and just a 6th one because it contains chocolate…
6. Chocolate milk: I read somewhere that studies show chocolate milk contains the same carbohydrates and proteins as Gatorade but, it is much cheaper and so much more comforting!
*A great recipe that is a change from the usual chili con carne is Team Maxmedia Ugo’s mixed-beans-chicken casserole on rice: boil ground chicken (or turkey, it’s leaner) in vanilla yogurt, add a can of herb diced-tomato, a can of mixed beans salad, onion, celery and curry. Serve on rice. Protein filled and gluten free. Yum!!
Remember: when eating right, you reduce inflammation and increase the functionality of your muscles and that means you can ride more often, for longer!
Any nutrition tips you would like to share or advice on what to eat DURING the event, let us know, we’d love to test them!
Read the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie Team Maxmedia’s other blogs at: