Fall marathon season has officially kicked off. What you eat before your race – and in the weeks leading up to it – can be the deciding factors on whether or not your body can really survive those long runs.
It is important for athletes to find the proper training routine before the big day. Figuring out the perfect balance of meals can take some trial and error.
Not consuming enough carbohydrates, the body’s preferred energy source, can cause your brain and muscles to show signs of exhaustion. You can avoid this feeling by “carb loading” before and during a run to bump up your energy. Carb-loading simply means eating more carbohydrates before an event in order to increase energy stores in the muscles.
Protein for your muscles
Protein helps rebuild muscles, so it is extremely important after a long run to repair the damaged muscle tissue and create new tissue. After a long run, Burchill recommends eating foods such as eggs, white meats, milk and cheese.
Avoid Empty Calories
Burchill recommends eating foods that provide you with the most nutrients per calorie. Nutrient-rich foods include whole grains and starches (like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, oatmeal), lean proteins, healthy fats (avocados, nuts, and olive oil), and colorful fruits and veggies to provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Prepare your snacks and meals
Preparing your meals in advance can make a huge difference in the food choices you make in the weeks leading up to your event—athletes also have busy lives, so it’s important to plan ahead of time for what they will consume every week.
Avoid the F’s: