I enjoyed attending the Endurance Exchange held this last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A triathlon summit, of sorts, which included professional coaching seminars, like what we used to have at the Art and Science of Triathlon International Coaching Symposium. Presenters included Boston Marathon director, Dave McGillivray, along with former head nutritionist for Team Sky, Dr. James Morton.
One interesting tidbit from Dr. Morton’s presentation, The Carbohydrate Paradox, was Team Sky’s practice of “sleep low/train low.” Meaning, go to sleep low on carbohydrates (not eating carbs at dinner, for example), and then not eating carbs before the next morning’s training. We learned about AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), an “energy switch,” if you will, that controls cell growth, among other processes, and even promotes mitochondrial health. In a low-carb state, this AMPK switch turns on sooner, instructing the muscles in ways such that the muscle becomes “better trained.” Basically, a better muscular adaptation to stress is achieved in this low carb state.
However, this doesn’t negate the need for carbs to finish long rides (like the 6-hour variety), where the Team Sky riders might use water for 3 hours and then go to carbs) or to finish high intensity training. It’s a periodization of sorts that changes daily, but it seems like they’re on to something!
Overall, an interesting 3 days to be sure!