During a training paddle from Pewsey Wharf to Wotton Rivers and back yesterday, I just mentioned to my mate (an 11 times DW finisher) about a DW feeding plan and he gave me his copy of “The complete Guide to Sports Nutrition – 6th edition” by Anita Bean. Seems like she’s rather good at this at this endurance sport lark (http://www.anitabean.co.uk/).
Anyway, the style of the book is really good in terms of readability and it pretty much supports my earlier post about a DW feeding strategy.
The most surprising revelation is how much calorie intake is needed for the effort expended during the race and I’d be surprised if anyone has been able to meet their required needs mostly due to logistics. So it may be worth putting on a bit of fat before the race because you’re likely to need it.
There’s probably a reason why sports nutrition product manufactures use grams to measure carbohydrate values and sports nutritionists use calories, but 80 grams of carbohydrate is equivalent to about 320 calories.
Ms Bean declares that the basic metabolic rate (BMR) for a man is weight-in-kg multiplied by 24, and for the women the multiplier is 22. So for me it’s:
75 kgs x 24 = 1,800 calories/day
That’s just to maintain basic life support systems. You then apply a physical-activity-level (PAL) which is a value from 1.2 (fairly inactive) to 1.7 (exercise hard daily). Paddling is hard so I’ll use 1.7.
So my daily calorie need for racing is:
1,800 calories x 1.7 = 3,060 calories/day
The age of the paddler also has to be factored in as one’s BMR drops about 2% every decade so at 55, I’ll take that to mean:
5.5 (decades) x 2% = 11%. 11% of 3,060 = 337. 3,060 – 337 = 2,723 calories/day.
I’m going to take the ”day” as a seven hour paddling duration, so I’ll need 2,723 ÷ 7 = 389 calories/hour which equals about 93 grams of carbohydrates/hours. This is slightly higher than the original calculation using grams of carbohydrates but I did condense the whole day into seven hours.
This supports my energy need estimation although Megan and Isobel are significantly younger than me and probably burn fuel faster than a furnace.
This still leaves the issue of actually getting the food inside the paddlers, which brings me back to the portage analysis for days two and three.
So, looking at day two, Newbury to Longridge:
There are clearly some big gaps when the paddlers should be taking on fuel but the Bank Support can’t get to them. This means that the paddlers have to take responsibility for making sure they eat and we all know how reliable they are at doing that!!
It’s not quite as bad on day three Longridge to Teddington:
But that grim pound from Mosley to Teddington clearly stands out as issue. It seems to go on for ever and on an empty “tank”, it’ll seem even longer!
We will have to devise a system to make it easy for the paddler to quickly and easily grab a bite to eat during a paddling stretch.