Jessie Diggins’ Consuming Technique for Races and Lengthy Practices


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Forty-eight hours earlier than one of many largest races of her profession—the 30K freestyle on the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing this previous February—cross-country skier Jessie Diggins discovered herself in a state of affairs endurance athletes like herself take painstaking precautions to keep away from. “I awoke with meals poisoning,” says the three-time Olympian and member of Crew USA.

Moderately than drop out of the race (which might be that anybody in need of an Olympian would do), Diggins determined to solider on. “I’ve positively skilled worse,” she says, “nevertheless it was fairly upsetting; I didn’t have the vitality to go as much as the venue and check my skis.”

After talking together with her sports activities dietitian and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, she got here up with a plan that obtained her to the beginning line—and finally on the medal stand (she received silver, NBD). It concerned a finely-tuned fueling technique she’s been testing for years earlier than large occasions and notably powerful practices.

How Jessie Diggins fuels earlier than, throughout, and after lengthy runs

On race day

Ask any distance athlete, and so they’ll inform you that the number-one rule when it involves gasoline is to not eat something new on race day. And Diggins is not any completely different. “Normally, I’m all about making an attempt new meals, however race morning just isn’t the time to experiment,” she says. “After many, a few years of races, I do know what’s gonna keep down and stick with me the entire time.”

For her, that’s oatmeal, peanut butter, and banana, a mixture of easy carbs and wholesome fat, with minimal protein since it may be onerous in your abdomen to course of. (It was the meal she ate on repeat whereas recovering from meals poisoning.) “It’s straightforward to journey with a jar of peanut butter or almond butter,” Diggins says. “And that’s usually one thing that I don’t like to alter.”

Hydration is her different precedence. Two to 5 hours previous to a race, she’ll drink a bottle of water with a serving of Nuun Prime Combine in it (she’s an envoy for the model), and 90 minutes earlier than the gun goes off, she’ll drink one other one with Nuun’s Endurance Combine. “I normally have a 16-ounce water bottle, and I’ll undergo two of these,” she says. “Then I’ll drink one other about 32 ounces within the two hours earlier than the race.”

Whereas competing, Diggins solely consumes small sips of water at feed stations all through the course, in addition to straightforward sources of straightforward carbs and sugars if she’s hungry. “I’m leaning towards sports activities gummies, one thing simply digestible that received’t take vitality to offer me vitality.”

As soon as she crosses the end line, inside 20 minutes, she’ll drink a restoration shake containing carbohydrates, protein, and wholesome fat. “We’re normally going by means of the media zone proper after a race,” Diggins explains, “and so that you don’t have 10 minutes to only sit down and eat one thing. It’s simpler to take one minute and drink one thing.”

Whereas coaching

Not like on race days, when Diggins is extra dialed in together with her gasoline routine, throughout practices, particularly within the off season, she embraces what she calls a “versatile strategy” to how she fuels for longer coaching classes. “I simply are likely to eat plenty of all the things, and nothing’s off limits,” she says. “I guarantee that I’m consuming plenty of completely different vegatables and fruits in my meals to ensure I’m getting sufficient vitamins in order that I’ve a very good immune system. And if I wish to take pleasure in dessert—which I just about do each single day—then I’m going to do this.”

Diggins, who says she struggled with an consuming dysfunction in her late teenagers, prefers to place the vitality she saves from not stressing over her food regimen to raised use by specializing in her method and type. “I’ve spent plenty of time, with plenty of assist from some wonderful individuals, studying how one can belief my physique and check out to not struggle in opposition to my physique, however to make use of my very own strengths that I used to be genetically blessed with,” she says. (One thing she needs media shops targeted on extra, fairly than on what feminine athletes seem like—or don’t seem like.)

If she has to pack snacks for a long-distance follow, it could possibly be something from her favourite, selfmade vitality balls (recipe beneath!) to a sweet bar. “That is additionally my life, you realize, like I’ve been doing this for the final 12 years, and so I’m not going to emphasize concerning the each day. I wish to get it proper on race day, however in the summertime, if I wish to deliver a sweet bar on a long term, finally, my physique doesn’t know the distinction. The most important factor is to ensure I’m getting sufficient vitality to assist the excessive degree of coaching that I’m doing.”

Jessie Diggins’ Go-To Chocolate Raspberry Espresso Bites

Makes 12 balls

1 1/2 cups dates
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp finely floor espresso beans
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup rolled oats, rice crisp cereal, or chia seeds

1. Course of the primary eight substances collectively in a meals blender.
2. Roll into little balls, then roll every ball in both oats, rice crisp cereal or chia seeds till the surface isn’t sticky anymore.
3. Chill in fridge till chilly and agency.
4. Hold refrigerated till it’s time to take them on adventures!

Closing meals for thought

Whereas Diggins positively focuses on her gasoline technique, she says she’s as targeted (if no more so) on her psychological energy as a result of that’s what will get you over the end line—one thing she put to the check in Beijing. “For probably the most half, if you happen to’re inside the ballpark of what works for you, what you eat or don’t eat isn’t going to make or break your race,” she says. “Have an amazing mindset, a very good perspective, and be able to go onerous and be within the second and focus in your race.”

In the long run, it was a mindset tip from her mother that she credit with serving to her make it onto the rostrum after meals poisoning: “One of many issues that my mother mentioned that was actually, actually useful was: ‘Don’t resolve proper now,’” Diggins shares. “‘You don’t have to resolve 24 hours earlier than the race the way you may really feel, the way you may do. Proper now, you’re gonna eat, you’re gonna drink, you’re gonna sleep. After which even if you happen to resolve to start out the race, it doesn’t imply it’s a must to end.’ I didn’t already resolve that it wasn’t going to work. You simply don’t know what might occur.” It’s recommendation that’s price its weight in gold (and silver).

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