No matter if you are planning to take part in a local 5km turkey trot, or if you are planning to participate in a marathon, it all comes to the same jitters you get the morning before “the big race”.
You have been training hard for months, working on your body and mind, we know, but have you been eating healthy, or have you not paid attention to your nutrition at all?
Trainings do not involve just running, but nutrition as well. Nutrition is equally important as keeping track of every step you make before the race.
The state of the runner
When you are on a training, your body needs more energy. First of all, your mind should be prepared for the race and you need to realize that you should endure the race without holding back or, God Forbid, quitting the first time you get sweaty.
You have to be focused during the entire race, you have to be resilient to pain you start feeling and have the mental strength to handle unexpected events.
And finally, in order to increase your durability, you have trust yourself. Have faith that you can make it and that you are going to get to the finish line.
What you should eat
There are different kinds of food you should eat before, during and after the race.
While you are training, you are going to have to increase the duration and intensity almost every day, and for this you are going to need calories, food rich in carbohydrates (such as pasta, bread, and grains), fat (oil, nuts, avocado), and protein (meat, fish, beans).
Here it is a very simple list of really good and healthy food that every runner should consider:
- Berries: Berries are rich in energy, since they are full of sugar and vitamin C, which combined allow your body to run in full speed. Additionally, berries contain potassium which repairs your muscle cells isn’t that a win-win?
- Yogurt: But not just regular yogurt. A low fat yogurt, it is rich in calcium, protein and carbohydrates. These provide fuel for your muscles, help you burn healthy fat and give you all the energy you need.
- Bananas: Filled with healthy, natural sugar, bananas are perfect food for all sportsmen (and women), not just runners. They contain a lot of potassium, which, as it has been said, allows your muscle cells to work properly by pumping more blood and at the same time lowering blood pressure, thus reducing stroke risk.
- Bagels: Rich in carbs, bagels are much heavier than a regular piece of bread so they give you more energy to burn, which is the right thing we need in your training. Also runners need whey protein to increase protein intake. You can also combine bagels with some cheese and peanut butter, which will bring your protein levels just where we need them.
Do not think that once the race starts you are free to run without thinking of food. The odds are that you are going to collapse if you do not continue food and energy intake during the very race. So, what you need is the following:
- Raisins: Containing lots of sugar, raisins are the perfect food you need when your reserves are low. And what is best about them is that you do not need to eat a lot, justa a small handful will make all the difference.
- Energy gels: These small packets are made in a way that you can suck them easily while running, so they can provide you with all the energy you need during the race.
And after the race is done, your body needs to recover. You energy levels are probably going to be low, and all you are probably going to look for is your bed. But, before that you will need to feed your body with some of the following things:
- Chicken breas: Filled with lean protein, chicken breast are the right type of food you need since they are loaded with muscle-repairing nutrients. Not only are they quick to prepare, but delicious as well.
- Fruit – Junk food, of course, does not help anyone, so you have to eat some fresh fruit to restock your normal energy levels. Oranges and apples are rich in vitamin C and may be your best choice after the race.
- Oats: Rich in carbs, protein and fibre, oats are perfect for your body because they do not affect blood sugar levels. Combine them with fruit and raisins in a bowl of milk and enjoy because the race is finally over!
- Hummus: Consisting of mainly fibre and protein from chick peas, hummus is there to help you fill up after the race. Rebuild your muscles after they are worn out, and you are ready to go to sleep. Make sure not to eat it before the race because it can create the opposite effect and make you want to stop running in the middle of the race.
And finally, if you have anything else to add, feel free to leave your comment in the section below.