Through my involvement in the Unogwaja Challenge in 2013, I have interacted with some incredible people. This, coupled with my love for the Comrades Marathon, led me to ask some of my fellow Unogwaja friends to write a post on how to prepare for the 2013 Comrades Marathon. This will be represented through 3 different posts. The Friends in question are the team at Nutreats – an online sports nutrition store.
Eating in the month leading up to Comrades
Comrades is exactly 30 days away. At this stage the hard work has been done and the biggest concern now should be getting to the start line in peak performance.
Peak performance is closely linked with peak nutrition. If you aren’t eating right, you won’t feel right and sure as day won’t perform right. In order to help you get to the start line in peak nutritional performance, Nutreats brings you a three part eating guide in the lead up to Comrades.
This series will tackle:
- Eating in the month leading up to Comrade
- Eating in the week before Comrades
- Eating on the day of Comrades
As today marks 30 days until the 2013 Comrades, we kick off with ‘Eating in the month leading up to Comrades’. They call “it“ the Comrades Appetite and warn of grocery bills sky-rocketing. ‘It’ would be the constant hunger you feel as your total training mileage creeps up well into the thousand kilometre mark. With just a month to go, it’s a feeling you want, you should be feeling hungry all the time. According to Comrades Coach, Lindsey Parry an absence of hunger is indicative of over-training.
It’s easy to use the extra hours spent training as an excuse to indulge in your every culinary whim – good or bad; but it is especially during this time that you want to be more vigilant with what you eat. Make the right food choices now and you’ll recover faster, be able to train better and feel better. Do the opposite and you can wind up feeling sluggish, bloated, sore and lacking energy.
Now is not the time to begin a new diet. As beneficial as many of them may be, it takes more than a month for you to reap the benefits, and it is best you enter comrades on the fuel that has brought you this far. This month, focus on getting the majority of your nutrients from whole foods and limiting processed goods as much as possible.
You are still running, so you will need to ensure you are getting enough calories and the correct nutrients. Aim to get 50-60% of your daily calories from Carbohydrates and between 1-1.8 grams of protein per kilo daily.
Ensuring you have fuel in your tank before training will make those sessions easier, and getting in nutrition straight after will speed up recovery, making the next session better.
Runner’s world list 6 Diet Rules to follow, all of which can be easily combined into most diets:
- Eat Seeds, Nuts and Whole Grains: Packed with health boosting compounds, these thhree foods contain essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to improve heath and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Colour you Fruits and Vegetable Bright: The brighter the vegetable and fruit, the more nutrients it contains. Eat five different coloured fruits and vegetables daily to load up on vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates needed for running. Low in calories and high in flavour, nutrients and satiation, fruits and vegetables are a nutrient powerhouse!
- Leave the skin on: Don’t peel your fruits and veg, eat the skin to get their fibre and nutrients. Skin of fruit and vegetable is there to protect them from UV lights and parasites, making them full of Phytochemicals beneficial to health.
- Drink Milk and eat milk products from animals: Animal milk and milk products provide not only calcium for strong bones but a potent protein – Whey. Whey speeds up recovery and strengthens your immunes system. Fermented dairy such as yogurt and Kefir contain good bacteria which ensure a healthy gut and digestive system
- Eat Cold Water Foods: Seafood provides you with a wide array of nutrients such as protein, zinc, copper and chromium which are often lacking in a runner’s diet. The omega-3 found in oily fishes also has anti-inflammatory properties, giving them the power to reduce post exercise muscle soreness.
- Meat, Chicken and Eggs are kings of Protein: Animal products give you much needed protein and minerals which are difficult to get from other sources. Meats contain iron and zinc which are easily absorbed by the blood and support healthy red blood cells and a strong immune system. Try stick with grass fed sources, as their meat has more Omega 3 Fatty Acids and less saturated fat.
Following a training session, make sure you are getting a snack in or eating one of your daily meals. It is important to get in a mixture of Carbohydrates and Protein. One of the best products that give you the nutrients you need to quickly recover is 32Gi’s Recover Shakes or GU’s Recovery Brew both of which provide you with the optimal blend of protein to carbohydrates ratio and both are easily prepared in minutes.
You are what you eat, and if you want to be the best runner you can be come June 2, make sure you are putting the best fuel in you!