Nutrition & Hydration
Today I thought I would address one of the most important things you need when running any distance that is your hydration and nutrition.
Now for many years I have added a couple of SIS electrolyte tablets to my water, the bottle I use is a standard 750mil. I was advised to by my GP 15–20 years ago when I used to take part in 30–75 mile bike rides and I learned long before that to listen when those better informed than me advised me to do something. In fact, whenever I took part before a spinning class, the instructor would ask everyone if they had a towel and a drink as we would be “burning rubber”
Therefore, I still find it strange that I see more people running with out a water bottle, as if it makes you some kind of superman or woman. If you ask them, they will claim that athletes like Mo Farah never carry water when they run. Hmm have they not watched any race, anything longer than a 10k they are taking advantage of water stops. In fact, if you ask any doctor or PT the first thing, they will tell you is to make sure you keep hydrated, especially on a hot summer’s day.
However, what I learned only recently from my amazing PT, Becky Burke is I should avoid drinking coffee before I run, as it can act a dicrotic and end up leaving me dehydrated. Let’s face it seeing a 64 year old in a tutu collapsed in a heap isn’t very appetising. So be sensible and make sure you like me has a water bottle with you when you run.
Now let’s address the other important matter nutrition and one of the great myths. Over the years, we have all been fed a lie that we should carb load the night before any race. According to Becky and a number of other very sensible & knowledgeable people, carb loading the night before a race is a waste of time and counterproductive. According to modern thinking it is more beneficial to increase your carbs on the day of a race. So, for me, this means having a couple of slices of gluten free toast or a gluten free bagel around an hour before I run. Then during say a half marathon adding some additional carbs every 5km. For instance, if I’m running a 20k + at around 5k I will consume a SIS gel, these contain a measured dose of carbs, at 10k I will eat a protein bar or gluten free flap jack or Nakd bar. At 15k, it’s another Gel and obviously on the Marathon, I will increase the number of nutrition breaks. I have found that provided I do this then the run is far more enjoyable. If you have found you have run out of something to eat, Autumn is awesome as you can pick energy off bushes, yes blackberries these beautiful black fruits are full of energy and when cold is really refreshing so will help you as you run.