Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nutrition and Pre/Post Run Meals

Nutrition and Pre/Post Run Meals 
The 3 key components for runners:
            1) Training
            2) Rest/recovery
            3) Nutrition and Hydration

Nutrition Tips #1:
            Hydration: before, during and after the run/race!!
            Fueling and electrolyte replacement
            Goal --> optimal performance and minimize GI distress
                        Pre-race: 1 week prior the event!!
                        During: carbs and rehydration for sustained fuel
                        Post-race: up to 36 hours post-event!!!
                        rehydration, glycogen/protein

Pre-race meal
To optimize glucose availability and glycogen stores

            1) Carb rich meal/snack before bedtime
            2) Race day: carb rich/some protein
            3) Well tolerated

Carbohydrate source of FUEL/ENERGY!!
            Simple carb: sugar fast/short acting (better during the race)
            Complex carb: starch slow/longer acting (before/after the race)
Avoid high fiber and high fat!!
        High fat foods: make digestion slower and heavier
       High fiber foods: will attract water and promote bowel movements
       Caffeine: although ergogenic aid (enhances athletic performance), it is a diuretic (will induce urination/risk of dehydration) and can promote bowel movements

1) Banana with peanut or almond butter
2) Toast/bagel with peanut or almond butter
3) Oatmeal c pieces of banana/berries
4) Yogurt (greek) with fruit

Post-race meal
  To replenish glycogen stores and facilitate muscle repair!!

              Mostly carb/some protein
              Begin within 30 minutes after race
              Follow with a high carb meal within 2 hours
       Carbs to replenish depleted energy
       Protein to rebuild muscles
       Continue hydration!!!!



Don’t miss the next GoRun / Nutrition Tips!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hydration and Fueling

Hydration and Fueling
Hydration, besides proper nutrition, has a very important role in athletic performance. How much to drink? Plain water or sports drinks??
What about fueling? Sports drinks or sports gels or energy bars or food??

Everybody is different!! It’s personal and requires trial/error!!

Hydration: look at your urine!
                 Light-yellow: ok
                 Very clear: over-hydration 
                 Intense-yellow: dehydration
Hydration prior to exercise:

        1) always hydrate, not just on the day you are running
        2) drink ~16 oz water at bedtime the night before the long run/race
        3) drink ~16-24 oz fluid (water or sports drink) 2-3 hrs before the long run/race

               if no urine or if urine is dark before the race drink again!!! 

Hydration during exercise:

    1) aim for 1:1 fluid replacement to fluid loss ratio
              check your pre- and post-exercise body weight
              (the difference is fluid loss: it needs to be replaced!)
             *some authors suggest to replace fluids slightly more than fluid lost

             or may consider: 8-16 oz/hr
            (more for faster/heavier athletes and hot/humid conditions) * some authors             suggest to drink 4-8 oz every 15-20 minutes
       o drink water or rinse your mouth or pour it on your head!!
       o can alternate drinking water and sports drink at every station
    2) for long runs (more than 60 minutes) need hydration/fuel/lytes:
           sports drinks (source of hydration/energy/lytes) with:
       o ~110-175 mg of sodium/8 oz
                        Salt tablets are unnecessary!!!!
       o ~20-50 mg of potassium/8 oz
       o ~30-60 g rapidly absorbed carb/hr to reduce fatigue or have a sports                    gel (source of energy/lytes)
       o same guidelines than sports drinks
       o always take 1 gel with water (at least ~8 oz water)!!
                     NEVER ALONE!!
                     NEVER WITH SPORTS DRINK!! o take 1 gel every ~45-60                                        minutes
       o after the second half of the long run:
                     may take 1⁄4 or 1⁄2 gel every 20 minutes to avoid stomach issues

Hydration post exercise:
    1) water, carbs and lytes
          usual meals/snacks and water should be adequate
    2) or sports drinks if no access to food after the long run




Don’t miss the next GoRun / Nutrition Tips!! 


BY: Maria “Lupita” Townsend, MS,RD,LDN,CSO,CNSC

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Science of Recovery Which recovery techniques work best and why.

