Tuesday 30 October 2018

Nutrition for distance running

This week Miss JibberJabber has completed her first 3k race. In time she will be moving up the distances which will require a lot of training for her. It's not all about the miles you run. A good training plan includes regular exercise, a well balanced diet and an overall goal. Some people will be running to lose weight or to get generally fitter. Others will be wanting to complete a long distance race such as a marathon or the Great North Run. Whatever your goals are it's important to work out the best nutrition that suits your body and running goals.


Mix slow releasing carbohydrates with quality protein. It sounds complicated but in reality there's an abundance of quick and tasty meals you can knock up quickly. Pasta is well known as a runner's favourite and is great to have at lunch time if you are planning a run later on. A portion of pasta served with some beans and pulses with a drizzle of olive oil and some herby flavourings will be easy to eat and help you keep full until later on.


Keep track of what you are eating, distances covered and your times. You can do your own analysis to see what is working well for you. Quite often everyday life gets in the way and you can feel all your good work has gone to waste. Bad weather, working long hours and stress can all cause you to feel disheartened and ready to chuck the towel in. Think about moving your training indoors, switching training times and trying to find solutions to problems be they financial, personal or work related.


Think first of all about the night before. Drinking alcohol is not generally a good idea. Alcohol not only dehydrates but also makes you more prone to injury. Far from making you sleep better it disrupts your sleep and in turn reduces your body's ability to store glycogen. This is an essential energy source required for endurance exercise. Alcohol also increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can result in slower healing of injuries.

Post race

It may be tempting to celebrate your running achievements with a blow-out meal but after all that effort your body will need some TLC. Once you have finished try to get a post race snack in that combines protein and carbohydrate to aid your recovery. A sandwich with some oily fish like mackerel, lean chicken or cottage cheese is a good start. This will aid any repair of muscle tissue required plus give those glycogen stores a boost.

In collaboration with Dot Dot Loans.

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