Fitness, freshness, fueling podcast episode

Fitness, Freshness, And Fueling With Coach Adam Pulford

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About this episode:

In upcoming episodes, Coach Adam Pulford will be interviewing 2021 Tokyo Olympic athletes and physiologists about heat acclimatization protocols, cooling vests, altitude training, and core-temperature optimization hacks. Before diving into those advanced tactics you need to focus first on three things leading into any event: fitness, freshness, and fueling. This short episode is about what goes into getting those basics right.

Episode Highlights:

  • How to measure fitness and what to aim for
  • How to arrive fresh on the day of your event
  • How to fuel for the demands of your event

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform


Thanks To This Week’s Sponsor:

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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Speaker 1 (00:06):

[inaudible] preparing

Adam Pulford (00:08):

For your optimal performance is what most everyone listening here is trying to achieve. That could be winning the national championships, completing your first triathlon or winning the group ride on the weekends. Performance is fun, and I haven’t met anyone yet, who would disagree with me on that, but developing performance takes work. It takes time. It’s done in the training and learning how to train and recovering from the training. And there’s other specific considerations to go to that next level of performance in there is necessary. When you want to performance on that key day, like the group ride like nationals, like the Olympics, environmental considerations, like heat humidity, cold altitude. Those are the things that I’m talking about over the next several episodes. I will be talking to physiologists professional athletes whose jobs are to win medals at the Tokyo Olympics. We’ll learn why heat and humidity cause performance decreases.

Adam Pulford (01:06):

And we’ll also learn the latest protocols and techniques that they’ve been using at the Olympic training center to optimize performance for what could be the hottest Olympics on record. But before we hear from those Olympians and experts, I want to give you a quick reminder that no matter the environmental conditions keep the basics in mind when it comes to your preparations. This means that in the upcoming episodes, when we talk about heat, acclimatization protocols, cooling, vests, altitude training, core temperature, optimization hacks, all you need to do is remember three things. And those three things I call the three F’s fitness freshness and fueling what am I mean by that? Well, number one get fit. This is that day to day, week to week, month to month aspect that I’ve preached on other episodes, make sure your fitness levels are in line with the event that you’ve just signed up for.

Adam Pulford (02:08):

Otherwise, all the fancy stuff that I mentioned above really doesn’t matter how fit is fit. Well, I kind of hesitate to give some of these prescriptions because people can dwell so much on, on one number. Okay. But fitness can also be measured in different ways. One way I like quantifying it is tracking CTL or chronic training load on training peaks. CTL is basically your average TSS over the past 42 days of training. It’s a great measure for how you’re handling the stresses imposed by training, uh, in your day to day workload. And this is also, uh, on a long-term basis. So all the training that you’ve done over the past six weeks or so leading up to now is represented in that CTL number. Here’s some ranges of CTL in TSS per day for various athlete groups, pro cyclists will target anywhere between 100 and 140, uh, throughout the season.

Adam Pulford (03:11):

That’s their target CTL, uh, just before they come into a main event. Now that’s like a pro content until rider to, to France rider or pro tour rider. They’ll, they’ll escalate all the way up to about 200 coming off of grand tour. And you think about a CTL of 200. I mean, that’s, that’s ridiculous. It’s huge. It is like a normal person should not strive for that. Okay. Um, but just to give you some context of what the, the pros are doing, I wanted to share that with you account one or two rider, uh, may be looking at a targeted CTL of 95 to 1 35 for key events. And that kind of depends on, you know, the high and low, if the racing, uh, criteriums or long road races, something like this cat threes and fives on the road, uh, anywhere between 50 and 95, if you go to the triathlon side and elite Ironman athletes, again, they’re going to go kind of up toward like the tour de France riders on that high end, but anywhere between 130 to 195, something like those novice Ironman athletes, maybe they want to do their first one or something.

Adam Pulford (04:17):

Uh, 95 to 120 CTL topping out before their main event. And then elite 70.3 racers may be somewhere between a hundred and 130 and beginner triathletes, uh, far ranging anywhere between 50 and a hundred K. So it’s, it’s a good idea to have a targeted CTL for your event, but please remember fitness is not performance, but it sets the stage for performance. You definitely need fitness to get through and finish these events that we’re talking about, but in order to podium or an achieve a specific goal, you need performance. We’ve talked about the difference between fitness and performance on the podcast. Before you want to work within a training plan that ramps up your CTL at what we call a ramp rate of about three to seven TSS per week on average. So that you’re arriving to your main event at a time period, with an optimized CTL for you. And that’s what we call fitness.

Speaker 3 (05:21):

Number two,

Adam Pulford (05:23):

Freshness arrive fresh. We’ll have a taper episode I promise, but here are the basics of what I mean by freshness coming up to an event you want to decrease volume, keep some of the intensity, get good sleep, have a week of training that is lesser just simply lesser than your normal, and that will freshen you up. Think of it this way. I’d rather you show up 10%. Under-trained rather than 2%. Over-trained when you are freshening up though, main concept do less, less volume for sure, less time and intensity, but keep some of the intensity to stay sharp. A bit more specific on that is here’s an example. If you were averaging about 15 hours of training with three to four hard intensity or deep training sessions for several weeks leading up to the event, let’s just call it the week before for a taper. You’d want to decrease that volume down to about seven to nine hours and have one to two sessions that are at the same intensity or higher than the intensity you were doing before.