Figuring out whether a recovery aid really works is trickier than you'd think. After all, how do you measure the subtle difference between feeling "good" and "just a little off" the day after a big workout? Here's what scientists have come up with so far.

Hard running triggers a cascade of "reactive oxygen species" that cause oxidative damage to your cells. Antioxidants can neutralize some of this damage, which is why some studies have found that dosing up on vitamin C in the weeks before and after a marathon can boost immune function. A caveat: Reactive oxygen species also play a key role in triggering repairs and adaptation after exercise, and some studies have found that prolonged antioxidant use can delay muscle recovery and interfere with fitness gains. For this reason, it may be best to limit antioxidant use to a few weeks at a time, during periods of particularly heavy training or racing.
Let's clear this up to start--lactic acid doesn't cause muscle soreness. Cooling down after a workout will boost your mileage, but it won't "undamage" your muscles or protect them from lactate. A Norwegian study published in 2012 found that a 20-minute warm-up was more effective than a 20-minute cool-down for reducing next-day soreness. The message: When it comes to muscle damage, prevention is better than cure.


Every few months, a new study proclaims that ice baths do or don't work. In 2012, researchers from the English Institute of Sport combined the results of 14 of the best studies to get a more complete picture. The measurements of muscle damage and strength recovery were inconsistent, but ice baths made athletes feel better. One explanation for the results is that everyone has different ice-bath recipes. The evidence suggests that contrast baths, alternating hot and cold every minute or two, aren't as effective as sustained cold baths. Shona Halson, the head of performance recovery at the Australian Institute of Sport, suggests 10 minutes at below 60 degrees Fahrenheit as a sufficiently long and cold (but not too painful) dose.

If massage wasn't helpful, would you really want to know? Fortunately, the news is good. To get around the placebo problem, researchers at Ohio State University have been putting rabbits in a machine that administers "massage-like compressive loading." They find that the massage reduces swelling and accelerates the return of strength after strenuous bunny exercises--and this effect is greatest if the massage is administered soon after the exercise rather than waiting a few days. Other (human) studies using muscle biopsies have found that massage reduces inflammatory markers in the muscle, possibly in response to internal sensors that detect when cells are being physically pushed and prodded. Book your massage secure in the knowledge that it's a training aid, not a frivolous indulgence.


If ice water is good, then swirling nitrogen vapor at minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit must be even better. Er . . . right? The idea is that your blood vessels constrict in response to the cold, combating inflammation and muscle pain. From the few studies that have tested cryosaunas, it's clear that the blast of cold provokes a physiological response from your body. Whether this response is any better than an ice bath (or better than nothing, for that matter) remains to be seen.

Like ice baths, compression garments suffer from a profusion of conflicting studies searching for different effects. So far there's little evidence that wearing them while you run will make you faster, but the case for accelerated recovery is more encouraging. While no one has directly tested the effects of wearing compression socks during or after a Sunday long run, evidence from other sports suggests that compression really does reduce next-day soreness and accelerate strength recovery. The key: starting the compression as soon as possible after exercise. Get the socks on as soon as you get out of the shower, and keep them on for an hour or so.

The list of products on the market is long, and many of them are plausible, even if they lack independent testing. Be open to new ideas, and experiment to find what works for you. But remember that no recovery aid yet invented is capable of substituting for the original post-workout miracle recovery technique: rest..

Wednesday, October 19, 2016



Up with the lark or out with the night owls: what’s the best time of day to run? Martin Yelling explains

“Oh no, I never run in the morning.” How many times do we hear runners utter these words? I do sympathise. If I roll out of bed for my morning run before 7am, I don’t get into my rhythm before I’m back home. On the other hand, a few hours and a cup of coffee later, I’m positively raring to go.
But is this just talk or is there ‘good’ time of day to run? Are there segments of a day when it’s best to train? And can you improve your ability to do something by selecting the right time of day to do it?
Much of it comes down to your circadian rhythm – your body’s natural clock that determines your sleeping and waking. This is an internal clock that governs physical biology and physiological response: it tells us when to wake and when to feel sleepy.
The circadian body clock suggests we’re at our most alert at 10am; that we have our best co-ordination at 2:30pm; that we have our fastest reaction time at 3:30pm; and that we have our greatest cardiovascular efficiency and muscle strength at 5pm. This would suggest that there are, indeed, optimum times to run.
Of course, you may not be able to train at the optimum time due to work, family and other commitments, so do your own research with the time you have available. And take comfort in this fact: finding any time to run, whether you’re up with the early birds or out with the night owls, is a whole better than not finding time to run at all.


