Nutrition For Runners – Marathon Training Tips
March 17, 2017
Comrades Marathon Countdown 2017
March 26, 2017

Marathon Week Nutrition Tips

Tip 2 Carbo loading.(Seven days to race)

Carbo-loading is a strategy to increase the amount of fuel stored in your muscles to improve athletic performance for endurance events. For intense athletic events over 90 min, the body needs extra energy to keep going. This is achieved by eating  a high-carbohydrate diet while scaling back on training. Once endurance athletes back off on training for a few days, the muscle enzymes responsible for restocking glycogen gradually begin to store more carbohydrate, helping build up your energy reserves for race day.Pasta, rice, potatoes,sweet potatoes,ugali and chapatis are examples of carbohydrate rich meals.

During digestion, your body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar. The sugar enters your bloodstream, where it’s then transferred to individual cells to provide energy. Sugar is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen — your energy source.

Five to Seven days to race,one shoud take 40-60% carbohydrates in their meals. - The right way to carbo load before a race
Tip 3 Three to four days to race:

Up the carbs. Increase your carbohydrate intake to about 10 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight (70percent of your daily calories). Cut back on foods higher in fat like creamy sauces, cheese, butter, and oils—as well as too much protein.Both nutrients fill you up faster than carbs and take longer to digest. Pick jam—not butter—for your toast, tomato sauce in lieu of alfredo Rest completely the day before your big event.

Limiting high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole grains, and large amounts of vegetables for the few days prior to a race  helps lighten the weight of material in the intestines reducing body weight (potentially leading to faster running times) and may help avoid the need for midrace pit stops that would otherwise add time to your race.

Tip 4 Three to four hours out: Eat!

A pre-race meal supplies extra carbs to top off glycogen stores, particularly in the liver, which will help steady blood sugar levels during the race. Liver glycogen fuels your nervous system while you sleep, and as a result, your liver is roughly 50 percent glycogen-depleted when you wake up in the morning. Eat 3-4 hours before a race. Aim for .5 to one gram for every pound of body weight (about 75 to 150 grams for a 150-pound runner).Back off on fats and keep protein to about 15 grams or fewer—both nutrients take longer to digest. Many fruits are high in carbs but are also high in fiber—and too much can cause stomach trouble midrace. “Bananas are are a good choice of fruit due to their low-fiber.

Tip 5 Before race and midrace:

Fueling midrace should be practiced during training. Trying out something new could seriously backfire.

Before race

1 hour-take some water or sports drink and a piece of banana/energy bar.

Midrace-Chews or Gels

Most gels and chews have about 25 grams of carbs per package. Fuel with about 30 grams of carb per hour. Fluid intake should also go according to training. If you feel yourself start to fade during the second half of the race (and who doesn’t?), try a hit of caffeine (30 to 50 milligrams) from an energy gel, chews, or drink.

Caffeinated Gel

This secret weapon for mile 23(37 kms) will not only energize your muscles and brain with carbs, but its caffeine (30 to 50 mg)  will help you feel better. It lowers sense of perceived exertion, making the effort feel easier.

Electrolyte Tabs

Runners who are heavy or salty sweaters, might benefit from a dose of electrolytes like Nuun, consumed with water. They’re generally lower in calories than sports drinks, but help replenish lost electrolytes.

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