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What do you eat the night before a big day? The morning of? Do you Carbo load?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Let's say you have a big day on the mountain coming up. Maybe it's puking all day and night, the day before you'll ski. Or, maybe you're going to be skiing all day with someone who's a hard charger and you don't want to wimp-out half way through the day. Maybe you're taking all day clinic or camp. Maybe you're a racer and have a big race coming up.

 

What's your proven nutritional strategy for big days? The night(s) before, the morning of, during that big day.

 

 I don't really have anything special I do for the night(s) before, except to hydrate, but I'm thinking I need to start incorporating some strategy there.

 

 For the morning of, I have oatmeal with banana, dried fruit, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 

 

 The day of, I nosh on a granola bar between meals, eat a light lunch, as not to suffer "lunch legs", and hydrate.

post #2 of 27
I don't do anything special. I ski five days a week. Breakfast. Small lunch.
post #3 of 27

Morning of I have a breakfast sandwich with orange juice. Not too big not too small so it holds you to lunch. Lunchtime get something medium, as to not suffer your "lunch legs" but to hold you the rest of the day. Hydration is also key.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I don't do anything special. I ski five days a week. Breakfast. Small lunch.


 

5 days a week! Nice ..

post #5 of 27

I stick to my see food diet.:D

 

My body tells me what I want to eat, and that's what I eat.  Could be roast beast, could be spaghetti, whatever I have a craving to eat is what I'm eating (provided I can afford it).

post #6 of 27
Gravy for breakfast. Usually second breakfast. Learned that trick from FairToMiddlin. Helps keep everything greased until first lunch. Multi-day trips require chicken wings at some point. Red meat as well.
post #7 of 27

I just make extra sure that I hydrate early in the morning on the way up.  Other than that whatever I'm hungry for out of the options available for dinner, late night snacks, and morning snacks on the way up with plenty of liquids (no alcohol).

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I don't do anything special. I ski five days a week. Breakfast. Small lunch.

Then it's not a Big Day. All day athletic event.
post #9 of 27
Fast metabolizer here.

All day: Hydrate even if you need to pee one time too many. Weak electrolyte in water bottle, such as Heed. Keep on it. Nibble substantial snacks as needed on lift. E.g., dried figs, nuts.


Dinner before: The Ghost plan. But limit myself to one glass of wine and drink lots of water. No big social events. Focus on the next day and minimizing morning tasks that might impinge on breakfast or keep you up thinking about logistics. Have all gear laid out and ready. Make lunch sandwich, etc. Early bed.

Breakfast. Whole grain thing of some sort. Fruit. Yogurt. But also protein is a must for me or I crash at 10:30. (Egg.) Juice. Tea. Don't forget meds, if any.

Lunch: Homemade sandwich on good bread. E.g., baby kale, sopressata, fresh mozzarella. Piece of fruit. Cookies or brownie. If I have to buy lunch, I go for chili.
post #10 of 27
I don't understand the lunch legs thing. The only lunch legs I get happen when I don't eat enough lunch, or wait too long to stop for it. Again, has to have protein and complex carbs or I crash after a couple hours.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I don't do anything special. I ski five days a week. Breakfast. Small lunch.

Then it's not a Big Day. All day athletic event.

?

It's as long I want it to be. But you're right if you mean it's not a big deal. The mountain is twenty minutes from my house.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I don't do anything special. I ski five days a week. Breakfast. Small lunch.

Then it's not a Big Day. All day athletic event.

?

It's as long I want it to be. But you're right if you mean it's not a big deal. The mountain is twenty minutes from my house.

 

sib, with all respect, you seem to be talking about what for you are ordinary days - your comfort zone. I think the OP is asking about an extra-ordinary day, not an ordinary day. Not "How do you prepare for your lunchtime 5k?", but "How do you prepare for a marathon?"

 

Example from my (suspended) ski life:

 

Ordinary day: I'm skiing with a very well-known group of friends, most or all of whom I can keep up with easily. Snow conditions are familiar to me and not so amazing that I feel like I need to be on the hill every single second the lifts are running. I know the terrain like the back of my hand; nothing is scary to me. We are riding slow fixed grip lifts or a t-bar, at least some of the time. We are skiing at elevations between 500 and 4,000 feet above sea level. Tomorrow is Monday and I'll be sitting behind my desk all day.

