I read these threads a lot and I think I may have posted once or twice in the past 5 or 6 years. I enjoy discussing fueling before, during and after intense training or races or lower intensity training days, which last longer than an 1 or 1 1/2 hours.
I have been following The Zone dietary guidelines since 1998. During one period of about 3 years, I did not follow the diet and suffered running injuries, which kept me out of the sport for 2 years. I have always shared about the benefits of The Zone. People have been amused or interested but thought it seemed too complicated. (There is a lot of ignorance out there - fruits and vegetables are carbs, too!) I think its funny that, now, suddenly Cross-Fit has brought The Zone back into the forefront, or so it appears to me. Does anyone know the history of how and why The Zone suddenly became so popular with Cross-Fit??
I do short course triathlons, mostly Sprints (1/4 m swim, 10 m bike, 3.1 m run) between April and October and 5ks and 10ks November through March. I used to do half marathons, but, now that I am 48, cross-training works well for me and I enjoy the versatility of multisport. OK, that being said...
I prefer chocolate milk as a recovery drink. I have yet to find an "engineered" recovery drink, like Endurox, which doesn't make me sick to my stomach after a run or bike workout.
After a high intensity strength training workout (at least an hour), a low calorie Muscle Milk in a blender with frozen fruit is really good! I add a little coconut or almond butter to the shake for extra fat.
I also take gels, like Peanut Butter Gu, during races and on biking or running days, when the activity will be longer than an hour. In this case, its not exactly "Zoning", but the body needs easily digestible glucose, as well as water and electrolytes, in order to continue performing. There is no time to stop off at the side of the road eat 2 plums, a piece of string cheese and 3 almonds.
What I love about The Zone is that you can get right back into it at your next snack or meal. This past year, I started religiously following the diet and have PR'd my 5 k's, 10 k's and Sprints, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in every race but one. I have also become much stronger. Best of all is INJURY FREE, although I'm older and training harder than ever!!! I will be 49 in December and its always fun passing the 20 and 30 year olds.... Don't know how long that will last, but I'm enjoying the journey.