Running is tough on the body. Not only on the joints and muscle but emotionally and mentally. It is important to fuel your body correctly to get the best out of your training, race day and for recovery post run.
So, what do I eat before my run?
There are many different opinions out there, but this is what has proved successful for myself and my clients.
Fuelling your body before a race starts 2 hours prior to the run. Around 2 hours pre run try to have mostly carbohydrates (wholegrain bread, rice, pasta, rice cakes, oats, sweet potato, fruit) and some protein (eggs, chicken, nuts, protein powder, cheese). Ideally aim for approximately 3:1 carb: protein. Try to avoid too much fat pre run as it is not easily digested therefore not releasing energy as quickly for you (this is the same for high fibre foods).
Some examples include:
- Peanut butter or hummus on toast
- Sweet potato protein shake (see Energiser Shake recipe below!)
- Rice or quinoa with some chicken or beef
- Rice cakes with nut butter and honey
- Oats with banana and nuts
Now you have raced your little heart out it is important to refuel your body. Within 30 minutes after your run try to get a protein shake into you (if you have the time blend protein powder, almond or rice milk, ice, Greek yoghurt and a banana with some ginger and cinnamon (shown to reduce soreness). This can be pre done and stored in a small esky if you cannot get back to a blender soon after racing. If you do not have time for this at least get a plain protein shake (protein powder mixed with water and possibly add some dextrose for some quick sugars) into you. Contact me for protein powder suggestions. The carbohydrates from the dextrose or banana will replace the glycogen you lose during the race and the protein will help rebuild any muscles you tore while running and help recovery.
An hour or two later have a hearty meal that again contains carbohydrates and protein. Examples of this may include:
- Scrambled eggs with avocado on toast
- Cottage cheese with fruit and nuts
- Rice or sweet potato with chicken
- Spaghetti and meatballs
Before short runs you do not need to be too concerned unless the race is starting to get over 2 hours. On the short run training days just eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains fibrous carbohydrates (vegetables, quinoa, rice, chickpeas, beans) protein (meat, eggs, goats cheese, chickpeas and lentils) and some good fats (avocado, nuts, olive oils etc) throughout your day.
- 2/3 cup sweet potato (steamed)
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 serving vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 date pitted
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
Instructions: Blend all ingredients until smooth.