What/how Should I Eat As I Am Training For the Cap City Half Marathon?
This question came in from Lynne from Columbus! Thanks Lynne!
Nutrition is an essential element to a successful training program.
It is important to try to eat every 2-3 hours. This is going to keep your energy systems high throughout the day.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (try drinking 6-8 oz each hour throughout the daytime). During a training session, drink 3-6 oz. every 10 minutes or so. After a training session – try drinking at least 12-16 oz of water within one hour.
As far as foods – you will want to get the majority of your nutrients from nutrient dense foods – like fruits, vegetables, beans, tofu, chicken, whole grains, etc. Carbs are an essential part of marathon training, but I encourage you to look for carbs that are natural, full of whole grains and taste good to you.
In general, when you eat carbs, such as chips or sugary foods, that process extremely quickly into sugar – your body usually cannot use all of it immediately, so it stores. Instead, eating natural carbs with whole grains will help slow your digestion down, keep you fuller longer and utilize your food more efficiently.
However, as you are training/on your big runs – eating more readily-available carbs – such as bananas, ‘Gu’ packs and power bars can be a great way to help fuel your system quickly since you are training at higher levels. It is a good idea to eat something with at least a 4-1 carb-protein ration within 1-1.5 hours of your training and then eat a 4:1 carb to protein ratio-based food within 45 minutes of your workout. Examples are: whole grain bread with turkey, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and a banana, beans and vegetables. This will help your recover quickly and feel strong.
Think about food as energy. When you put food into your body that is full of sugar/not a lot of vitamins/minerals – you don’t receive much from that food except the desire for a nap. When you eat food that delivers nutrients, antioxidants, and sustainable energy over time – then you will feel fabulous before, during and after your run!
Keep in mind that each of us are different and we will have to tailor our nutrition to our own body responses, so you may need to monitor and adjust your food intake as your training program continues and understand your body and what it needs to feel strong and healthy.
Attached is a video that I created about carbs- that help to explain how food processes in your system.
I hope it is helpful!
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