Optimise Athletic Nutrition in the Off Season
Claire Fudge, high performance sports nutritionist at 4th Discipline, has been talking to our sister triathlon & endurance site Neuff Red about off-season nutrition. Claire works with a broad range of elite athletes such as pole vaulter Sophie Cook, so we think what she has to say is relevant to athletes too. Here is a sneaky peak at what she has to say:
Let’s face it, it hasn’t exactly been a “normal” season of racing this year and for most athletes the changes in routine due to lockdown over spring and summer has meant either pounding the miles on the roads, or less training. Athletes are pretty resilient creatures and crave routine, numbers and a challenge! So without fixtures in calendars this year many athletes have tried to hold onto some end-of-season events and pounding out Strava runs.
But as any good coach worth his or her salt knows; an off season/ some downtime/ time out is required. We simply can not keep the same intensity of training and be “race ready” 365 days a year. It has been frustrating for many athletes who have got “race ready” a number of times this year, only to dream of the race that could have been.
So as training starts to taper down and your schedule enters a new period (mesocycle) so too should your thinking around nutrition.
Important questions for athletes to ask about off-season nutrition
Should athletes change their diet in off-season?
- this depends on the athlete's goals, focus, ambitions, e.g.
- strength training
- managing appetite
- gaining or losing weight
Should we change the ratio of macronutrients with changes in training?
- this is also individual to the athlete's goals.
- managing the balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat
- matching nutritional intake to your training plan
Should athletes worry about weight gain during off-season?
- Which body type are you? See Claire's blog on body composition here.
- Do you wish to lose weight or gain weight?
These questions have a number of answers, all of which are individual to the athlete. Find out more by reading Claire's full blog on Off-Season Nutrition for Athletes.
About the Expert: Claire Fudge is a High performance sports nutritionist, clinical dietitian and owner of 4th Discipline. She offers a personalised nutrition coaching service and a recently has announced the launch of its Triathlon Nutrition Hub Membership site, providing a one-stop educational resource for triathletes dedicated to achieving their nutrition and athletic goals. https://www.4thdiscipline.co.uk/join-the-nutrition-hub