Thursday, February 27, 2014

Diet: Fuel your body for the Bath Half

Hi guys. This is a nutritional article I wrote for Total Bath, regarding what you should consume in order to optimise your performance in the Bath Half Marathon, which is ran every Spring. I will do it one day- I promise! Would like to train up to another 10k over the summer though- I don't see the point in training for a half marathon when I horrifically struggle my way through a 10k! A half marathon is over twice that distance!

Fuel Your Body for The Bath Half

Although many of you signed up for the Bath Half may be well-seasoned marathon runners and athletes, some of you may be running a half marathon for the first time, or may feel a bit nervous about the upcoming race.

Not only do you have to train regularly, you need to make sure what your putting in your body is helping you run, like the car analogy many of us nutritionists use- theres no point driving around all the time in a diesel car if it’s filled with petrol.

Many people know about the basics regarding nutrition- consume a plentiful and balanced mix of lean proteins (chicken, turkey, beef, soya), starchy carbohydrates (wholegrain when possible), and a plethora of different coloured fruit and vegetables. Those training may be skipping their usual cheeky weekly takeaways, and walking quickly past the full biscuit jar. However, many individuals are confused as to what they should be consuming in order to optimise their training runs, and sports snacking plays a very important part of this.

Snacking on the right foods at the right time is very important, and for active runners carbohydrates play a very important role in performance. As well as consuming well-balanced breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and drinking plenty of water, you should be consuming planned snacks and drinks a couple of hours before your training runs, during and after your runs. Here is some guidance regarding sports snacking:

On days that you are training for more than an hour (and with a month away from the race, you should be trying to train at least 3 days a week), these are the foods recommended in order to maintain blood sugar levels and reduce tiredness:

Consume 2 Hours Before the Training Run
  • 2 portions of fresh fruit (examples of 1 portion: 80g diced pineapple, 80g grapes, 1 apple) or
  • 1 slice of seeded or wholemeal toast, with low fat spread and peanut butter. or
  • 2 shredded wheat with skimmed milk
During your Run
  • Every 30 minutes, drink 200ml of any isotonic sports drink (such as Gatorade, Lucozade or PowerAde)
Consume within 20 Minutes After Training Run
  • 2 bananas or
  • 1 large granola bar or
  • 75g mixed nuts and raisins (like “trail mix”!)
This should help optimise your running and keep your body in top top condition ready for the big race ahead. Both I and Total Bath wish you all the best of luck!

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