Barbados Race weekend is almost here and we have just about completed our 12- week of running. We picked training plans, set goals, and worked our butts off to stay motivated. Virtually both of us went from minimal amounts of cardio to running 4x a week and covering a significant amount of distance. One thing we have found that has been key throughout this journey is proper nutrition; luckily we have a nutritionist on our team!
Here are some basic recommendations for the last days before the big event that will help your body stay energised on race day. If you are finding it difficult to figure out an eating plan suitable for the training, it can be beneficial to go to a nutritionist and have them design a personalised plan that suits your body’s needs. Everyone’s body is unique. These nutritional recommendations are the basics behind endurance running and will help you perform and recover better for the half marathon!
♥ Jess Glyne – Ain’t Got Far To Go
There have been many studies that support the fact that consuming an extra amount of carbohydrates 72 hours before the run will help you to perform better, increase your pace, and not use all the carbohydrate reserves in the muscles and liver. Carbs are the primary source of energy for endurance activities. That means no skimping on the carbs this week!
2. MAIN GOAL PRIOR THE RACE
The main goal for these last days is to increase the amount of carbohydrates low in fiber and decrease other macronutrients such as protein and fats.
Concentrate on getting the proper amount of rest, hydrate well and pay attention to your diet. Skip the scale this week if you do regularly weigh yourself, carbs can make our body retain water.
4. FOOD IDEAS
Some food ideas for the last 72 hours leading up to the race are:
- Pasta is probably the easiest; however keep it light and lower in fats. Pasta with tomato sauce, olive oil, or some vegetables is great. Our main goal is to absorb it fast. Skip the heavy creamy sauces that we all love so much.
- Rice is great; it can be digested easily.
- Potato and sweet potato are other excellent sources of carbs.
- Breakfast: Oatmeal and banana and whole-grain toast with jam are our favourites that can all get the engine running smoothly for the big run.
5. PRIOR TO THE RUN
The day of the run the last meal should be around three hours before the run, once again this changes with the person. Your last snack/beverage should be 30 minutes prior to the run and keep it small.
To hydrate well is important, very important. It is recommended to drink 2.5 liters or water minimum, and 600mL of sports drinks those 72 hours before the event. Also, don’t miss any of the water stations on the run! They are there for a reason.
Gels are great to make sure you have enough glycogen reserves. There are many brands and it is important that you have tried them before during your training. Gels are a source of concentrated glucose, so make sure you combine it with water. It is recommended to have one gel every 45 minutes during the race, but once again do not experiment with gels for the first time on race day.
While alcoholic drinks such as beer do have carbohydrates, the alcohol in it dehydrates which is what we are trying to avoid. So try to avoid alcohol as much as you can! Just think you can hit the bar hard after your big run.
Post-race nutrition is extremely important for your muscles to recover after the long run. Hydrate through sport drinks and eat foods with protein and carbohydrates to help your muscles recover and refill the glycogen levels that we have just depleted. It is better to do this immediately after the race, so have a banana and Gatorade waiting!
AND ALSO DON’T FORGET TO …
Training for a half marathon has been a massive change of routine for the both of us as well as a large time commitment. Training to run this distance has been a great experience, although challenging at times, and with Barbados race weekend approaching this weekend we are feeling happy with this journey.
Now is the time to be proud of all the effort leading up to this day, run, and enjoy!
We can’t wait for Sunday to do just this!
‘Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.’
– Julie Isphording