Now that I am in the middle of training for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk in Philadelphia I need to walk long distances a few times a week. I think whether you are running or walking you need to make sure you prepare your body before hand by eating the right foods. Here are some of the things that I make sure I do before a race or just a long training day.
Wellness Wednesday: Best Foods to Eater Before a Long Run/Walk
EAT PROTEIN: You may think – NO it’s carbs you need. Carbs like pasta and bread can be satisfying but they are mostly made of sugars that burn off quickly which could leave you sluggish. When you consume fruits and veggies you are providing your body with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that gives your body the energy it needs to keep you going.
EAT BREAKFAST: Most races happen in the morning. Sometimes nerves can get the best of you and you can’t think of eating food. DON’T FORGET TO EAT! Having an empty stomach can be the worse than overeating. You don’t need to eat a huge meal but a smaller meal that consist of protein and carbohydrates one hour or two before the race or a long training session. Some of my favorite things to eat for breakfast are smoothies with grass fed why protein, banana (which has easily digestible carbs) with sprouted toast or even a quick PB&J sandwich.
DRINK “GOOD” LIQUIDS – Smoothies are easily digested and provides hydration. Coconut water is rich in potassium that helps prevents cramps and a tart Cherry juice helps reduce inflammation which may help with soreness after your race. Remember this – 1% of your body weight in fluid can decrease performance up to 10%. During a training session or race drink 4-8 oz of fluid just before your workout and 4-6 oz every 20 minutes but DO NOT overdo it.
REMEMBER THOSE OMEGA 3’S – Add flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed to your smoothies or oatmeal. Why you might ask? It helps you breathe easier during long distance training’s. A study published in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport mentioned that athletes who used flaxseed or flaxseed oil as a daily supplement for 3 months experienced a nearly 50% improvement in their lung capacity during exercise.
PASS THE SALT – When training in the heat you will need more sodium to help retain water so it reduces dehydration. Taking in sodium is beneficial during a run because it stimulates thirst and helps to replace electrolyte losses from sweat. To keep you hydrated drink 1-2 hrs before the race or long training session drink 16 oz of fluid (I like vitamin water) with a “healthy” salty snack. After the workout eat another healthy salty snack such as whole grain pretzels, turkey sandwich, or cheese.
What are some ways you stay healthy before, during and after a race or training session?