With the Lubbock Mayors Marathon a short 3 months away it is very important to, first off REGESTER, and then make sure you are fueling your body properly in order to run your best!
Nutrition for runners is very individualized, just as everyday nutrition, therefore there is no “golden rule” or one perfect super food that works for all runners. Luckily, many studies have been done, ample research has been conducted, and several articles have been published regarding guidelines and steps to proper nutrition for runners. Runners Connect is the one I used to help me give you some tips on what to eat before and after a run.
- Time your meals before you run! Again, this is individualized. A good idea is to experiment with times. You want to be able to eat as close to run as possible without upsetting your stomach. So start with eating about 30 minutes before and if you can handle that move it forward a bit, if not move it back. You also need to keep in mind the amount you are eating, which leads me to the next step.
- Nutritional demands and amount of food you eat is important! If you eat more you want your gap between your snack and your run bigger so the food has time to settle in your stomach. More importantly you need to know how much to eat. Many people over eat before a run, and in return it slows them down or gives them an upset stomach. There is really no need to “carb load” or have a large snack unless your run is going to exceed 90 minutes. And if you are a morning runner, the same goes. You still have glycogen left over from sleeping to keep you going through your run, unless it exceeds 90 minutes. If your run is going to exceed those 90 minutes it is suggested that you eat a little something 30 minutes before you head out the door.
- Pay attention to the type of food you eat! This is the most important part of prepping before you run. Again, this is very individualized and just because one food works for your friends, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Just like timing, it is important to test out different snacks before each run to see what works for you. Energy bars, bananas and peanut butter toast are some good examples of pre-run snacks.
- Begin eating ASAP after a run! Eating 30-90 minutes post run is the optimal time to eat. This gives your body enough time to cool down and then replenish the large amount of energy burned during your exercise and help build and recover your worn out muscles.
- Remember 4:1! 4:1 is the ratio of carbohydrates to protein your post-run snack or meal should contain. This specific ratio helps your body re-synthesis the glycogen in your muscles, and the protein helps build muscle. BUT, be careful not to each too much protein! Excess amount of protein can inhibit your body absorption of carbohydrates, which in return slows gastric emptying.
- 4:1 Foods! Some examples of these 4:1 foods are; banana or apple with 2 tbs. of peanut butter, ½ cup of plain yogurt and cup of fruit, 1 fried egg with 1 cup sautéed spinach and 1 fruit serving. Some more examples can also be found on Runners Connect.
I hope this information is helpful in knowing how to properly fuel your workouts. Happy running, and don’t forget to sign up for the Lubbock Mayors Marathon!!