 

Extra-ordinary day: I'm skiing with people I don't know as well, some of whom are much stronger skiers physically and technically. We are covering a ton of vertical at speed. I'm skiing out west in snow that has more 3D variety than I normally encounter at home. Terrain is huge and almost entirely unfamiliar. Many lines are steep and super-exposed, by my Pine Tree State standards. Some are beyond my skill and experience level. We are using high-speed lifts. We are skiing bell to bell. Food and pee stops may be fewer or different from my usual pattern. And - most critically - we are skiing at elevations between 8,000 and 13,000 feet. I need to be able to go out and do it all again the next day.

 

I think @SCRUFFY's question is: "How do you eat and drink differently when you have an extra-ordinary day coming up?"

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

 

I think @SCRUFFY's question is: "How do you eat and drink differently when you have an extra-ordinary day coming up?"

 

 Yeah, that's where I was coming from.  Preparing for a out of the ordinary "big" day.

post #14 of 27
I'm skiing out west on snow that has 3d "variety" some days, groomers some days, 18 inches of either down fluff or cement other days. 4400-6700 feet. Mostly high speed quads. If I'm cranking vert I'm not doing it off piste. If I'm off piste, I'm not cranking vert. If it's late season, I'm skiing bell to bell. If it's early season, I'm stopping when I'm tired. There are 3000 acres and much I don't regularly ski and some I never ski and some new stuff I'd like to ski when I decide I'm ready (or a friend decides she's ready and drags me with her), but for certain there are intimidating things out there on any given day whether I've skied them before or not. There is almost always flat light or worse. I may or may not be skiing alone. I may or may not be skiing with someone I've skied with before. Some of these people I will be waiting for, some will be waiting on me.

The point is, I don't change my meals to deal with it, since most days I don't know what's coming. I change my head. The last thing I need is digestive changes to be impacting my day.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

sib, with all respect, you seem to be talking about what for you are ordinary days - your comfort zone. I think the OP is asking about an extra-ordinary day, not an ordinary day. Not "How do you prepare for your lunchtime 5k?", but "How do you prepare for a marathon?"

Example from my (suspended) ski life:

Ordinary day: I'm skiing with a very well-known group of friends, most or all of whom I can keep up with easily. Snow conditions are familiar to me and not so amazing that I feel like I need to be on the hill every single second the lifts are running. I know the terrain like the back of my hand; nothing is scary to me. We are riding slow fixed grip lifts or a t-bar, at least some of the time. We are skiing at elevations between 500 and 4,000 feet above sea level. Tomorrow is Monday and I'll be sitting behind my desk all day.

Extra-ordinary day: I'm skiing with people I don't know as well, some of whom are much stronger skiers physically and technically. We are covering a ton of vertical at speed. I'm skiing out west in snow that has more 3D variety than I normally encounter at home. Terrain is huge and almost entirely unfamiliar. Many lines are steep and super-exposed, by my Pine Tree State standards. Some are beyond my skill and experience level. We are using high-speed lifts. We are skiing bell to bell. Food and pee stops may be fewer or different from my usual pattern. And - most critically - we are skiing at elevations between 8,000 and 13,000 feet. I need to be able to go out and do it all again the next day.

I think @SCRUFFY
's question is: "How do you eat and drink differently when you have an extra-ordinary day coming up?"


My guess is that sib skis enough that she's at a level of fitness that doesn't require anything other than what she's ordinarily doing.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

 There is almost always flat light or worse.

 

 I've experienced Whitefish at it's finest. Great Mountain, what I could see of it :)

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

I think @SCRUFFY's question is: "How do you eat and drink differently when you have an extra-ordinary day coming up?"

 

Yep, It's just a couple big powder days per season when I change my routine.  On a typical day I ski 5-6 hours and probably stop for a quick lunch.  On a extra-ordinary day, I'll ski straight through for 7-7.5 hours of off-piste powder, then hopefully follow it up with the same the next day!