Early morning workouts are done between 5am and 7am. For many of us with regular 9-to-5 jobs and busy home lives, training needs to be done as the lark rises.
• Feels great in the summer when the mornings are light and warm
• There are physiological benefits to training in a fasted state
• Feels good knowing you’ve got your run out of the way
• Builds mental strength: if you can do it first thing in the morning, you can do it anytime
• Limited traffic, pedestrians and other road/path users
• Hard to do in the winter when it’s cold and dark
• Can be pushed for time fitting it into a tight window
• Requires an early night beforehand
• Body functions are typically at their worst first thing in the morning
Workouts that work
• Easy paced runs / base miles (40mins slow effort)
• Progressive paced runs (40mins, picking up the pace each 10mins)


This is between 1pm and 2pm. For many of us, a lunchtime run is a great opportunity to take a break from the office, get some fresh air and bank some miles.
• Gets your run done away from home so can relax after work
• Provides opportunities to run with others if you can generate some enthusiasm at work
• Helps you to feel more energised, focused and invigorated for your afternoon at work
• Research has shown those who exercise at lunchtime concentrate more and can be more productive at work in the afternoon
• Limits you time-wise as lunch typically lasts an hour
• Means you have to rush your lunch, and could risk skipping it
• If you workplace doesn’t have a decent shower, you could quickly become very unpopular with your workmates
• Body functions experience a lull in the middle of the day, especially body temperature, so keep a lid on top-end sessions.
Workouts that work
• 5mins warm-up; 1 x 30mins tempo; 5mins warm-down
• 5mins warm-up; 30mins fartlek; 5mins warm-down


This is between 10am and 11.30am. Although we may be at our most alert mid-morning, it may not be realistic for many of us to schedule a run at this time.
• By this time, your body has fully woken up and you feel more ready and prepared
• Your muscles function and lung performance is up to speed
• You’ve had breakfast so are fuelled and hydrated
• Testosterone levels are at their highest mid-morning so if it’s strength-based workouts you’re after, hit them at this time
• You’re psychologically at your daily peak
• Difficult to fit into a normal work schedule. Unless you’ve got a very understanding boss or are self-employed, you can’t simply down tools and clear off for a quick run
Workouts that work
• Mid-morning is a great time for harder workouts when you need to feel at your best. For some, this might be weekends only
• Threshold running (eg. 1 x 15mins threshold, 2 x 5mins threshold with 4mins recovery) or interval sessions (eg. 6 x 4mins with 2mins recovery or 8 x 3mins with 90secs recovery)


This time covers 5pm to 8pm. Evening running works for many people. Could this be the golden hours for nailing your training?
• It’s been scientifically shown that athletes perform better when body temperature is higher. This typically peaks early evening
• Your muscles are warmed up, supple and in a much better state of readiness
• Lung function has been shown to be better in the afternoon than at other times of the day
• It feels physically easier to run faster, meaning your workout quality is improved
• Your work day has finished, meaning you have focused time to spend on training
• This is a common time to train meaning you can reap the social and motivation benefits of running with others/in groups.
• It can be a struggle to find the motivation. It’s easy to bail and miss it if work runs over, kids need picking up or life generally gets in the way. Once the window of running opportunity has gone, it’s gone
• If you live in built up or urban areas, roads/paths can be busy with traffic and pedestrians
• If you’ve neglected lunch, feeling tired could be an issue
Workouts that work
• Event-specific time trials
• Track sessions – 15mins warm-up; 4-6 x 1K repeats; 10mins cool-down


