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Nutrition for adaptation to endurance training

I am fairly well versed in the nutrition advice of all the writers here at T-mag, but I am curious as to their responses about endurance training recovery. For instance, what is the best form of eating to recover from an hour steady state workout? How about a 3x6k workout bordering on anaerobic threshold (and ending thouroughly anaerboic)? An anaerobic sprint workout (10x500m or 5x1k)? Something more explosive (but without the same load as a lift), like 200ms? How about two-a-day workouts? Should I partition the insulin and glucose to the more savage workouts? Do I lose anything in sensitivity with two workouts (as in too much activity)?

In fact, that leads to another point, how should one eat if seriously pursuing strength and power training. As in, if following a strength program a la the one by Staley, then how would one want to time the nutrients to the workout. Is it even important to the sort of adaptations made in explosive training?

Alright, I’ve raised a lot of questions and would appreciate all responses. I am currently suffering from a lack of progress towards my athletic goals and am thinking about how I can fine-tune my diet to help. And furthermore, most of the sites I have looked at for nutrition for endurance athletes, and rowers in particular, have made me sick.


Aerobic, steady state. I woudn’t do anything special. Just continue to follow your normal diet to maintain or cut. I’m guessing that you’re probably not trying to bulk, that your goals are more performance driven.

Anaerobic, roughly an hour in duration. You’d benefit here from good PWO nutrition. Read “Solving the Post Workout Puzzle,” I & II by John Berardi to see what’s going on with your body physiologically and how best to maintain, preserve LBM.

In general, the way to approach your diet is to make sure, first that you’re getting enough protein. Take in 1.5g of protein X LBM, divided by at least 6 meals. Make sure you’re getting in at least .5g x LBM of QUALITY fat. Read the chapter on athletes in Barry Sears’ book, “The Omega Zone” and you’ll be hooked on EPA/DHA for life! Also be sure to get in some monounsaturated and saturated fat.

From there, start adding in carbs of the starchy variety PWO. Continue to raise carbs (or lower them) to support energy levels and maintain scale weight. Carbs are raised if you start losing weight (or losing weight too quickly when cutting) or if energy levels suffer. Carbs are lowered if you start gaining weight and don’t want to.

Fat might not be something you’ve given consideration to, but endurance athletes and exercise physiologists are playing around with fat loads. Lots of controversy in this area, but I’ve had some experience with it, and properly done, I have seen better energy and endurance.

Even if you don’t buy into the concept of a fat load (to top off IMTGs), make sure you’re taking in the amount of fat I recommended above. It will serve your purposes well for health as well as performance, and it will not be destructive to body composition.

Hope that’s helpful. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

TT of course as always gave SOLID well educated advice.

Just wanted to add that JB has an article directly about endurance athlete nutrition on his site that may help you.