With just over a month to go until the start of the Mini Transat, Lizzy is already packing my picnic bag.
Good nutrition plays a huge part in race performance. Without it sailors lack energy, concentration and motivation, which are all vital to staying competitive and safe while offshore.
It is quite common for competitors to lose between 3 and 5kg during the Mini Transat race. This is most probably due to a monotonous diet, harsh weather conditions and budgets limiting the skippers to packets of instant noodles, which do not quite cut it on the nutritional front.
I plan to eat up to 3000 calories a day, depending on the conditions while offshore. This will mean eating four main meals roughly every six hours (breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight) with various snacks in between.
I have chosen to take a number of Sports Kitchen ‘QSM’ meals. Between 300 to 350 calories, these meals have a 1:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein and come pre-packaged in a plastic pot (fork included). Only boiling water and 5 minutes of patience is required, resulting in a delicious meal. The flavours vary between chicken, chilli and beef on a rice or pasta base, and can be followed with a guilt free rice pudding dessert.
Breakfast wise, I am a huge instant porridge fan; Sport Kitchen also do a fantastic selection with banana, chocolate or raisins, or a fruit berry muesli.
When a more hearty meal is required (generally in the evening before the night sets in), I will be eating my way through a number of Expedition Foods ‘wet’ meals. With a higher calorie count (450 plus), these meals come in foil pouches that are left to heat up in boiling water. These are quicker to cook than rehydrated meals and are a little easier on the stomach. I favour the potato based meals that come with either fish or scrambled egg.
With regard to snacks, I prefer to take items with more protein or fruit. Ration type foods tend to be very carbohydrate based (to supply enough energy), but after a number of days these can get a little hard, and boring, to digest.
Babybel cheese, tinned tuna, Peperami sticks, apricots and custard desserts are all going to be stashed away on the boat; washed down with a strong mug of Dorset Tea. When I need an instant energy boost, I will be tucking into a Bounce Energy Ball – at 200 calories these little protein balls pack a punch.
With my food all ordered, I am now sailing back to France from Newlyn, Cornwall. I made a short pit stop following the JP Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race to finalise the designs for my Transat race sails. I will soon be back to get them stitched together.
Can you help Lizzy with her final fundraising efforts? Please visit lizzyracing.com for more information.