How important is nutrition for athletes before, during and after training?
Nutrition is, indeed, one of the main aspects for a runner’s success as is the timing for the right food. We are now eight weeks away from the Wings for Life World Run, so it really is time to build well-balanced nutrition into your day, if you haven’t already.
What should we eat and drink during this training phase?
A combination of complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, oatmeal and fruit together with proteins (e.g. dairy, white meat and fish) will increase the efficiency of your training. On top of that, unsaturated fats, like OMEGA 3 (salmon), nuts and oil, will provide the athlete with both the right amount of energy and biological balance. After a full training run, it is important to fill up the depot and rebalance the minerals.
Can isotonic or energy drinks help?
Of course a good isotonic drink or energy drink mixed with water will provide the athlete with vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed during the run. I would also recommend consuming either of those drinks after a full training session for a speedy recovery and to compensate for the loss of water due to sweating.
What should we eat and drink on the big day?
This is a funny question if you consider the unique format of this run. Some people will start at 3am and some at 3pm. Let’s do a nutritional rundown in hours before the race:
12h: full meal, consisting of mostly carbohydrates (the famous pasta parties)
8h: carbohydrate snack or nuts
3h: portion of oatmeal with honey and fruit
1h: banana or energy bar
During the run:
Gel or banana and always enough water, tea, isotonic or energy drink.
After you’ve finished:
Isotonic or energy drink and a small portion of carbohydrates.
Two hours after the race:
A full meal consisting of proteins and a balanced amount of carbohydrates.
17 marathons: (3:48)
20 half-marathons (1:37)
Numerous shorter runs of 5K and 10K
She runs around 100k weekly and is in training for the Wings for Life World Run in Barcelona.