This is between 9pm and 11pm. For those working shifts or with very busy work and family commitments, this may be the only time possible to schedule a run.
• If this is the only time you can run, it’s better than not running at all
• Roads more likely to be quiet
• Your body might be tired, meaning you are not as receptive to training or potentially as adaptive to the benefits
• You’re not sure when to eat: before your run or afterwards? If after, this can mean that you’re heading to bed late on a full stomach
• You’re wired at night after running, meaning sleep can be difficult
• Visibility will become a factor
Workouts that work
• Steady 30-40mins run
• Treadmill session – 2mins at 70%, 2mins at 75% effort, 2mins easy
• Repeat x 4

Friday, October 14, 2016



In a raft of studies, exercise – primarily in the form of, but not restricted to, running – has been shown to have several effects on the brain. It leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviate pain, both physical and mental.

Depression is related to low levels of certain neurotransmitters such as seratonin and norepinephrine, both of which can be stimulated by the effect of exercise on the sympathetic nervous system. Also important are endorphins: chemicals released by the pituitary gland in response to stress or pain, which bind to receptors in the brain’s neurons to inhibit pain and promote feelings of euphoria – more on that later.

Another positive side effect of running is a process called neurogenesis – the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls learning and memory. At a cellular level, it is possible that the mild stress caused by exercise stimulates an influx of calcium, which effectively ‘agitates’ proteins that promote the neurogenesis process. The upside is that exercise provides a natural trigger.

Running, in essence, can help fight the chemical imbalances that cause depression; a serious illness that can result in low mood, feelings of helplessness, self-harm and even suicide. “Depression can manifest itself in physical ways,” says Trainor. “You can suffer loss of energy, headaches, agitation or anxiety, and nutrition often suffers. There are also cognitive changes – loss of concentration, focus and confidence. Running can challenge all of these. GPs are able to prescribe gym memberships these days, and that’s because research has found that, in cases of mild or moderate depression, exercise is at least as effective as, if not more useful than, medication.

“It’s in severe cases of depression that medication may be required, day to day. But running can give you a sense of purpose and allow you to take control of your life.”

Running, can do most things – and helping to overcome, or at least manage, depression is one of them

So exercise is good for you, and the even better news is that running is just about the best form of exercise you can do. “It’s called the ‘runner’s high’ – we don’t hear the term ‘cyclist’s high’ or ‘rower’s high’,” says Andy Lane, professor of sports psychology at the University of Wolverhampton. “The reasons for this aren’t completely clear, but it’s likely that it’s because running is a movement humans learn naturally via walking as babies. It’s an extension of that natural movement pattern.”

At a very basic level, most of us can run – that is, physically put one foot in front of the other at a pace faster than walking. And you don’t have to flog yourself if you’re new to it. The key for beginners is not to overdo it. “Intensity is quite complex,” says Lane.

“If you’re unfit, running slowly is intense. Unfit people tend to start running at a high intensity and don’t enjoy it. Intense exercise triggers a response in the brain that says, ‘Careful, we can’t keep this up,’ and that message comes in the form of negative emotions – feeling miserable, sad and tired. Moderately intense exercise associates with positive mood.

“But once you reach a certain level, doing intervals or completing a hard session can bring a tremendous sense of achievement. Overcoming doubts and fears that you can’t cope builds resilience, and this can raise self-esteem.”

The benefits of running extend beyond the chemical reactions in your brain. It can help change bad habits and give a sense of achievement. “Sticking to a running programme is a form of exercising self-control, and self-control is a variable linked with a number positive attributes,” says Lane.

“Good self-control helps diet-management, job success, sticking to timetables and so on. Poor self-control is associated with a large number of societal problems such as anger and violence. Self-control is improved by training. People should run – it will lead to general happiness and, because of the physiological effects, reduces a whole host of cardiovascular diseases.”

There’s just one word of warning: if you’re taking medication, don’t bin it simply because you’ve pulled on a pair of running shoes and feel great about it. You should never come off medication without talking to your GP first.

“Depression is complex,” says Lane. “The causal link between exercise and mental health is not completely established, and exercise tends to help improve mood for those people who like exercising. People who dislike it and who are prescribed exercise might as well be given the worst-tasting medicine possible.”

RELATED: How to talk to someone about their mental health

Steve Clancey, 44, discovered that running could help him in 2009. “Over time, work pressures and life changes took their toll, and I was signed off in 2008 because I physically couldn’t work,” he says. “I saw a flyer to enter the London Marathon to raise money for Sense, the deaf and blind charity, and decided to do it on the spur of the moment. I didn’t particularly know what I was doing but I’d always been reasonably fit and entered some shorter events as part of my training.

“When I finished the marathon in four hours, in 2009, I was on cloud nine, and after the event I realised I missed it, so I joined a club and carried on.” The benefits were obvious. “It’s very therapeutic and training gives me a structure,” he says. “I also suffer from seasonal affective disorder so running makes the winter a lot more bearable, especially when I’m training for a race in the spring.

“Running has given me a focus. It’s improved my health and shown me it’s possible to improve at something. With running you get better little by little, and that shows you can overcome seemingly insurmountable problems by taking lots of small steps. I’ve met lots of new friends and I have a huge support network – there’s always someone to talk to,” adds Steve, who is a member of London’s Serpentine Running Club.

“In short, it’s something to look forward to, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” And that, when it comes to overcoming depression, is half the battle.

Do not waste time, train with who knows all about running. Team Gorun !! Free workouts every day !!! More information: https://www.gorunstore.com/pages/training

Thursday, September 29, 2016

9 Ways to Improve Your Running Form

Whether you’re an absolute newbie or you’ve been running for ages, it’s always good to find running tips that reduce the chance of injury and reduce wasted energy. As anyone who runs for exercise can say, there’s more to running than simply speeding up a walking pace. Runners can maximize their exercise by adjusting the body to proper running form. You’ll want to check out these 9 tips to improve running form. And form is important. Runners without proper form are more likely to injure themselves—and you don’t want a shin splint or plantar fasciitis to sideline you. Poor form, often in the form of clenched muscles, also wastes energy, which means you may not be able to go as far as you could or you hit the wall earlier than you might have otherwise.
As you incorporate new running tips into your routine, be patient with yourself. It can take time to adjust form so that it becomes habit. Another of the most helpful tips to improve running form is to ask an experienced runner to observe you as you run. He or she may be able to pinpoint bad habits you weren’t even aware you had. It doesn’t matter if you run around the neighborhood or participate in marathons, improving form will make you a better, more efficient runner. We’re sharing these running tips so you can make the most of this calorie-burning exercise—safely and efficiently.

9 Tips to Improve Running:
1. Hold that head up. Just as your brain directs the body, your head directs the posture. Instead of gazing downward toward your feet or the road, shift the gaze upward as though you’re scanning the horizon. This pulls your back into a straighter position. Be especially aware of gaze while running uphill; many runners tend to look up, throwing the back out of alignment.
2. Unclench the jaw. If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you may already be familiar with this concept. Tight jaw muscles tend to cause tightening in the back. Pay attention to how much tension you’re holding in the jaw.
3. Relax the shoulders. Holding your shoulders up toward the ears is a surefire way to waste energy and strain muscles. Keep the shoulders loose and make sure that they’re aligned over the hips. Shoulders that are bent forward or slouched throw alignment off and increase the chance for fatigue and injury.
4. Let arms swing naturally. When you’re walking, the arms normally move in an arc between the hip and the center line of the body. Improve running by adopting that same natural motion for arms; the only difference is that the arms bend at the elbow instead of hanging straight.
5. Loosen that Kung Fu grip. It takes energy to tighten muscles, so don’t fritter away what energy you have by clenching fists tightly. A fist that’s balled up like it’s ready for a fight tightens muscles in the arms and shoulders. One of the simplest tips to improve running is to relax the hands as though you’re holding a breakable object, like an egg—no tighter.
6. Engage abs. One of the biggest causes for lower back pain in runners is that the ab muscles are not strong enough to support the back. Build those ab muscles by engaging them as you run. Imagine pulling your belly button in toward the spine.
7. Place feet properly. With each stride, land about mid-foot and roll forward toward the toes. This produces a lighter stride that mimics running over the ground rather than driving into it. Landing on the heels means the stride is probably too long, and landing on the toes often triggers shin pain.
8. Relax the toes. Keeping toes clenched as you run is one way to waste energy and put undue stress on the foot. Roll each foot smoothly off the ground to help keep clench-y toes in check and to improve running.
9. Check form mid-run. Minimize the chance of injury and maximize energy levels by doing an inventory of your form at least once or twice during each run. You might find that you start out with proper form, but as you near the end of a run the body tires, making it easier it to tense muscles or fall into bad alignment.
Do not waste time, train with who knows all about running. Team Gorun !! Free workouts every day !!! More information: http://bit.ly/gorunschedule 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How, when, and what to eat to make you a better runner

