Your diet plays a major role during the pre training, during and post training stages and that becomes the deciding factor on how intensely runners can train, writes Nandini Reddy
Training days before the big marathon race are the toughest on our bodies. Apart from water, we need to fuel our bodies with the right kind of nutrition in order to make the most of these days. The intensity of the run and the duration of your training run will correspond to a certain number of calories that you will burn. So that means that you need to replenish your calories accordingly.
If you are in training your calorie breakdown would be
- 70% of calories used will be from Carbohydrates
- 20% of calories used will be from Fats
- Remaining will be from proteins
Keeping this in mind you need to split fueling your body into the day before the training, a pre-training snack and a post-training snack or meal.
Day before Training
The idea is to increase the energy stores or glycogen stores so that you are adequately fueled to handle an intense session of running. The choice of carbohydrates should be the complex variety. Pick whole grains, high fibre vegetables, dals and yogurt. You can snack on high water-content fruits in between such as apples, oranges, water melons, etc. The idea is to ensure that you body gets a power-packed nutritional meal instead of just carb-loading. Also don’t experiment too much with foods. Stick to a normal routine diet that is easy on your stomach.
A carb-rich snack just before you start you race is good idea. A peanut butter sandwich is a great choice for a pre-race meal. You can also have a fruit smoothie which would pack your stomach and also give you plenty of nutritive energy boosters. Eggs and whole grain cereals are also a good option for a pre-race meal or snack. The idea here is to eat something healthy but light so that you feel energetic during your run and not uncomfortable. If you want to have something to boost your energy during the race then bananas and almonds make the best snack options that are easy to carry.
Ideally you should eat within an hour of finishing your training. The post-training meal should have more protein content and less carbohydrate content. If you cannot eat a big meal, start with snack like yogurt and fruits or a whey protein drink. You also need to replace lost fluids at this time so its a good time to chug down that bottle of water. If you are having a nutritious meal then you do not need an electrolyte post your training.
Never use running as an excuse to binge on unhealthy foods that are high in calories. Eating right will give you more energy to have intense and longer training sessions rather than simple energy bursts that will make you feel dull after the high comes down.