Adequate fluid intake is essential for anyone wanting to finish Trek for Timor. Aim to drink up to one litre of fluid every hour while participating in the event. Water is NOT recommended as the only source of fluids. Instead, electrolyte replacement (‘sports drinks”) drinks are recommended, as these will replace the electrolytes lost from your body from sweating. A handy trick to make sure you are drinking enough is to weigh yourself at each Checkpoint. You should weigh the same throughout the event. If you have lost weight, it is most probably fluid loss – every kilogram lost equals a litre of fluid lost from the body!
Creeks and Water Holes
Trek for Timor passes over a number of creeks and past some water holes. None of the water in these is safe to drink. Make sure you fill your water containers at each checkpoint before continuing on. If training on the trail, ensure you have enough water with you to last for the entire section.
Trek for Timor is an endurance event, and carbohydrates are the main nutrient needed to provide you with the energy to complete the event. Carbohydrate-rich foods include bread and pasta, cereals, potatoes, beans and legumes, corn and fruit. These should form the major part of your training and event-day diet. The other major nutrients (protein and fats) are also necessary, but in smaller amounts.
In the last days leading up to the event make sure you increase the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day. This is called “carb loading”. You might want to avoid foods with a high fibre content at this stage, as they can leave you feeling bloated and heavy for the event.
Energy supplements such as sports gels, bars and drinks may be a good alternative to larger meals and snacks. Try these out during training.
The foods you eat during training should be the same as those you plan on having for the event. Don’t try anything new during the event itself!
During the event
Aim to eat during the event in a way that mimics your usual routine. You might want to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, with snacks in between. Ensure all your meals are carbohydrate rich, in a form that is easily digested and doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and bloated. Good choices for meals would include breakfast cereals with milk, yoghurt with a banana, white-bread sandwiches, pasta or white rice, bread with soup, or even mashed potatoes! Snacks could include muesli or breakfast cereal bars, sports “energy” bars, dried fruit and nuts, salty snacks and energy gels.
Good nutrition and hydration post-event will help make your recovery that much easier. Try to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack within one hour of finishing the event, and add a little protein to aid muscle recovery and repair. Maintain a high carbohydrate diet for the next day. Make sure you continue to hydrate as well. Try to avoid drinking alcohol!