Adam Pulford (06:35):

That’s the cliff notes version. Again, promise us very specific. A taper episode is coming. The key thing is you want to decrease training stress and arrive fresh on race day. A good indicator is that your CTL will start coming down, leading into the event. Okay. But don’t freak out. I mean, it’s, it’s the, that’s how the metrics work in reality. You still have that fitness. Okay. So when that CTL is going down, that’s a good thing. And that’s how you freshen up. Number three, fueling specifically fuel appropriately for the demands of your event. So no matter how fit or fresh you are, the greatest success on race day for most endurance athletes that we all do here will be found in your fueling strategy. It turns out that we also have an episode on fueling coming up, but for now in general, I’m encouraging to fuel properly for the demands of the event.

Adam Pulford (07:30):

This means that having a plan with hydration, carbohydrates, and sodium practicing, and then training, adjusting for the foods and fluids that suits you best and then deploying that on race day. Here are some broad guidelines once again, because I want to kind of set this up, especially for that, that next episode, but big picture. If we’re doing two hours or more of hard training and racing, I want you to be shooting for 30 to six, sorry, 30 to 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour, 20 to 40 fluid ounces of hydration per hour and 300 to upwards of a thousand milligrams of sodium per hour. Sport drink is one of the best ways to do this. A few things to consider and know when you’re looking to get a good sport drink is number one. You want to make sure that the drink mix is using two types of sugar, primarily glucose and fructose.

Adam Pulford (08:30):

Why? Well, it matters. And it matters because of the transport mechanisms between the two sugars glucose also. I mean, maltodextrin is also glucose. It’s just a longer chain. It absorbs very quickly. Okay. But you also want the fruit toasts fructose uses a different pathway to absorb into the body than glucose does. Thus, we can get more carbohydrates in without having any GI issue. That’s the very simplistic way of, of thinking about that, but that, that’s why the science actually matters on this. Okay. So just flip over or go online and read the ingredients, but you should have a glucose fructose combination. Now the sport drinks should be carbohydrate based, have at least 20 grams of carbohydrate and 300 milligrams roughly of sodium per serving or more. And that could be more carbohydrate. That could be more sodium per serving. Okay. We’ll get into more details on this, but those are, that’s like the lowest level to kind of aim for on that.

Adam Pulford (09:34):

No other fancy stuff, either in that sport drink, maybe caffeine, but you don’t want anything else. You don’t need amino acids. You don’t need herbs. You don’t need proprietary blends. Okay. Just keep it very simple. Two different types of sugars, make sure that there’s sodium in it. Maybe some caffeine and then always practice your fueling plan in training before racing. That will be a common theme on that. You’ll hear from, uh, the upcoming episodes that we’re talking about in terms of a hydration and fueling plan as well from the Olympians that I, that I talk with as well as a physiologist, but then in, um, uh, other upcoming episodes about fueling and performance training or racing that is two hours or more with threshold efforts or above you’ll want sport drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes. Like I said, you want to drink early drink, often consumed the top level of hydration and nutrition that your gut can handle comfortably, uh, without issues.

Adam Pulford (10:38):

How do you find that practice, dial it up, practice more and dial it up to the point where you’re having some issues, then dial it down. It’s as simple as that, like I said, more details to come, but fueling is your golden ticket. I love this podcast because it allows CTS in me personally, to communicate everything that we’ve learned over the years and in share connections, we can go deep into some crazy areas of human performance and talk about silly nerdy stuff weekly and have a lot of fun with them. But none of that super specific nerdy stuff matters. If you don’t get the basics down and keep the basics in mind as you’re developing good sleep, good training, good nutrition. I mean, I I’m kind of preaching here, but the next few episodes will equip you for training specifically for your events, inspire you to go to that next level and hopefully entertain you with some of the storytelling that we have from the athletes and the physiologist take all of this knowledge and apply it to yourself.

Adam Pulford (11:42):

But please don’t do the specific techniques before the basics getting adapted to the heat is a specific thing that we’ll talk about. And it’s, and it’s good to do before you have an event in the heat for reasons that we’ll discuss, but if you don’t get as fit as you, you possibly can beforehand, it really doesn’t matter because having a high level of fitness going into any extreme environment is going to equip you far better than the specificity of that. Learning how to balance in, in manage stresses in training so that you can also get your heat. Climatization dialed in. We’ll talk about that. But yeah, again, fitness is king here. Okay. So if you want to train all the way into the vent, okay. And then you don’t taper, you won’t be fresh. So all that training has basically gone for nothing. If you wanted to have a good day on that.

Adam Pulford (12:36):

Okay. Finally, if your company eating longer than two hours, do you need to have some fueling and plan, uh, the fueling and hydration protocol for optimized performance? If you forget to put it in your bottles, then all that, all that fitness, all that freshness has gone to nothing because you deplete, you get fatigued faster and your day went south. Okay. This is the, the most simple things to put into place. No matter how fit or fresh you are on that race day, fueling and hydration, we’ll give you the greatest success. Okay. I’m off my soap box. So this queues up our next episodes, I think more properly. Uh, so subscribe, listen, rate, review, uh, give us feedback on these episodes as we go, because we have some really cool guests coming up. Uh, I’m, I’m excited. Uh, I was excited to interview each and every one and I think everyone listening will definitely learn and equip themselves with how best to, to train for, uh, all their events that are we’ll be in extreme environments. So, uh, thank you again, coach Adam over and out.


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Comments 1

  1. Could you please send me the brands or sports drinks that you recommend as well as edibles that would help maintain a positive nutritional balance that is convenient to ingest during long endurance rides?

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