How to eat before a long distance race?

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How to eat before a long distance race?
How to eat before a long distance race?

Learn what a long-distance runner's diet consists of and how to drink fluids (and what kind) while running. In order for a runner to perform well during a long-distance race, it is necessary to adhere to the daily regimen, provide the body with enough time to rest, and also adhere to a certain diet. This also applies to proper nutrition before running a long distance. Thanks to a well-formulated diet for a few days before the start in the competition, it can help to perform more successfully, but is not able to correct the situation if the athlete had been eating incorrectly before.

It is quite obvious that the nutrition program should be drawn up on an individual basis, similar to the intensity of training or the choice of running tactics. However, there are general rules of nutrition before running a long distance, which must be adhered to. Some athletes prefer to eat well before the race, while others cannot perform on a full stomach. All this we say to the fact that you do not need to adapt to other athletes, even if they are your idols.

Do what is best for you. In most cases, athletes eat very little food about three hours before the start of the race, or do not eat anything at all. Before that, it is necessary to introduce into the diet sources of complex carbohydrates - bread, pasta, rice. Many athletes take these foods well on the eve of a race. However, there are those who need to consume a sufficient amount of protein compounds. It is important to be in moderation and not overeat.

On our own, we can recommend that you conduct an experiment and find out which food suits you best. It is also worth developing the habit of drinking water and loading up on carbohydrates after a race or training. At this point, it is worth eating small portions of food and water every half hour so that the diet contains about two grams of carbohydrates for every kilogram of body weight. So you can speed up the processes of replenishing the glycogen depot.

How to Drink Liquid for Long Distance Runners?

Sportswoman drinks water

Elite marathon runners consume enough water during the race and their bodies are able to withstand a loss of one or two percent of their body weight at temperatures above 22 degrees Celsius. Such weight loss is associated precisely with the utilization of fluid and if it turned out to be higher, then the onset of dehydration and associated negative consequences is possible.

According to the recommendations of the international organization of the leaders of the medical staff of marathon races, athletes should consume from 400 to 800 milliliters of liquid for an hour. It should also be remembered that at high ambient temperatures, the amount of fluid must be increased.

We recommend that you follow this advice, although in some situations it may be advisable to establish an individual water requirement. You can drink plain water during the race or special sports drinks containing electrolyte solution.

Meals before a long distance run

Guy with a girl jogging

Long distance runners have to train hard to increase their aerobic performance to achieve good results. Professional athletes conduct classes every day, and sometimes two workouts per day. If you do not pay much attention to the energy reserve of the body, then the training will not be able to be productive and it will become impossible to count on winning the competition.

You must remember that a lack of energy can lead to rapid fatigue and even disrupt the hormonal system. Heavy physical exertion dramatically increases the body's need not only for basic nutrients, but also trace elements. Remember that your body needs minerals and vitamins to function properly.

Among the main factors that cause fatigue during a race, two should be noted - dehydration and a lack of energy. Each athlete should develop their own nutritional strategy before running a long distance. Now we will give some recommendations on this topic:

  1. If it is necessary to increase the body's energy storage, sources of complex carbohydrates should be included in the diet. It can be baked goods, pasta, grains, legumes, fruits, starchy vegetables, etc. By adding foods with a large amount of protein compounds to them, you will be able to balance the body's energy intake and solve other nutritional problems.
  2. Sugar drinks and foods can be consumed at a time when the body's need for energy is highest. Thanks to the use of sports drinks with sugar or fruit juices, you will be able to increase energy storage in a short time.
  3. To achieve high results, you should focus on those foods that contain little fat. You should also pay attention to portion sizes.
  4. With high energy costs in competition or training, it makes sense to properly distribute the main meals and snacks. Even if at some point you are spending little energy, snacking will help suppress the feeling of hunger, the occurrence of which should not be allowed.
  5. It is important during the competition to replenish not only energy reserves, but also fluids. This is what often becomes the main obstacle to a successful performance.
  6. Before the start of the competition, the diet should be dominated by foods that supply carbohydrates to the body.
  7. Every long distance runner should have their own fluid intake plan based on potential water loss.
  8. After the race is over, it is imperative to consume food and water to speed up the recovery process.

I'd also like to share a few tips from elite marathon runners.

Your diet should be high in carbohydrates

Popular foods high in carbohydrates

It is quite obvious that protein compounds and fats should also be present in the athlete's diet. However, carbohydrates should be the main focus of your long-distance meal plan. This applies to both the training process and participation in competitions. A marathon runner's diet should include about 60 percent of carbohydrates, and protein compounds and fats should account for 20-30 and 10-20, respectively.

Carbohydrate loading must be done correctly

Foods with carbohydrates on a white background

The theory of carbohydrate loading dates back to the sixties. In those days, it was considered correct for the first three days to eat little carbohydrates and at the same time exercise intensively. The athlete then had to decrease the intensity of the training over the next three days, while consuming more and more carbohydrates. On the seventh day, he took part in the competition. However, more recent studies have shown a high danger of the exhaustion phase, and it is now recommended to consume a lot of the nutrient throughout the preparation for a competition.

Have a hearty breakfast on race day

Hearty breakfast option

Three hours before the start of the race, you should eat well and drink plenty of water. Then, during the race, it is worth drinking 50 to 100 milliliters of water every 15 minutes. Note that the optimal solution to the problem of dehydration will be the use of isotonic drugs. These sports drinks will not only provide fluid, but also electrolyte solution.This type of sports nutrition is as close as possible to blood in composition, which increases its value for a runner.

Training and nutrition for middle distance runners

Women's middle distance race

Recall that the average distance is considered to be from 800 to three thousand meters. It also needs to include obstacle running. If for marathon runners the endurance indicator is first of all important, then during the middle distance race it is necessary to have high speed qualities as well. This suggests that nutrition and the training process have certain nuances.

When it comes to training, it must provide continuous dynamism in volume, duration and intensity. During classes or competitions, the body actively uses various types of energy, and all types of muscle fibers are involved in the work. Along with a competent training program, it is important for athletes to eat right.

From the stage of endurance indicator development to the moment of reaching the peak of sports form, the athlete should increase the amount of carbohydrates in his diet, and the amount of fat should be reduced. The main part of the workout consists of interval runs, which have special requirements for the amount of carbohydrates. It is important to remember that muscle consumption of energy from this nutrient increases exponentially in line with running speed.

This suggests that the mid-distance runner uses more glycogen during the half-hour interval workout compared to the marathon runner throughout the entire distance covered. If two sessions are scheduled on one day, then it is necessary to include in the diet a sufficient amount of carbohydrates to completely restore the glycogen depot.

High-intensity training often causes problems with the digestive system. For this reason, most athletes try not to eat food for a couple of hours before the start of the session and some time after its completion. However, the body must recover, and this is especially true in situations where two workouts are carried out a day. Thus, the athlete should consume food at equidistant intervals, even if he does not feel hungry.

There is a lot of scientifically proven evidence that mid-distance athletes during endurance training should distribute the load so that the body has several hours to recover between the two sources of irritation.

We can also say with complete confidence that the indicator of maximum oxygen consumption in middle distance runners is higher than in marathon runners. Therefore, they should pay special attention to the amount of iron in their diet. To do this, you need to eat red meat, seafood and liver two or three times during the week.

While competing, drinking water with the addition of baking soda and alanine may result in a slight improvement in performance. It is quite obvious that the dosage of these supplements should be selected on an individual basis. However, on average, it is recommended to take 0.3 grams of baking soda or citrate for each kilogram of body weight. However, be careful, as high dosages can cause nausea.

How to arrange meals before running 3 km, see below:

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