From the breakfast table to the finish line, you are constantly making nutritional decisions that have a direct impact on your running. But what are you basing those decisions on? In order to make the best choices, you need to understand what your body needs before, during, and after runs, as well as during all those hours you aren’t running but wish you were.
Let’s take a look.

Daily Diet: Build a Better Base

In general, runners’ diets need to derive a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates than the diets of non-runners. The more you run, the more carbohydrate calories you need. And while this may seem like a free pass to eat pastries and candy, it’s anything but.
To get the most out of your running, your daily diet (outside of the time you spend training) should be built around whole-food and lightly processed sources of complex carbohydrates, like the ones on this list. Complex carbs are broken down slowly by your body and provide steady energy throughout the day. Natural sources, like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, also pack in a lot of fiber and nutritional value that goes beyond just fueling your muscles. So, if you’re not already basing your diet around these foods, it’s time to start building a better nutritional foundation. Just be sure to integrate new foods gradually and give your digestion time to properly adjust.

Pre-Workout: Shift Nutritional Gears

Some runners eat before they train, and others don’t. Is one group right and one group wrong? No. It simply depends on what your training goals are and how your body responds.
Those who run before breakfast often claim this practice burns a higher percentage of body fat than running after eating, and that this approach trains the body to burn fat more efficiently and rely less on glycogen for fuel during long-distance training and racing. This approach gained widespread popularity when Bill Phillips published his 1999 book Body-for-Life. In the book, Bill makes a case for pre-breakfast cardio, based on higher rates of fat burning due to lower stored glycogen levels and blood insulin levels that make fat burning more efficient.
Those who run after breakfast or simply run later and don’t want to spend all day starving see it a different way. For this segment of runners, having extra fuel in the tank has physical and psychological advantages. If you fall into this group, shift things up by moving away from the complex carbs that make up your general diet to easier-to-digest simple carbs for pre-workout meals. These can come in the form of gels, sports drinks, and energy bars, or natural sources, like honey, fruit, and yogurt. Either way, the goal should be to get fuel flowing to your muscles, so your tank is full and ready for training.
While I know many pre-breakfast runners who are happy and successful, I have always prefered eating (usually 45 – 60 minutes) before I head out for a run. I eat a mix of complex and simple carbs that I know my body can handle without issue. I feel it gets my digestion going and helps train me to utilize food better while running. This is something that becomes increasingly helpful as you get into longer distances where you spend more time eating on the run.