 

What I eat before doesn't change much.   I just make sure I have a big dinner, normal breakfast, and pre-hydrate with a liter of water while booting up.  I'm not as diligent with that on a normal day.

 

The big change is how I eat and drink during the day.   I switch into more of a nutrition/feeding plan similar to an all day ultra-endurance event.   For an all-day MTB or similar event my normal plan is 1 liter of water and 300 calories/hour.  

 

Hydrating for skiing all-day I probably drink more like .5 liters of water/hour.  I'm not sweating as much as MTBing, and I don't like carrying the weight of that much water in addition to the full avy gear I'm typically carrying.  I'll carry a couple smaller bottles of water and refill them with quick stops at drinking fountains during the day.   I'll also carry bottle of coke for the sugar and caffeine, and probably a little energy shot for a late day caffeine boost.   Yeah, I know I've got a problem.  ;)

 

Nutrition for all-day skiing is the same 300 calories/hour for me.  I think you burn a lot of calories keeping warm in addition to your exertion.   That means I've got a lot of food in my pack and pockets and I'm eating on almost every lift ride, enough that people think I'm weird... until they have to quit at 2pm and miss a couple hours of powder.  A sandwich, cliff bars, power bars, nuts, candy bar... you name it and I'm eating it on the lift.   Given your overall lower effort skiing compared to a all-day MTB event, for example, you can pretty much eat anything and not have to worry about intestinal distress.  Just make sure you get a good mix of carbs, both complex and sugars, and protein.  

 

I've had some good days this year... but I'm still waiting for that big day!

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'm skiing out west on snow that has 3d "variety" some days, groomers some days, 18 inches of either down fluff or cement other days. 4400-6700 feet. Mostly high speed quads. If I'm cranking vert I'm not doing it off piste. If I'm off piste, I'm not cranking vert. If it's late season, I'm skiing bell to bell. If it's early season, I'm stopping when I'm tired. There are 3000 acres and much I don't regularly ski and some I never ski and some new stuff I'd like to ski when I decide I'm ready (or a friend decides she's ready and drags me with her), but for certain there are intimidating things out there on any given day whether I've skied them before or not. There is almost always flat light or worse. I may or may not be skiing alone. I may or may not be skiing with someone I've skied with before. Some of these people I will be waiting for, some will be waiting on me.

The point is, I don't change my meals to deal with it, since most days I don't know what's coming. I change my head. The last thing I need is digestive changes to be impacting my day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 
My guess is that sib skis enough that she's at a level of fitness that doesn't require anything other than what she's ordinarily doing.

 

Well, only if she's doing her ordinary thing. That's the point.

 

@tball's post is in line with what I was thinking and what I think Scruffy was asking about.

 

We all have different fitness levels. Tons of people here have a much higher baseline for skiing at altitude than I do. Sibhusky's may be through the roof. The question isn't about that. The question is, "If your typical ski day requires athletic effort n, how do you change what you eat and drink when you tackle a day that requires athletic effort 2 x n or 3 x n?"

 

If I set out on a century ride with a fast group on a 95 degree day in August, I don't prepare and maintain in the same way I do when I set out for a 25mi spin with my regular ski buddies on a cool Saturday in May. I have to be much more pro-active about I do and when I do it, and about making sure I have what I need to make all that happen. Maybe a century is nothing to you. Okay. Doesn't change the question. Maybe if climbing Rainier is a big yawn for you a Big Day is summiting Denali. But it's still a Big Day and you still have to prepare differently for it.

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 
I'll also carry bottle of coke for the sugar and caffeine, and probably a little energy shot for a late day caffeine boost.   Yeah, I know I've got a problem.  ;)

 

Yeah, I can relate! My secret weapon, that I forgot to mention, is that I always carry one of those double-caffeine Hammer Gels to fend off the 3:00 bonk if I feel one coming on despite the other measures. But they're messy so I use only in "emergencies".

