Ready, set, eat! So, you’ve been running all the miles that your training plan has for you, but the plan does not have a guide on things that you should be putting into your body. When I trained for my first and last marathon, all I thought that I needed to do was run the miles my plan suggested I should do. As I started to increase my weekly mileage, I soon learned that my old eating habits were not going to cut it anymore for this training cycle. On my longer runs, I did not feel the best depending on what I ate the night before. Some may say starve the tank, but I would suggest staying fueled, so you don’t run on E.
With fall race season approaching here are five tips that you can practice before the big day.
1. Eat before a workout
Like any vehicle, you need fuel to keep you going as you get further on your run. You do not want to feel sluggish as you get further on your run. Plan to eat a meal two hours before or a snack one hour before your run. My favorite snack is almond butter toast with sliced bananas on top. Almond butter is a good source of protein and the potassium from bananas can help with cramps.
Drinking water is important to do before, during, and after a run. Consume 8 – 16 oz. 1 – 2 hours before your run. During your run drink 3 – 6 oz. every 15 – 20 minutes. After your run depending on the intensity of the run drink 6 – 24 oz.
3. Improve your diet
I made the mistake of “rewarding” myself a little bit too much with a pizza after a good number of long runs. A change in diet to some healthier foods may be needed to maintain the consistent running fitness that you would want.
4. Eat healthy snacks
Keeping healthy snacks near prevents you from being hungry throughout the day and having to eat a bigger meal than needed before a run.
5. Don’t skip the post-run meal
Sometimes you do not feel hungry after a run and that is normal. However, do not skip eating after a workout because you just burned a lot of calories, and your body needs to be replenished so that it can properly repair itself.
These five tips are important to implement into your training cycle so that you are ready for race day. On race day I would recommend not trying out anything new the day of or before so that no problems occur during the race. After the race is when you can finally reward yourself and eat whatever you want. I know my first stop after my half marathon will be the closest restaurant with pizza. Happy running and good luck to you all!
Here is a list of my favorite fuels that I like to use before, during, and after my runs from Playmakers: https://shop.playmakers.com/collections/nutrition?q=&&collections=|nutrition&&sortBy=|shopify_products:
UCAN Performance Energy
Nuun Energy Tablets
Xact Energy Fruit Bar
Honey Stinger Energy Chews
Clif Bar Energy Bar
Skratch Anytime Energy Bar