Get fuelled for Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays!
Whether you’re participating in the 6.5km fun run/walk or are wanting to beat your personal best in the 21km half marathon, you need to fuel your body right!
Here are our top three tips for preparation.
Start now and plan:
Getting into some good habits now will make sure you are ready for race day. Be aware of what is going to work for you; a non-judgemental food diary may help with this. For example, if you are getting out for an early morning run, make sure to have a breakfast which is going to support you through the rest of the day. Or if you’re planning to run at night, make sure you have some small snacks on hand through the afternoon, so you’ve got some energy for the training to come.
Experiment with what types of foods feel best to you early on in your training. Most recommend you stay away from high fat and fibre foods before a run. Stick with what you know you can digest quickly and never try new things on race day.
Leading up to the event, training and race day alike, make sure you have picked up your water game. You should be drinking much more than on your rest days which should be about 6-8 glasses (or 1.5-2L). Our body is made up of 60-70% of water! Because of this, it has many vital functions, such as lubrication of the joints, keeping your body temperature at bay, and it helps you breathe easier! If you’re over the taste of water, add some fruit in there, or have a Berocca.
Are you running more than 10km? Bring energy gels or a high carb hit for the road. Practice grabbing a cup of water on the run, place a cup of water on a park bench (or on your letterbox) do a lap, come back to it and give it a gulp!
Pre- and post-run/walk snack:
Don’t underestimate the amount of work your body is doing while you’re out there pounding the pavement. As we said above, opt for a high carb food before the race and some water.
Have a carb-rich snack 1-2 hours before the race, if it’s later in the day, you could have something with a bit more fibre and protein. Within 30 mins of the race start, stick with water. Following the race, get a carb-rich, protein fuelled snack into you. Don’t overeat, or eat too fast as your body is still recovering and you may feel nauseous. Continue to nourish your body for the next few days – you won’t regret it.
Here are two common myths busted:
Sports drinks: Are they needed? Working out for less than 60 minutes? Then probably not. Beverages such as Powerade and Gatorade are full of sugar so that they can help sustain athletes blood glucose levels as they start to deplete. If you’re not used to the drink, it may cause some gut discomfort, so again, if you’re going to try it, don’t wait until race day.
Pasta and bread: Are they harmful? Not for an event like this one! The body breaks down these carb-rich foods easily and gives us the blood sugar boost we need the evening before, and day of the event. Don’t go overboard as you don’t want to feel full, as this could disrupt your sleep and pace on the day!
And one list of ka pai kai for pre- and post-run/walk snacks:
Fruit, especially bananas with a nut butter
A handful of nuts
Crumpets with banana + honey
Tuna, avocado and salad sandwich
Poached eggs on toast with a side of veggies
Yoghurt with muesli with nuts and fresh fruit
Brown rice, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans and pulses and quinoa are all good additions to a post-run meal too!
Article by Rosa Bach, Registered Nutritionist and Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator for Sport Wellington