Vasaloppet's nutrition training

Train your race nutrition in advance

by Equipe Enervit

Training for Vasaloppet is not just practicing in skiing! Training for the world's biggest cross-country ski race also includes finding and testing your race day nutrition before the race. As you usually do with your equipment, you should try your fueling strategy during the training period. This has to be done as accurately as possible: it means that during some training session you should consume the same products that you will consume during the race.
Trying your race day nutrition in advance, has to become part of your training process.


Why is so important to try race day nutrition before the race? 

We know that gastrointestinal tract is an organ that plays a critical role in delivering carbohydrates and fluids during prolonged exercise and can therefore be a major determinant of performance. Although we know that the ingestion of carbohydrate significantly improves performance, we also know the importance to avoid any gastrointestinal distress, which may occur when we consume too many carbohydrates without being accustomed to them.
The incidence of gastrointestinal problems in athletes participating in endurance events is high, due to a not optimal GI function during prolonged exercise.
Anyway, our gastrointestinal tract is on organ that can be trained, just like our muscles.

How many carbohydrates to consume during performance?

The amount of carbohydrates to be consumed during performance can vary considerably depending on various factors: intensity, duration, the individual's training level, and personal preferences. However, there are some general guidelines that can be taken into consideration, and they suggest an intake of carbohydrates between 30 to 60 grams per hour of activity.

Enervit nutrition system 30 g

Enervit nutrition system 60 g

Expert athletes can even consume up to 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour during prolonged and strenuous efforts.

Enervit nutrition system 90 g
It is important to consider that when the intake of carbohydrates exceeds 60 g/hour, it is crucial to consume these carbohydrates through a mix of glucose/maltodextrin and fructose.

Scientific guidelines suggest a 2:1 ratio between glucose/maltodextrin and fructose (two parts glucose/maltodextrin and one part fructose) as the one in the Enervit C2:1PRO line.

How to train our gastrointestinal tract to tolerate carbohydrate ingestion?

There are various strategies to train the gastrointestinal tract; however, the best solution is doing training sessions that simulate the race by applying the same fueling strategy you will use during the event you are preparing for. However, this is not always possible because for some athletes it means doing very long training sessions.
If this is not possible, a feasible strategy is to conduct shorter training sessions (compared to the expected race duration) while consuming higher quantities of carbohydrates per hour (compared to what will be consumed during the race).

These methods allow to maximize carbohydrate absorption during the activity (which is essential for achieving better performance) while simultaneously minimizing potential gastrointestinal discomfort that may occur during the race.

How many days we need to train our GI tract?

To train the gastrointestinal system effectively, we need at least 5 weeks of nutritional training. It may be best to pick one longer training session per week, or the training that is closest to the race the athlete is preparing for and use. During these kind of training sessions is essential to consume the same supplements you will use during the race.

Training the GI tract