Beyond the Hype: Exploring 6 Endurance Sport Myths

As you can imagine, I get asked a lot of questions about training. What’s the best type of training to improve VO2max? How much protein do endurance athletes need? Do I need to do strength training? How early should I taper? These are all great questions, and I love working with athletes to find the answer.

Alongside questions, there are a number of assumptions – or myths – that come up again and again when working with athletes, that I work hard to bust. In this blog, I am going to try and bust six of the biggest endurance sports myths.

Myth #1: Training the gut enhances carbohydrate use.

“I consume carbohydrates at high rates during training, to train my gut to digest and absorb carbohydrates at higher rates. That allows me to get more energy from sports drinks and gels during racing.”

Gut training – the practice of consuming carbohydrates at very high rates during training – has been investigated by researchers. The idea behind gut...

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Sodium intake during endurance events: How precise should we be?

Discussion of electrolyte losses in sweat and the perceived need to supplement with sodium during competition is ubiquitous in endurance sport. Particularly triathletes. According to a recent survey, the vast majority of endurance athletes reported that they think they should be replace sweat sodium losses during racing (5). However, is it really something we need to worry about? In this blog, I will briefly describe the state of the evidence regarding sodium supplementation during endurance competition and outline why I think that ingestion of some sodium during competition is important, but also why I don’t think the majority of endurance athletes need to agonise over the details of their sodium supplementation regimen. If nothing else it’s going to reduce the number of decisions you have to make, so strap in!

Sodium losses in sweat

First things first, what is sodium? Sodium is an electrolyte found in the body and is crucial for many physiological functions. The...

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