It’s November already! The cup’s been run and won, and for many Next Level Nutrition clients it’s now time to fine tune preparations for their big race. Sadly for those who that have spent months training and preparing for the New York marathon it all came to nothing, with the race cancelled in the aftermath of the storms that battered the US east cost. Such events remind us though that there’s much more to life than running, cycling and swimming, and it was great to see so many visitors to New York stay to volunteer and help with the clean up.

Back home I’ve recently found myself as the chairperson of the organising committee for the 2013 Sports Dietitians Australia biannual conference, with the theme of nutrient timing. The concept of timing nutrition around training has been around for a long time. But more recently research is starting to take this to another level, looking at nutrition planning over the course of an entire sporting season (and off-season), as well as tailoring nutrition to the weekly training cycle. And of course there’s the specific science of what, when and how much which continues to evolve. This month I’ll share with you some of the principles of nutrient timing and how it can benefit you.

Finally, a friendly reminder to those of you wanting to prepare for events in the first few months of 2013 – the time to start organising your nutrition is NOW. Although it feels like it’s “next year”, it’s amazing how quickly events in Jan, Feb and March can creep up on you, and waiting til after the Christmas break will be leaving it too late to come up with a plan, test it out and make any necessary adjustments. Furthermore I’m planning on taking a month’s holiday in February and March next year, so there won’t be any available consults during that time. If you’d like to organise an appointment please get in touch in the next couple of weeks – there’s only 8 weeks til Christmas!

Periodised Nutrition - Why Timing is Everything

With some sports entering the competition phase of their season and others in the off season, it’s time to start thinking about how you will tackle your training and racing in 2013. But what about your nutrition plan? Do you even have a plan? It continues to amaze me how much athletes will invest in perfecting their training schedules, clothing and equipment, leaving absolutely nothing to chance. Yet when it comes to what they eat and drink, many cyclists even at the elite level are happy to go with the flow, eating whatever comes their way. Experience tells me that the majority of athletes in Australia eat pretty much the same every day of the week (with some minor additions around training), without stopping to think about whether or not their nutrition is suited to their training plan and racing goals.

Over the last five or so years sports scientists and dietitians have started looking a lot more closely at how nutrition can complement training cycles, goals, and competition schedules. Here I’ll explain about the benefits of periodised nutrition and how it can make a difference for you in 2013. This is the approach I take with my clients, and it’s great to hear feedback from them when they discover what a difference it can make to their training.

This week the Cycling Tips website published this article – to read more click here.


seach2retain Cycling Team take 4th in the Melbourne-Warrnambool, 6th in the National Road Series

October meant one thing to the search2retain Cycling Team in October - the 262km Melbourne-Warrnambool Cycling Classic. Last year Luke Fetch made the podium with third place for the team. This year it was the in-form Neil van der Ploeg who flew the flag, finishing second in the bunch sprint and taking 4th across the line, after a breakaway of two riders survived to the finish.

This brought to a close the 2012 season for search2retain, who achieved their best ever results  with van der Ploeg taking 6th in the overall National Road Series (and the only rider outside of the big three Continental teams to make it into the top 10), and the team finishing 6th in the teams classification. This is a monumental effort considering the team did not contest several rounds of the series!


For now the focus is on having a well earned rest, before getting back into the swing with preparations for the big summer of cycling in January - this includes the Michelton Bay Cycling Classic, the revamped Herald Sun Tour and of course the Australian Road Championships all in the space of three weeks. Next Level Nutrition congratulates the team on a sucessful 2012 and looks forward to continuing the relationship in the off-season (see the article on Periodised Nutrition above!) and into the heat of competition next year.

For more information check out search2retain's website, Facebook page or Twitter account


The Long Pathway - Te Araroa

As mentioned in the last monthly update, ultra runner Richard Bowles has now embarked on a journey to be the first person to run the Te Araroa trail from end-to-end. The trail stretches over 3000km from top to bottom of New Zealand, and Richard is averaging over 50km a day in his quest to be finished and home for Christmas.

Now almost a month into the journey and the going’s been tough! Covering the 50km each day has been a struggle, with a combination of challenging and hilly terrain, gale force winds and forests of knee deep mud slowing progress. From a nutritional perspective the challenge for Te Araroa has been much greater than te Bicentennial National Trail, with more energy and carbohydrate required and less time to eat it in. I've spent some time conversing with Richard over the web to help adjust his diet for the trip. 


But Richard keeps battling, and so far he’s covered about 1000km in less than one month. To keep up to date with Richard’s progress, check out his new website,

TeAraroa.JPG The highs and lows of the Te Araroa - The Long Pathway



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Best of luck to those Next Level Nutrition clients participating in events during the month of December:

11th-12th November - Great North Walk 100, Sydney NSW - 100mile & 100km Ultramarathons

18th November - Campbell's Ironman 70.3, Shepparton VIC - Half Ironman Triathlon

18th October - Geelong Advertiser Run Geelong, VIC - 6/12km Fun Run

25th October - FGP Chase The Sun, Lysterfield VIC - 8hr Mountain Bike Enduro

25th October - Gatorade Triathlon Series, St Kilda VIC - Sprint Distance Triathlon  



Alan McCubbin
B. Nutr Diet, AN, APD, Accredited Sports Dietitian
Next Level Nutrition





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