Post-Workout: Jump-Start Your Recovery

As soon as you’re done running, your body starts the recovery and rebuilding process that will get you ready for your next run. If you’ve run long and/or hard, your glycogen supply will be depleted and your muscles will be eager for the nutrients they need to grow bigger and stronger. It’s impossible to overstate how important it is to jump-start your recovery with the right nutrition.
Your post-workout nutrition plan should have three primary goals.
  1. Rehydrating
    No matter how diligent you were about drinking during your training, your body is going to need additional fluids once your session is done. This helps your body flush waste products, digest your post-workout meal more efficiently, and speed critical nutrients to your tired legs. Before you try eating anything, drink a glass of water, sports drink, or fruit juice.
  2. Replenishing Glycogen
    Fast-acting simple carbohydrates, help get your body’s refueling process started right. It is best to eat recovery foods within the first 20-30 minutes after your workout. This gives your body time to digest and deliver nutrients during the chemical window when your muscles are most receptive to absorbing them.
  3. Rebuilding Muscle
    This is where many well-intentioned runners unbalance their recovery nutrition. They know protein is essential for repairing and building muscle, so they overdo it. The best strategy for post-run recovery is to consume a mixture of carbs and protein in a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio. You should aim for about 20 grams of protein in your post-run meal, depending on your weight. Balance this with 3 to 4 times as many grams of carbohydrates, and your muscles will have everything they need to prepare for your next run.

Training: Master the Art of Eating in Stride

It may seem strange that we looked at post-run nutrition before we address the run itself, but there’s a reason I chose to break things down this way. Up to this point, we have been talking about eating in controlled, stationary environments, like your kitchen, desk, or post-run park bench. Once we include the act of running, things can get complicated.
From a general standpoint, you want to consume easy-to-digest simple carbohydrates while running. The most common sources runners reach for are sports drinks and gels. With no chewing, these liquid calories are easy to get in your mouth and easier to swallow than solid foods.
In addition to calories, your in-run nutrition should focus on hydration and sodium replenishment. The specific amount of liquid and salt you need will depend on your personal physiology and the environmental conditions you face during your run. Experiment with taking in more or less liquid during training runs and see how it affects your body. Also, experiment with sports drinks that contain higher levels of sodium, or try supplementing with salt tablets. Keep notes about how much you eat and drink, the weather conditions, the intensity/duration of the run, and how you feel during and immediately afterward. Over time, these notes will show you when you are eating and drinking enough and when you aren’t.
Training is the time you should be figuring out and practicing the nutrition strategy you plan to use when racing. Resist the urge to cut back on calories during your long runs because you want to lose weight. You will run better and see better results on the scale if you cut those same calories from other parts of your daily diet.

Racing: Stick with Your Plan to Avoid Surprises

If you’ve practiced your nutrition strategy during your training runs, eating right while racing should be easy. Unfortunately, the added intensity of racing makes it easy to completely forget what you learned during all those training runs. Here are few tips to keep you on track.
  • Never Try Anything New on Race Day
    If the aid stations offer different nutrition than you’ve been training with, I strongly suggest you plan to carry your own. This can be difficult in longer races, and is why it’s best to plan ahead and train with the same nutrition you’ll see on the course. Note: I started this tip with “never,” but if you are in the middle of a long race with nothing you’re used to at hand, you are probably much better off eating or drinking something unknown than trying to tough it out. Just be ready for digestive complaints from a stomach that may not appreciate the surprise.
  • Make a Schedule and Stick to It
    If you wait to eat or drink until you’re hungry or thirsty, you are setting yourself up for disaster. The extra level of exertion on race day can suppress your body’s hunger and thirst indicators more than you’re used to. If you wait until your body tells you it needs something, it will be too late. Instead, plan out how much you need to consume based on what you learned in training. Schedule that out over 10 to 30-minute periods and hold yourself to your plan.
  • Avoid Finish-Line Fever
    In long races, it’s easy to stop consuming fluids and calories once you get within a few miles of the finish. You may be sick of the taste of gels or afraid to break stride to grab a drink and get it down, but you should do it anyway. Even if the all the calories aren’t processed before you cross the line, this late-race nutrition still has significant benefits. Sucking down one more gel might convince your race-weary brain to let you run faster and finish with a harder kick. Plus, any calories and fluids that don’t get processed on the course will serve as the beginning of your recovery nutrition and help avoid a post-race crash.
So, how does your nutrition measure up? If you feel like you’re way off track, don’t panic. It just means there’s a lot of room for improvement. Start feeding your body what it needs when it needs it, and you’ll be a healthier, happier, faster runner in no time.