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

Extra-ordinary day: I'm skiing with people I don't know as well, some of whom are much stronger skiers physically and technically. We are covering a ton of vertical at speed. I'm skiing out west in snow that has more 3D variety than I normally encounter at home. Terrain is huge and almost entirely unfamiliar. Many lines are steep and super-exposed, by my Pine Tree State standards. Some are beyond my skill and experience level. We are using high-speed lifts. We are skiing bell to bell. Food and pee stops may be fewer or different from my usual pattern. And - most critically - we are skiing at elevations between 8,000 and 13,000 feet. I need to be able to go out and do it all again the next day.

 

I think @SCRUFFY's question is: "How do you eat and drink differently when you have an extra-ordinary day coming up?"

 

Sib is trying to say - if you string enough Extra-Ordinary days together. They all become Ordinary days.  

 

I prefer my life to be predictable. Predictable does not necessary mean boring. :D 

post #21 of 27
Basically, my fitness and sleep schedule determines my day, not my breakfast. Your body is either ready or it's not. What you ate the previous six months might make a difference, but resort skiing is resort skiing. I'm not going to get ready to go back country skiing with resort skiing and a protein shake. I steadily increase the day and the difficulty level throughout the season. The prep is not food. It's skiing.

You're not going to get ready to bike the Continental Divide trail from end to end by adding a couple nutrition bars to your pack. You're going to do it by biking longer and longer distances.

I've already learned again and again if I go radically longer and harder one day, then I just pay for that the next day. Better to go home before I want to on those days and come back for a repeat the next day instead of only doing a half day the next day (or worse).

This is one of those things that justifies keeping statistics...
post #22 of 27
Night before I am conscious to have a good dinner with protein and carb, and limit alcohol to 0-2 drinks. For me sleep is the big thing. I tend to be a night owl, but I perform way better after a good night's sleep. Also hydrate the day and night before.

Breakfast might be oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or nutty granola with fruit, or toast with peanut butter and a protein smoothie. Normal stuff, but it keeps me going. Maybe a snack for a couple yours in. And coffee. Sweet coffee.

Lunch will be a homemade sandwich full of delicious and some chopped veggies (maybe with dip), some nuts and maybe a cookie. Or if I didn't get around to prep, I have chili. Lots more water. Maybe another coffee.

I tend to drive to tremblant (2hrs each way) for the big days, so I want to make the most of it. I looove bumps, and my local hill has virtually none, so a tremblant day involves pretty much as many bump runs as my friends can tolerate. Because I'm a trainer, I feel a need to live up to my message that being strong and fit leads to better ski days, so I tend to be the one in the group who pushes everyone a bit.
post #23 of 27
Same way as when I go do a century ride on my road bike

Light breakfast that is easily digested. Hydrate (I prefer skratch labs) and snack. If I buy prepackaged, then it's things like clif bars, honey stinger waffles, vega sport endurance bars, etc


Sent from my iPhone. There may be horrible grammar and misspelling involved
post #24 of 27
Corned beef hash and an egg in the morning with chocolate milk and water. A Bloody Mary at lunch with more protein (lunch), more water, and more skiing. Chase with hot tub and repeat.
post #25 of 27
Corned beef hash and chocolate milk??? Not a combo I'd have put together..
post #26 of 27
I like protein to start my day, substitute with bacon as needed.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Basically, my fitness and sleep schedule determines my day, not my breakfast. Your body is either ready or it's not. What you ate the previous six months might make a difference, but resort skiing is resort skiing. I'm not going to get ready to go back country skiing with resort skiing and a protein shake. I steadily increase the day and the difficulty level throughout the season. The prep is not food. It's skiing.

You're not going to get ready to bike the Continental Divide trail from end to end by adding a couple nutrition bars to your pack. You're going to do it by biking longer and longer distances.

I've already learned again and again if I go radically longer and harder one day, then I just pay for that the next day. Better to go home before I want to on those days and come back for a repeat the next day instead of only doing a half day the next day (or worse).

This is one of those things that justifies keeping statistics...

This. You're not going to suddenly increase your endurance by manipulating your diet. Obviously you need adequate calories and fluids during the day, the amount depending on what you're losing. In the summer I do a lot of shorter hikes and a few long ones--the long ones obviously wear me out but I take my time and walking isn't exactly the most technically-demanding activity. Skiing is. Skiing a much longer, harder day than what you're used to without working up to it is a good way to get hurt. Stay within yourself.

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