If you’ve ever been on a long run or gone through a long, intense training session, you may notice your performance decrease as you get towards the tail end of the workout. In some cases, when you try to push through this, you might have experienced “hitting the wall”, which is when you completely drain your energy and can’t push with any intensity.


Although this can be common, it is preventable if you get your nutrition right. Here are 3 things to look out for before your next big session.


Getting your pre-training carbohydrates right


Depending on the activity you decide to do, your carbohydrate requirements are going to be different. Knowing how many carbohydrates you need before training is therefore essential to get the most out of your performance. As a rule of thumb, the higher your heart rate will be for a sustained period of time, the more carbohydrates you will likely need. For example, if you are playing a competitive rugby match, your carbohydrate needs will be quite high compared to going to the gym for a weightlifting session.


Your body’s ability to function effectively when training is directly correlated to your carbohydrate availability. If you are looking to get the most out of your session, making sure you are getting carbohydrates in before training is a must!


Utilising Intra-training fuelling


As you exercise, your body will be actively utilising the carbohydrate stores you have available. So, if your session is sufficiently intense and long, you will end up burning through enough of your body’s carbohydrate stores to start causing fatigue. In order to prevent this, having high GI carbohydrates such as lollies, rice cakes, or a sport drink, will help maintain your carbohydrate stores ensuring you are still performing at your best. Importantly, it should be noted that your performance will start diminishing before you have completely run out of carbohydrates. This is because your body will want to maintain your carbohydrate stores and therefore making sure you are replacing lost carbohydrates is the best way to maintain performance.


As a rule of thumb, intra-training fuelling is generally not needed for sessions lasting under 60-90 minutes unless they are very high intensity. If you are training for more than 90 minutes, having some form of carbohydrates during the session is a must. The amount of carbohydrates per hour that you have is dependent on the type of activity as well as your guts ability to digest carbohydrates.


Getting your hydration right


The last thing to get right in order to prevent hitting the wall is getting your hydration right. We know that as little as a 1-2% decrease in bodyweight from sweat can lead to dehydration

and negative performance outcomes. In order to ensure we are on top of this, making sure you have water available to sip on whenever there is a break in your training is a must. For athletes wanting to optimise their hydration, using a rehydration solution such as Trainade and calculating your sweat rate are great ways to make sure you are getting the extra 1% out of every session.


Additional content