Gauging Recovery and Strategizing Pre-Race Nutrition

With 2014 quickly winding down, I have two races left on the schedule. These races are the World 100k Championship in Doha, Qatar, on November 21, and the Desert Solstice Track Invitational on December 13, in which I plan to run the 12 Hour timed event. With Desert Solstice only three weeks after World 100k, I will have to be completely dialed into recovery in hopes to arrive in Phoenix strong and ready to race.

My plan rests on sound nutrition and smart training during the three weeks between the two events. After World 100k, I will dial back my carbohydrate consumption to a ketogenic level. This will mean cutting carbohydrate intake down to approximately 5% of total macro-nutrient intake. Doing this will assist my body in eliminating any lingering inflammation, which is a key component to a speedy recovery.

In the days following World 100k I will structure at least one meal a day to include an animal fat source, animal protein source, organ meat, and a homemade bone broth. I have found this to be potent recovery blend. In training, I will take as much time as I need to recover. I do not put a figure on this, because I want to really listen to my body. The big thing I will look for will not be the amount of miles or minutes I run, but the intensity. Skeletal muscles recover incredibly fast, but the endocrine system and heart need to be respected. My goal will be to keep my perceived effort or heart rate low, even if my legs feel really good.

I will maintain the low carbohydrate intake for at least half a week. I might start sneaking in a few more strategic carbs by the end of the first week or start of the second week. This will greatly depend on what I am doing in my training. If I am still doing workouts that keep my heart rate relatively low, I will have no need to raise carbohydrate levels. If I feel like I am sleeping really good and that my heart rate is back to normal training levels, I might sneak in a couple track workouts, but will not force anything. It will be all based on feel. If this scenario occurs, that is where I would sneak in some carbohydrate sources. It will still be at a relatively low level (between 10 and 20%).

The week leading up to Desert Solstice I will go back to a low carbohydrate / ketogenic state (with carbs making up about 5% of my calories). About 36 hours before the race, I will start to sneak in some carbohydrate with the fats I eat, always using this "blanket" of fat to stymy the glycemic response from the carbs. On race morning it will be very low carbohydrate again, which will keep my body from jumping into burning glycogen early in the race, using fat instead. Once the race is well underway, I will begin my normal carb trickle through the rest of the event.