A week to go to the HERO. What to eat? Unloading and loading of carbohydrates? Forget it! This approach only fills us with water, worsening the weight/power ratio and making us feel "bloated".
Today, we know that the week before a race we will have to recover our energy by discharging and resting from training, and this will already allow us to fill our special tank with glycogen.
Another decisive thing is to divide our approach to the HERO race, from the hormonal point of view, in four phases: the evening before, the morning, during, and after the race.
On the eve of the HERO you will have your only half-full tank, and as a precaution and psychophysical peace of mind, we suggest a good amount of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index for dinner: for example, a first course of pasta or rice followed by a source of lean proteins (chicken, fish or lean red meat) to which add cooked or raw vegetables and then a portion of potatoes and plenty of oil. At this point we will be sure to have our tank full when we lie down -"our belly full".
When we wake up, our tank will still be almost full, and all we need to do is to top up the little muscular and hepatic glycogen consumed at night. Since the departure of the HERO is from 7 onwards, I suggest not to sacrifice sleep, but to organise a breakfast made a couple of hours before the start with two slices of wholemeal bread or 3 rice crackers, with a source of protein such as cooked ham (30/35 gr), a teaspoon of jam and a few almonds.
During the HERO race, we will have to eat foods that are easy to digest: I recommend isotonic gels or energy bars consumed at regular intervals of 30/45 minutes. It is necessary, however, that the complete strategy be tested first in training. Do not forget the importance of hydration before, during and after the race: use all the feeding stations to drink water and replenish the mineral salts lost through sweating.
Finally, once you arrive in Selva Gardena, you can treat yourself to what you like most, so bread, a visit to the pasta party, and why not, sweets: at this time your body will hardly make you fat but will be committed to recovering what it has spent and consumed for making you HEROes.