Are you training for your first long distance race? Even if you are an experienced runner, what food you eat is important. Not just to your training but to your overall health. Here are 3 simple food rules:
1. Eat more. As you ramp up your training, you burn more calories. The amount of calories you need to consume will vary based on the intensity of your workouts, your age, gender, weight. To get an idea of what you may need, try this calorie calculator: Calorie Calculator
Tip: Eat nutrient-rich foods such as brightly colored fruits and 100-percent fruit juice; Vibrantly colored vegetables including potatoes; Whole-grain, fortified and fiber-rich grain foods; Low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt; Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts. For more information: Nutrient Rich Foods
2. Fight the Hunger Pangs. The reality is that you will feel hungry when you are in heavy training. If you feel hungry all the time it’s time for a change. Questions to ask yourself if you find yourself in this situation:
Are you getting enough protein? Protein is important because it helps you feel fuller longer.
Are you eating enough before a run? I’m guilty of running on an empty stomach early in the morning. My workouts are generally more sluggish, especially for the first few minutes. And later in the day, I get the hunger pangs.
Are you eating often enough? Three large meals each day may not be ideal. Eating more frequently with the same amount of food will keep your system more stable throughout the day. And think nuts: A healthier snacking option when you just ‘need something to eat’
3. Keep trying. I experiment with various foods early on in the ramp up to my heavy training. I look for various carbo and protein sources and especially the combination of both. Once I get the right balance, I stick with it.
I also experiment with various gels and electrolytes during training. And again, I stick with the combination race day. This is not the day to change your diet.
Sure, food is fuel, but we’re not built on an assembly line. Your months spent training for a race are there to help you develop your form, your endurance and also your optimal diet. Throughout your training, try eating different types of foods and alter their timing little by little to see what works best. Then use that combination on race day.
For some suggestions on the ideal diet for runners, check this out: Ideal Runners Diet
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy