Fueling Before the Big Race

Any successful training plan for an endurance race, such as a half marathon, should be supplemented with a strong nutritional plan, which can be the backbone to your running routine. 

Many think prepping for a half marathon is all about the physical training, but it’s also important to strategically plan your nutrition in the weeks and days leading up to the race.

Because carbohydrates are your body’s most efficiently metabolized form of energy, runners should be sure to consume at least 60 to 70 percent of your daily caloric intake from carbs. Fill your plate with complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Additionally, it’s vital to incorporate an ample amount of both protein and fat into your daily intake to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Whole wheat bread with peanut butter and pasta are great meal choices before your big race. However, it is important to stick with the foods you know your body can handle. The day before a race is not the time to experiment with new foods.

No runner is above supplementing his or her exercise with strong meals, and a smart nutritional formula can optimize your performance. This fueling strategy has a high impact on your ability to train at a higher intensity, increased frequency and longer duration.

Many half-marathoners even like to snack during the actual race, whether it be on gels, bars or sports drinks, to stay fueled throughout. If you plan to do this, make sure you practice this throughout your training to see what your stomach can handle.

Post-race nutrition is essential to recovery. Fuel your body with plenty of carbohydrates and protein within an hour of passing the finish line. This allows your body to replenish its supply of glycogen more quickly.

Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor for this weekend’s Germantown Half Marathon. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.

This blog post was adapted from halfmarathons.net.

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