Fun Run Nutrition
Are you – or would you like to be a recreational runner, training primarily for health and fitness? Maybe you have decided for the first time to take on one of the many fun runs held across Australia throughout the winter months.
Most runners find the typical western diet will not provide sufficient fuel for long distance running . As a first time long distance runner you may feel as though you hit the wall (run out of energy during exercise) during your first week of increased run mileage, which is commonly due to insufficient glycogen (carbohydrate) stored in the muscle. The timing of carbohydrates is crucial for energy as well as recovery. Carbohydrates should be consumed regularly in the lead up to your big event (carb loading) and on race day existing energy stores will need to be topped up. Consume a high carbohydrate (50-60g) meal 3-4 hours prior to your run along with 600ml of water and a small amount of protein (10-15g). Before you register and head to the bag drop area (40-60min before you start) eat either a piece of fruit or one of the delicious Musashi Protein Bar’s as a final fuel top up.
As soon as you finish your run make sure you start to hydrate, drinking approximately 500ml for every 0.5kg lost (weigh yourself before and after training to provide an approximate amount). Consuming protein after your run helps to repair muscle damage caused by exercise. Protein also helps to reduce the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) released by the body, which can cause weight gain . For optimal recovery I suggest a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates-protein. Aim for 1g of carbohydrates for every kilo you weigh and a third of that for protein (e.g. 60kg female = 60g carbohydrates & 20g protein). While many health professionals suggest refuelling within 45-minuets, I always advise the sooner the better.
Check out the homemade Musashi Recovery Bread recipe found on the Musashi website for a great pre or post run meal. A slice of the homemade Musashi Recovery Bread contains approximately 26g of carbohydrates and 5g of protein along with added amino acids glutamine, leucine and creatine for muscle recovery.
Race day tips:
- Never skip breakfast. Eat a high carbohydrate meal with a small amount of protein approximately 3-hours prior to the run e.g. porridge, beans on toast or scrambled eggs on toast with a low fat olive spread.
- Steer clear of high fat foods; choose foods containing less than 3g of saturated fat per 100g.
- Sip (not gulp) between 400-600ml of water or electrolyte formula upon waking until 1- hour prior to the event starting. This will help you maintain hydration and reduce the chances of starting the run with a full bladder.
- Always be prepared. Plan your recovery snack and consume as soon as possible post-run.
- Drink 500ml for every 0.5kg of weight lost during exercise.