Sports nutrition, its usage and effects on the human, is something I’ve studied for many years. There is however only so far one can go with the theory, so I always enjoy the opportunity to put experience and ideas to the test.
A great chance to do this materialised early in October 2011, when I was able to go and spend a very wet and muddy, yet highly enjoyable night at Thetford Forrest with the HMF Pedal Power Mountain Bike Team, competing in the annual Dusk Till Dawn race. An overnight event which attracts around a thousand riders.
HMF entered a four man mixed team, with the objective to complete as many laps of the 10 mile woodland course, in the quickest possible time, through the night from 8pm till 8am.
A tough twelve hour task on it’s own, but constant rain ensured it became a test of mental strength as well as physical stamina.
Nutritionally, I decided the team needed to focus on recovery as well as energy. Recovering from any form of strenuous exercise is important, although in staged endurance events, I believe recovery is vital.
Getting one’s body back to optimum performance quickly, can make a huge difference. So while energy supplements were an important part of the team’s nutrition intake, it was the recovery of each team member that we paid particular attention to.
It takes more than just good nutrition to get through an event such as Dusk till Dawn, Mountain Biking at this level is not for the feint hearted, and while the correct nutrition certainly played its part, it was also the combination of skill and experience of the riders that ended up with HMF Pedal Power achieving a second place podium position.
If you want to know more about how using the correct sports nutrition can improve your performance, then drop down to St Nicholas Street and give us a look.