Energy Levels before your long runs
A lot of distance runners who are training for events like half marathons and marathons, increase their mileage gradually until they are running their goal distance.
Unfortunately they do little to give the body the energy needs to match the training they are doing.
Your body will do what it is told to do, but it needs plenty of encouragement and pampering as well..just to thank it for all that hard work..you need to make sure you are giving your body what it needs when you are putting extra demands on it.
Running 14km plus in one go is an extra demand!
Dennis and I were having a laugh the other night when we were running our 20km, over how precious we get a few days before a big event like a half marathon or a marathon. We carb load, we sort out our gear, stay off the grog and generally look after ourselves. However, there we were the other night running a half marathon distance, and we just pulled on the shoes and took off. We couldn't even remember what we had to eat and drink in the past 24 hours let alone prepare for the run.
However, you really should be starting to think about the extra energy needs required to do the distances. Now I don't mean slurping down a gatorade after a big run..I'm talking about the day before, that is where the energy is coming from when you run the next morning.
Firstly and most important, make the day before your longest run a double up drink day. I don't care if your longest run at this stage is 5km or 30km..everyone needs the fluid to get them through their longest run.
The day before your longest run of the week, double all your drinks with water.
Cuppa in the morning, followed by the same size cup of water.
OJ in the morning followed by the same size cup of water.
A glass of water, follow it with a glass of water.
A wine, followed by a glass of water
A beer, followed by a glass of water.
Get the message, every drink needs to have a water chaser, and straight away, not a half hour later.
You only need to do this one day a week and you will find that it increases your hydration levels and sets you up for a good long run.
Your diet the day before.
The easy 3 banana no drama way!
This is for people who are busy at work all day and can't be bothered with the whole carb load preparation thing.
Buy three bananas, have one for morning tea, one for arvo tea and one for supper. Eat your other meals as normal. There all done. Combine it a double up drinks day
The easier Gatorade/Powerade way
Busier still and hate bananas..pick your poison, buy three bottles. One for morning tea, one for arvo tea and one after dinner. All done. If you are worried about your weight, they sell the new lite ones now. I had one the other day and it was good. If you find them too sweet, divide them over 6 bottles, by watering them down. It is a great way for getting more fluid in as well.
The proper carb load way
If you really want to focus on eating healthy and preparing the right food, try to make the day before your long run a really healthy diet day.
Here is an example.
Breakie: Sultana Bran with milk:or Porridge with milk and honey:or 2 slices of wholemeal toast with jam or honey: and a glass of juice- Be generous with your serves
Snack- Banana or muesli bar
Lunch- Wholemeal meat and salad roll or sandwich, and a tub of light yoghurt and a piece of fruit
Snack: 10 dried apricots: or a banana: or muesli bar: or muffin bar
Dinner: Risotto: or pasta with tomato based meat and vegie sauce (not creamy based sauce): or baked potato (leave out the bacon) with plenty of healthy toppings: or a good piece of steak (no creamy sauces) steamed potatoes and vegies
This is just a sample menu, but you get the gist.
Eat often, load up on good carbs and also make it a double up drinks day
Here are a few things to steer clear of on the day before your long run:
Greasy Food- it will come back to haunt you in the form of a stitch or just leave you sluggish
Spicy Food- It will come back to haunt you in the form of heartburn or tummy ache
Alcohol- It will come back to haunt you in the form of a hangover! or dehydration