With so many half marathons coming up next year, it may be time to try your first big race. But on top of regular sprints and long distances and steadily increasing distances, should you change your diet to train for a half marathon?

You might think that five grains a day, a good balance of protein and carbohydrates, and drinking plenty of water would be enough for a 13.1-mile adventure. There are small changes and perhaps more important is recovery.

do not empty the tank

Everyone has different nutritional needs, says James Phillips, director of athlete support for Precision Fuel and Hydration, who works with athletes including Eilish McColgan. It’s important when exercising. You don’t want to drop the fuel tank to zero and then refill. I will refill on the way. Pure sugar keeps your body in shape while you run, so jellies and chews are effective when training. ”

Arj Thiruchelvam, Head Coach of Performance Physique, explains that nutrition is essential for running longer than 60 minutes.

“Nutrition has the greatest impact on activities lasting longer than 60 minutes. There’s only enough carbs to eat,” he says.

But training your body to know what to expect nutritionally on race day is an essential part of preparation.

“Never do anything on race day that you didn’t do beforehand. If you’re not comfortable, it’s worth practicing doing it once a week.You should eat about two hours before the race,” says Thiruchelvam.

Your first half marathon should be a fun and exciting experience (Alamy/PA)

“Caffeine and creatine can provide valuable performance benefits and improve cognitive function.

“Start consuming energy gels as soon as you get over 10k. Otherwise your gut won’t get used to it.” [practise taking them] And my stomach hurts. A minute or two out of his 40 minutes of running helps him stay motivated. As long as you incorporate this into your training early on. ”

Phillips adds:

strike the right balance

Consistency is key throughout the training period, ensuring you’re getting enough macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats that provide your body with energy and calories) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals from foods such as avocados, eggs, mushrooms and grains). Make sure you are ingesting Help your body recover.

In order to maximize your intake of nutrients, it is recommended that you eat rainbow colors when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

If you want to get advanced, says Thiruchelvam: The rest is carbohydrates, including dietary fibre, which is about 4 g/kg of body weight. ”

But simply put, a balanced diet is everything. During training, he recommends making meals he likes to eat on a regular basis, “Make sure you don’t get satiated by roasting his dinner because it contains all the macro and micro nutrients you need.” is proposing.

recovery fuel

After running 3-4 times a week, you need to increase your protein intake. According to Thiruchelvam, this helps “improve muscle repair.”

Eating during exercise can help minimize delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), says Phillips, and carbs are especially good.

“A standard recovery diet has a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Please eat,” he adds.

Meat substitutes from companies such as Quorn (the official sustainable protein partner of the Royal Parks Half Marathon) are also excellent sources of protein. Training to Scratch.

super supplements

Protein shakes are a great way to boost muscle recovery (Alamy/PA)

Don’t supplement for supplement’s sake, says Phillips.

However, supplements can be very effective when it comes to ensuring your body is getting everything it needs to cope with the training process.

“Things like whey protein can help increase protein content and promote muscle tissue repair. While there are only a handful of supplements proven to work, take vitamin B3 and fish oil concentrate.” Please consider

don’t cut the food you really like

However, you don’t have to limit your favorite foods and drinks throughout the training process.

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying things like cheese and chocolate,” Thiruchelvam says. “Cheese is a great source of protein, and eating it helps your body manage fat.

“The reality is that bingeing on wine, cheese, chocolate, or other treats will hurt your performance, but sometimes a little bit is a good thing.”

Enjoy your favorite food while training (Alamy/PA)

consider drinking less

Thiruchelvam says cutting back on alcohol is purely good for your health. “I don’t want to burn calories that are not nutritious. Alcohol is not very nutritious, but it does have a lot of calories. If you drink too much or have a hangover, your motivation will decrease.”

However, as with everything else in the training process, it’s important to stay in moderation.

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