Eat right before the run

DECCAN CHRONICLE | NEHA JHA
Published Aug 22, 2015, 4:52 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 3:13 am IST
For those preparing for the upcoming marathon, diet is as important as the training.
Purnima Mandava
 Purnima Mandava

Purnima Mandava, celebrity nutritionist and fitness trainer, who is training around 13 people for the upcoming Airtel marathon, gives tips on what you should do while training for the marathon:

It is important to re-load glycogen in your muscles. For this, you need to take food rich in carbohydrates since it builds up energy reserves for the race day. Start the diet 5 to 7 days before the marathon day.

As the date of the marathon gets closer, reduce your mileage and increase the intake of carbohydrates. Remember, rest is as important as practise.

 

Make sure that you do not eat anything that your body is not used to on the marathon day. Before the marathon day, you can experiment with different food to know if your body is used to it.

While running, as the body sweats, it also loses not only water but electrolytes as well. It is important to fuel yourself mid-run with either coconut water or go with the traditional approach of mixing a spoonful of salt and 1/2 tsp sugar to your water.

Do not drink direct juice while you are running as it has high doses of sugar and high carbohydrate content which is not easy to digest and this will interfere with the fluid absorption. Taking energy drinks like Gatorade is a good option. Try and experiment right from the training session to see what suits you best.

 

During the run, you could opt to have bananas. The riper the fruit, the faster it will get absorbed in the blood. Bananas can also be mashed and carried in a zip-lock bag. You could add cinnamon to it as it will help decrease muscle soreness instantly.

You could also have raisins and dates. Dates are a good source of sugar, carbohydrate and potassium. One can also opt for home-made energy bars such as rice krispies.

Points to remember

The day before the marathon you need to spread your calories throughout the day. Take three normal meals and you could have snacks 2 to 5 times. Remember to add extra carbohydrates to your meal and snacks. Also, start avoiding sugary and junk food at least 4 to 5 days before the marathon.

 

For the pre-marathon dinner, try to eat between 4 pm to 6 pm so your body has plenty of time to digest. You could also eat at around 4 pm and later have snacks at 7 pm.

On the marathon day, make sure you finish your breakfast at least 90 minutes before the run. You could have carbohydrate-rich food. Also include protein-rich food like peanuts, banana. You can have a cup of milk or a bowl of cereals. Again, don’t experiment with anything new.

Do not party a day before the marathon. Choose either the marathon or the party. You will feel fatigued and the required amount of carbohydrates will not be present in the body.

 

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