It is summer time and a lot of you out there would be gearing up to participate in a marathon race. Training and Nutrition are the two most important elements which determine the performance of a runner. Most runners spend hours in training, spend a good amount of money on training gears, but when it comes to investment in nutrition, is taken for granted. A poor nutrition strategy affect runners performance, increase the risk of injuries & health issues and jeopardize the hard work, time and efforts put in the training.
Runners need to plan their nutrition strategy weeks in advance of the actual race. It will allow time to the body to get adjust to the race day requirements and perform at its peak. There are a few simple nutrition tips that runners can follow:
Know your body type:
Get your body assessment done. Measure your height, weight, fat% ratio & BMI. If you are an overweight runner or an underweight runner, you will be putting certain stresses and strains on muscles and joints in your body. It can lead to a delay in timings and affects overall performance. Lean runners need to put on the lean mass, hence their protein & carbs consumption needs to be plan differently from any overweight runner who would first need to shed some weight in order to protect the knees while running.
Plan your nutrition strategy
Plan your nutrition well in advance. Well planned and structured nutrition strategy will allow your body to go through different stages of preparation and be ready for the main race day event. Start with foundation nutrition which includes your basic food providing necessary carbs, proteins & fats through 6-8 meals in a day. My favorite cars for marathon runners are sweet potatoes, potatoes & brown rice. Try to eat 1-1.5g protein per body weight. Fish is an excellent source of protein. Next stage is performance nutrition i.e. what you eat pre, during and post running. Eat lighter and easily digestible diet at least an hour prior to your run. Focus more on hydration during the run. Coconut water is nature’s sports drink and provide all necessary nutrients. You can also carry commercial sports drink with you. Post running, a high protein milkshake, curd, smoothies are some excellent post-run food options. 180 mins post running is the most crucial period during which athletes should fuel their body properly. Include rich protein foods in your post-run diet.
Never ever take supplements without consulting your nutritionist. Supplement intake varies from person to person. The dosage, type of supplement required will depend on individual body type. The wrong intake of supplements can lead to chronic health issues.
Self-help/ Google help will not help you break the timing barrier. Knowledge is available on all the platforms but it is about the application of the knowledge, to understand the individual needs and come up with a customized nutrition strategy. For this, you would need an expert’s guidance. At QUA Nutrition we customize nutrition strategy for recreational runners to Olympic marathon runners. Contact us on 97-4343-0000 for customized runner’s nutrition plan for yourself.
30 Super foods for a marathon runner