All Kurma Blog

June 17, 2019

Dates to Fuel Endurance Training and Racing Part.2


Dates to Fuel Racing

A. Before a Race

If your race is over 1h long, it's important to start it with full glycogen stores
Glycogen, mainly in muscles (~80%) and liver (~20%), is your body's #1 "Energy Tank"
There's a maximum limit to how much carbs you can eat, digest and absorb during a race, so the longer your body's tank lasts, the better you'll perform

Thanks to their 75% Carb content and their relatively low GI, dates are part of my Carbo-loading protocol in the days leading up to a big race.

Bromo KOM's D-1:

  • My breakfast included Medjool dates with Long black coffee
  • My lunch included Lulu dates after a meal high in complex carbs and protein
  • My dinner also contained Lulu dates, after a high carb/protein and low fiber meal
Tips: Have your last meal early, keep it safe and stay away from anything that takes long to digest.

B. During a Race

Fueling during a race isn't much different from during training; in fact, it's a good practice to simulate race nutrition in training sessions with similar intensity and/or duration.
Think: High Carb (favor simple carbs), Minimum Digestion, Low Fiber, Replace Electrolytes

That said, a couple of properties could be unique to race day:

  • Portability: whatever you choose to fuel with, you must be able to carry and access it easily, on-the-go, without performance or time penalties.
  • Caffeine: if applicable to you, will keep you alert and reduce your perceived exertion

During Bromo KOM race: a ball of rolled and pitted Lulu dates was part of the fuel in the my jersey's back pocket.




Dates in Recovery

Recovery from strenuous training or racing involves carbs intake to replace depleted glycogen and protein to reconstruct damaged muscle fiber.

Whether it's to replenish glycogen stores after a hard morning training session, or as a nutritious snack between meals, you'll often find dates on my work desk, somewhere between my laptop and coffee cup.