Running makes me feel that the world is mine. like I’m flying. But, unfortunately I’m a bad runner. I do not know why exactly, maybe running is not for everyone? Now, I’m bit better at it. Having a baby is kind of restraining me, I know I keep making excuses, but ya I’ll run again, and keep you updated.
For some people running is a serious deal. They do half marathons, full marathons, or even ultra-ones. They do it for their own pleasure, fitness, and in most cases for a cause. My twin sisters is one of them, she did half marathon before, and practicing for another one on 6th of December, Red sea International Marathon . It’s a charitable marathon, 20% of tickets profits go to NGO, and charitable organizations. She keeps asking me how to prepare for the marathon. What to eat, and drink, and how to refuel during the race. Therefore, this post is dedicated to her, and all running dreamers. (courtesy of photo by photographer Khalid qashou
Before one month:
Most of sports dietitians are encouraging runners, to consume a high carbohydrate diet prior one month of date of marathon. By increasing it gradually until the day of the race. However, some studies shows that high carb diets are better for fat burning. But again other studies show that training on low carb diets cause fatigue, and low performance. It’s not conclusive yet; so the best way is to consume carbohydrate depending on your training periods, the more time at training, the more carbohydrates rate you need for every kg of body weight. Try to consider eating a variation of meal options, before long runs, and during the race. So you can know your body better, what you can digests well, and what makes you uncomfortable during the run.
You should be prepared well, and start running with full glycogen store capacity (you can say it’s an energy store, created by liver from carbohydrate metabolism for later use). Eat double amount of your carbohydrate intake, add some fat such as butter, avocado, or nut butter like almond, or walnut.
Option 1: Have a bowl of oatmeal with pitted dates, with some Greek yogurt or whole milk. Add some almonds for crunchiness, and extra protein. Add drizzle of raw honey to boost carbohydrate intake.
Option 2: Make an omelet with butter, on whole grain bread, with fruit on side like banana.
Option 3: A smoothie, use Greek, plain yogurt or whole milk (if you can’t tolerate dairy, try soy or almond milk). Add your favorite fruits, but don’t try new ones! You can add some avocado for healthy fat.
Hydration and electrolytes
Running on hot day is not the same as it in a cold weather. Some people refuel every hour, some advice to have 4 ounce every 2 miles. It depends on how many calories you burned, and how many ounces of fluid you lost through sweat. Some people consider Caffeine as in coffee, it can boost energy, but its dehydrating.
I used to have cup of coffee prior 2 hrs. Workout, it worked for me. If you are not coffee drinker, do not consider it on race day, or during the race. in all cases remember, do not over hydrate! It’s a good idea to have your own fluid, and an energy bar. You can make your own creation of energy drink for the race. Try adding a cup of fresh orange juice for every cup of water, add some raisins, and some salt. Make your energy bar by combining some dried fruits like cranberries, raisins; add some nut butter, some nuts, and real maple syrup.
Energy drink, are they safe to drink?
They have high caffeine content; one may have up to 500mg for a single serving. Too much caffeine can cause irritation, increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and nausea. They are really harmful for children. For healthy adults, maybe once a day is not so harmful, but too much caffeine in the long run is a big trouble. They may boost energy for runners, but they have a lot of amounts of sugar, and they have not proven safe yet. I believe you can get energy in a safer way, get enough sleep, eat healthy, and be physically active.
Recovery after the race
Wait at least 20 minutes, or until your body is totally relaxed. Then have some water or juice, and then have a balanced meal (It must contain carbohydrates, fat, and protein) here are couple of options:
Option 1: Have a beef stir fry with veggies over noodles; add some avocado and nuts for healthy fats.
Option 2: Have a quinoa salad with veggies and nuts, with a fruit on the side.