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Nutrition Plan - Multisport - James Walsh

Author:FTM
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James Walsh cyclocross racing in the sandElite multisport athlete - James Walsh - has successfully competed in so many different sports that we wanted to get his perspective on how he fuels, hydrates, and supplements out there. In this Q&A, he shares his nutrition philosophy and what products work for him.

Do you have a health condition or allergy (ex: gluten intolerance) that requires you to have a special nutrition plan?
I do not. I eat everything in moderation. Through trial and error and many years of training and racing I feel I know what works for me in regards to diet and sports nutrition.

Do you follow a specific diet (ex: vegetarian, paleolithic etc…). If so, describe it and explain how is it benefitting you?
I follow no special diet and am kind of against these “named” diets. I truly believe athletes need a well rounded diet and full of good nutrients. I really like the thoughts of the author Matt Fitzgerald and his books Racing Weight and Diet Cults.

Do you supplement daily with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, amino acids etc…?
I take SportMulti, Stronger Faster Healthier (SFH) fish oil & whey protein, First Endurance Optygen HP, MDrive Elite, Mdrive Joint, and Recovery Amino Power everyday.  [FTM: visit our Amino Acids category].

What’s your pre-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan? Be specific about the foods, hydration (water, electrolyte, other liquids), and sports supplements/fuels you use?
I like to wake up and eat as early as possible for a race. My pre-race meals are pretty simple. I always start with coffee and a bonk breaker to get things moving. I also have a couple of spoonfuls of nut butter for an ultra endurance event, or someting simple like oatmeal and a banana. For supplements I always take SportMulti and MDrive Elite and sip on an electrolyte drink like NUUN. [FTM: visit our Electrolytes category

For an MTB race (such as a 50 miler) I take Klean + PEAK, MDrive Elite, MDrive ATP Energy, MetaSalt, VFuel Gel (or WCUP).

What’s your during workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan? Be specific about the foods, hydration (water, electrolyte, other liquids), and sports supplements/fuels you use?
Now that I am focusing on long distance trail running races (50-100k), race nutrition has become a huge focus, but I always try to keep it simple. During the race I rely on Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix, Roctane Ultra Endurance Drink (I use this instead of Skratch Labs for longer races due to the extra calories it provides) and VFuel gels. I also have a flask of SFH PUSH at the halfway point if more energy is needed. I shoot for around 200 calories an hour. For longer events I will also take another MDrive ATP Energy, Motivator and MetaSalt some time during the second half of the race.

What’s your post-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan? Be specific about the foods, hydration (water, electrolyte, other liquids), and sports supplements/fuels you use?
Post workout I use and good recovery drink like First Endurance Ultragen or a homemade smoothie with all kinds of goodness. I'll also have a big bottle on Nuun to keep the electrolytes up. [FTM: visit our Recovery category for product options]. Post race I’ll usually go for real food… and beer!

Do you compete in different types of events (ex: different distances or formats)? If so, is your nutrition/hydration plan different for each event?
Right now, I am just competing in the long distance running races but I am always working on refining my nutrition and hydration strategies. My hydration and nutrition strategy is the same for all my events. The only thing that changes is that if it’s an endurance mountain bike event or a 50 mile run I will add in Bonk Breaker bars and borken up Honey Stinger Waffles to the mix of  Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix and VFuel gels. As for supplements, I'll take another MDrive ATP Energy, Motivator, and MetaSalt about 2 hours in, SFH PUSH and a gel halfway in and at 6 hrs I'll take another MDrive ATP Energy, Motivator, and MetaSalt. 

50 mile MTB Race:
Pre-race breakfast: normal breakfast (coffee, oatmeal, pb, banana)
Pre-race: Klean + PEAK, MDrive Elite, MDrive Energy, MetaSalt, VFuel Gel (or WCUP)
During race: 4 x bottles of Roctane Ultra Endurance Drink (I like more cals in bottles for bike racing than skratch provides), flask of VFuel gels, flask of push at halfway point
Post race: slam Ultragen since 50 mile run is the next day, drink big bottle of water with Nuun

50 mile running race the next day
Pre-race breakfast: normal breakfast (coffee, oatmeal, pb, banana)
Pre-race: Klean + PEAK, MDrive, MDrive Energy, MetaSalt, VFuel Gel (or WCUP)
During race: I carry 1 of the GU flasks with 10 VFuel gels in it and pick up another halfway through, carry 1 WCUP so if I hit a really low point I will slam it and pick up another at the halfway point. I also carry a bag of broken up honey stinger waffles. Helps if I feel any hunger and easy to digest above 10k.
1:30 2 hours in: 2 MDrive energy, 1-2 Motivator, 1 MetaSalt
Halfway point 3:30-3:45ish: SFH PUSH and pick up additonal gel/WCUP
6 hours in 2 MDrive energy, 1-2 Motivator, 1 MetaSalt

Any other nutrition/hydration secrets you’d like to share?

Don’t be afraid to try new things.... but make sure to try it in training before attempting it in a race.
 

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