The Importance Of Practicing Nutrition
While learning how to eat and drink on the run without choking or having to stop is certainly a primary objective, it’s not the only reason practice is important. It’s also important to teach your body what it feels like to run with a full stomach, take in more fuel and process it efficiently. Also, it’s worth your while to make sure your chosen fuel and beverage sits well in your stomach after 20 miles of hard running.
Training Your Gut
Running with a sloshing or full stomach isn’t something most runners want to inflict on themselves voluntarily. To prevent this from happening on race day, especially if it’s hot and you need to drink more fluids than you normally would, you need to slowly adapt your body to running with a full stomach. With the strategies we’ll outline in the next section, you should slowly be able to teach your stomach to take on more fluids and fuel with less discomfort. If you practice enough, your stomach will be able to handle your fluid and gel intake without issue.
Learn To Take In More
One of the main problems with eating and drinking on the run is that it is difficult for your body to process the nutrition you consume. As you run longer and faster, your body becomes increasingly distressed. As your effort continues to increase, your body diverts energy from non-essential functions like digestion and sends it to your muscles and brain to keep you going at the pace you’re running. Therefore, when you consume those energy gels late in race, it takes much longer for them to get processed into the blood stream where they can then be used by the muscles for energy.