A day in the life of a sports dietitian (part soigner) on tour
By: Tanya Lewis, Accredited Sports Dietitian (SA)
Get up early go for a run – it is the only time you get to yourself all day….make up sports drink and fill bidons (about 30-60)….make sandwiches and add to recovery packs…..eat breakfast with the team, remind riders about the stage requirements and encourage extra intake if necessary…prepare any last minute race food, post race snacks and lunch for team mechanic and manager….help pack the van making sure all recovery packs are in an easily accessible place for the end of the race…..travel to the stage start…be prepared with suncream/spare team socks/snacks/allen key for last minute requests……make sure all riders start with full bidons and adequate food in the jersey…..travel in the van (sometimes for 5-6 hours) or get dropped off at the feed zone with full musette bags and plenty of full bidons….assist in feeding riders during the race taking note of fluid and carbohydrate intakes….help team manager follow course map and elevation profile when in the van…..make up protein based beverages, distribute at race end….check if any riders require random urine sample and distribute recovery packs of food and drink….travel to next race start unload the van and the work starts….make additional recovery snacks for riders and remind of recovery needs….collect empty bidons and wash….collect race clothes and wash…..visit grocery store as required…..counsel any riders with additional nutrition questions or concerns…..join team for dinner (usually included at race hotel)……join team meeting….educate riders and create eating plan for next day based on feed zones, course profile and GC/domestique riders….make up musette bags for next day racing….make up recovery packs with UHT milk boxes, muesli bars, fruit to eat in van after race the next day….get some sleep and start it all again
Tanya supporting her husband at the Norwood Club (SA) champs a few years ago. He decided last minute to race a one off and won (!). 100% due to good nutrition I am sure!