SMH Half Marathon

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Edwina’s Top 6 SMH Half Marathon Nutrition Tips


1. Hydration

Dehydration (even slight), really effects running performance  – more than you would suspect. Dehydration also contributes to fatigue, gut issues, headaches and bad moods!. Most people have no idea how much water they drink in an average day. You need to aim for approximately 2 litres (more if hot or training). I recommend you measure your water intake for 1-2 days at the early stages of training.Either buy 2 plastic 1 litre bottles or measure out from a 2 litre jug and just note how much you actually drink on a normal day. Start the day with two glasses of water as soon as you get up and especially before morning training. Always take a bottle with you to training – even if you can’t take it on the run you can drink before and afterward. We can get very scientific with water levels and measure sweat rates, however at a minimum keep an eye on your wee. If it is dark yellow drink more. You are aiming for a pale yellow colour.


2. Always Eat Before Training

Even if you are not hungry, 30 grams of a low fibre carbohydrate snack such as a banana, small muffin, ½ slice of toast, sports drink (I recommend Torq electrolyte drink as it has no added colours and flavours) or watered down fruit juice, will fuel your training and allow you to push your muscles harder. This will ensure you improve each session.


3. Eat Within 1 Hour Post Training (anytime of day)

If you are going straight to a meal within 45 minutes (breakfast / lunch or dinner) then this becomes your recovery meal. However if you are not, you need to have a post training recovery snack so think about this in advance as you will need to pack or plan a visit to a shop or café. The snack needs to be both carbohydrate and protein (4:1 ratio). Some examples are a banana and yoghurt or Coach House chocolate milk or Cliff Bar. Wrapping your food around you training will also stop you craving sugary snacks later in the day.


4. 5 Small Meals Per Day During Training Season

Eating 5 smaller meals per day will keep blood sugar and energy levels constant. Aim for breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks. This will help avoid becoming hungry and angry (known as “hangry”) which can lead to overeating at your next meal or choosing the wrong foods as an “impulse meal”.

Aim for both carbohydrate and protein at each meal and snack eg:

Breakfast: 2 eggs on sourdough
Morning Tea: Chobani yoghurt
Lunch: Chicken and salad wrap
Afternoon Tea: small berry smoothie and 30 grams of raw nuts
Dinner: Stir Fry beef, brown rice and vegetables.

Quantities need to be adjusted for training schedule and body type.


5. Snack Wisely

Think of snacks (morning and afternoon tea) as real food not treats. Aim for a protein and carb combination. An example could be a small cheese and biscuit box, a chobani yoghurt, hommus and veggie sticks, small handful of nuts and a piece of fruit. Another option is a small smoothie (watch added ice cream and fruit juice if shop bought). This combination will keep you satiated longer and slow the release of sugar into the blood. A sweet treat will spike you blood sugars quickly and leave you feeling fatigued quickly.


6. Practise Your Race Refuelling plan

Over 1.5 hours of training the body needs refuelling with approx. 30-60grams of carbohydrates per hour in the form of a gel, sports drink or real food such as dates. You need to practise the logistics and digestion of this during training. Each gel contains 20-25grams of carbohydrate and remember you need about 250ml of water with each gel otherwise you will end up with stomach issues.