Fuel for a 5K
Many of us have taken to running to keep fit during the lock-down. Whether you've completed 100 5K runs or you're preparing for your first, appropriate pre-run fuel shouldn't be overlooked. The right food will have you feeling energised and ready to run well. We've prepared these tips to help you today:
1| Stay Hydrated
Try to keep consistently hydrated throughout the day prior to your run. Avoid downing pints of water immediately before your run as this is likely to leave you feeling bloated or desperate for the bathroom. There's nothing wrong with tea or coffee, but recognise that these fluids are diuretics and actually result in more fluid loss than gain!
2| Eat Light
Whether you're running in the late morning or the early evening, be sure to eat light before the run. High fat & high protein foods taker longer to digest, so carbohydrate is your best bet here. The meal before a run (ideally 2-3 hours before) should consist of 300-400 calories. Some perfect examples include - Yogurt with granola & fruits, a bagel with scrambled eggs, porridge with banana.
3| Skip the "Carb loading"
Although your pre-run meal should have adequate carbohydrate within it, avoid excessive carbohydrate loading throughout the day or the night before. In the running world, "Carb loading" is a common term. It's a scientifically proven method to fill the muscles with glycogen in preparation for endurance activities. However, this generally applies to events above 90 minutes in duration.
4| Have a small pre-run snack
If you're feeling lethargic or hungry immediately before your run, have a snack! But try to keep it very small (>150 kcals) and ideally with less than 10 grams of fat/protein. For example - A small Banana, A handful of raisins or An energy gel,
5| Avoid new foods
I think I can speak for many of us here, in the fact that we are all cooking more during the lock-down, experimenting with new cuisines and recipes and I don't want to discourage this. However, it's recommended not to eat foods outside of your regular palate prior to running. Spicy foods, Acidic foods or foods with lots of artificial sweetener are likely to reek havoc on your stomach when exercising.