For an amateur runner, it is important to have pre-exercise meals that will contribute to storing energy for exercise in the form of glycogen which is used during exercise. Along with pre-exercise meals, proper hydration is essential to keep your body active while exercising.
Maintaining a well-balanced diet that can be classified as ‘high carb’ with the protein to carbohydrate ratio being 4:1, is another important pointer. For example, mashed bananas, potatoes, pastas, custard, etc count for high carbs.
While high carbs like white rice, pastas, jams, bread spreads, honey, cheese (in small quantities) and refined sugar are recommended to increase your energy stores three-four days before the marathon, excess protein can have a negative effect. Food items such as butter, ghee, and other dairy and oily products should be omitted from your diet in the days leading up to the marathon.
Hydration is the most essential, before and after the run. Less hydration could cause fatigue, headaches and giddiness that is detrimental to a successful run and also causes problems for recovery after your run. Besides hydration with plain water, you can also try having curd or coconut water or lime juice with a pinch of salt.
If you’re running a marathon, here are some tips to remember:
Getting your body used to drinking lots of water needs to begin in the weeks leading up to the run. At least 5 litres of water need to be consumed every day.
Do not implement a crash diet in the days leading up to the run. Your body will not get used to it quickly for the effects to be noticed.
Do not over eat on the night before the run because you might have a heavy stomach and certain digestion problems that could hamper your run. Foods to be avoided during this time include high fiber foods (whole grain food, vegetables and fruits with skin); high fat foods (dairy products, fried foods, etc)
On the day of the run, 30 to 60 minutes before you actually begin the run, you can have a piece of fruit and remember to constantly hydrate with water.
Stretching and warming up before and after the run is as important as following a proper nutrition plan in the weeks leading up to the run
Knowing how far you can push your body and your body limits will help in a successful run
— The writer is the chief dietician at Fortis Hospitals, partner for the TCS World 10K 2016....