Recently, Milind Soman a veteran actor ran 1500 kms bare-feet and has inspired many of us. He has discussed cultural barriers towards exercise and has encouraged our youth. Have you ever thought how much nutrition is required to run that far? Long distant runners can accommodate 2500-5000 calories in a day. Athletes performance is often enhanced by their food plan. My advise for marathon runners is individualized however there are few things which are worth considering.
- Unfortunately, people better suited for long distance running tend to be light build, low body fat and high aerobic capacity. Argh! Are you blaming your genes here?
- Long distant runners need plenty of carbohydrates like bread, cereals, pasta, rice and moderate amounts of healthy proteins like Fish, low fat paneer, chicken, nuts and soya and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Get guided by the colour of the urine. In warm weather consider sweat loss. Have sports drinks containing 4-8% carbohydrates and balanced electrolytes.
- Eat 2-4 hours before the event. Can you imagine running with a heavy gut?
- If you are running for longer than an hour, eating a high carbohydrate snack/ supplement 2 hours prior to the event is helpful eg, toast jam, lassi sweet/salted, savoury muffin, fruit and yoghurt.
- Make sure within 30 mins of finishing your run you have a recovery snack or a drink. Rehydrate!
- Do not experiment with anything new on that day.
Hope this helps. All the best and I hope I will see you in Iron Man one day!
Accredited Practising Dietitian
Accredited Sports Dietitian
Credential Diabetes Educator