This Sunday 18th March, Wilmslow welcomes hundreds of runners to their streets for this years Wilmslow Half Marathon. To help you with your preparation here are some helpful tips on your pre-race nutrition from nutritionist, Rosie Tadman:
Your individual nutrition needs depend on your many factors including the type of exercise you enjoy, your goals, your health status, your current weight. That said – whatever your individual needs keep it simple, listen to your body, don’t over-think it.
Pre-race nutrition – some simple tips to ensure you can maximise your race performance:
- Many supplement brands will try and sell you their ‘magic bullet’…but rest assured supplements should only supplement a wonderful nutrient dense diet…work on this FIRST.
- Make sure you are well hydrated with plenty of water or even coconut water (naturally rich in electrolytes). Or some water with rock/sea salt and half a tsp of honey.
- Relax and rest – it’s only when you rest and sleep that your body can repair…I’m sure your training has taken its toll. Tip: take an Epsom salts bath the night before your race.
- Carbohydrates are beneficial when it comes to working out. Consume good quality complex carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables (e.g. sweet potato), gluten free grains (e.g. buckwheat or quinoa), beans and legumes or fruit.
- Protein is helpful to preserve muscle mass. Good sources include eggs, chicken, seafood, meat and if you’re veggie consider quark (personal favorite), yoghurt, beans, cheese and tempeh/tofu.
- Allow enough time to digest your food pre-race – Food needs time to absorb to be used as fuel so allow enough time for digestion. A good guide is to eat approximately 2- 3 hours pre-workout if it is a slower digesting meal (such as a plate of whole food like chicken and sweet potato) or 30-60 mins prior if it is a light snack or an easily digested meal (such as fruit).
Some examples of pre-workout meals:
- 1/2-1 banana and almond/natural peanut butter
- Quinoa flakes (a gluten-free alternative to oats & rich in protein) with almond milk sprinkled with chopped nuts
- Poached eggs, spinach and avocado
- Sweet potato toast with a fried egg on top
- Brown rice or quinoa and tuna/chicken
Once you’re over the finish line, here’s some post-workout tips to ensure you can maximise recovery and repair:
- Make sure you are well rehydrated with plenty of water or even coconut water (naturally rich in electrolytes). Or some water with rock/sea salt and half a tsp of honey.
- Your body needs protein to rebuild muscles and prevent muscle breakdown as well as carbohydrates to replenish lost glycogen stores (used from your muscle during training).
- Aim to refuel your body with protein and good quality carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes after your workout.
- Protein (amino acids) repair and rebuild your muscles and supports improved future performance. Eating protein after exercise also prevents muscle protein breakdown and stimulates muscle protein synthesis (to either increase or maintain muscle tissue). This is important even if your goals isn’t to become really muscly! Good sources include eggs, chicken, seafood, quark, yoghurt and nuts/seeds.
- Eating complex carbohydrates after a workout will help your body recover and assist glycogen replenishment. Good quality sources of complex carbohydrate include sweet potato, quinoa or legumes such as chickpeas.
- Eat the rainbow of veggies – the different colours in vegetables have different plant nutrients that will support repair and recovery – fill your plate with a variety of vegetables.
- A post workout meal isn’t about earning calories to indulge after exercise. Switch your focus from calorie counting to nourishing your body.
Some examples of post-workout meals:
- A balanced serving of real food (such as chicken, sweet potato and greens)
- Omelette with vegetables
- Grilled chicken or turkey served with a quinoa or brown rice salad
- Grilled fish, baked sweet potato chips and green salad
- Lean meat, steamed greens and mashed sweet potato
- Boiled eggs, salad greens and hummus
- Chickpea and quinoa salad (lots of colourful veggies too)
Good luck from all of the Pinches team to all who are racing and keep an eye out for our blog post on Sunday 18th March with tips on recovery nutrition post-race.