Bitesize portions of Nutritional tips to help reach your training goals

How important is nutrition to your London Marathon Training?
Its January 2020 and you are ecstatic and nervous that you have been accepted to enter the London Marathon, so the preparation begins with some gentle running to start building up to begin your base level, develop your running technique & develop your London Marathon training programme! It is crucial to put the correct individualised running plan, that is going to guide your training up until the crucial date in April. (If not then Body Logic Health can help you with this)!
However, have you thought about nutrition at all? I mean, yes we have all improved our diet however have you thought how the right foods can influence your training? Not only is it important to consider your food and fluid intake the week before the event but you will be putting your body through more training than normal in the lead up to the event, therefore eating and drinking correctly and efficiently will help to prevent injuries, fatigue and illness. It is also crucial that you practice and prepare your body for the correct nutritional and fluid requirements on the day.
Here are a few tips that you can begin with to help you along the way;
HYDRATION
  • Hydrate throughout the day; buy a bottle that you can continue to fill up at work! (A pink one works for me!)
  • Water is the best rehydration fluid for any exercise lasting under 90minutes
  • If you are thirsty then you are dehydrated
  • Exercise lasting longer than 90 minutes you can consume a sports drink to replace fluid and salt loss
  • If you sweat a lot you should drink a lot
  • Do not consume more than 2 cups of coffee shop caffeine per day! Sorry Starbucks!
  • Avoid alcohol – this will impact on your ability to train and your recovery. Sorry to be the bore!
FOOD
  • Eat 3 big meals and 2 – 3 smaller snacks throughout the day
  • Prepare your meals in advanced so that you can easily access them at work, home etc
  • Make sure you have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, avoiding processed food, and sugary foods.
  • You should aim for 8 portions of fruit and veg throughout the day
  • Chew your food until you cannot chew it any more, this will aid digestion
PRE TRAINING
  • Eat your last big meal 2 – 4 hours before you train
  • Practice your timings so you know what works for you, some people will digest faster than others
  • The meal should be high carbohydrate but low glycaemic index
  • Don’t forget to eat, plan little snacks, your pre training meal doesn’t need to be big, a small snack with the right nutrition will suffice.
DURING TRAINING
  • You do not need any food during training unless it is high intensity exercise lasting more than 90 minutes, in which case a sports drink will provide the glycogen you need, solids aren’t required.
  • If solids are preferred then a sports bar or small sweet will be enough
  • Practice what works best for you during your long runs; do not do anything new on race day.
AFTER TRAINING
  • Refuel within two hours post training
  • After intense sessions continue to refuel with carbohydrates the next day
  • Milk has the best composition of carbohydrate and protein to make the perfect recovery drink – add cocoa or fruit to make a nice healthy smoothie
  • You will need a high carbohydrate and protein recovery meal, keep it low in fat.
  • Prepare the meal before the session so that you wont be too tired to prepare it.
There are also considerations to be made for each individual’s genetic body composition, amount of activity per day and reaction to food types. Therefore it is important to follow the right nutritional plan for you.
So, do consider nutrition in addition to other strategies and set yourselves up for the best race experience possible. Train hard, eat well, and recover better. Good luck!
Happy Running Everyone.