When training for a marathon, we ask a lot from our bodies.
Yes, we love the training, we love the exhilaration that comes from finishing a great run. Our bodies love being able to give us this satisfaction, and they work so hard to keep us going. All our bodies ask in return for the hard work they do is the fuel and hydration to keep them going.
Think of your body as a car; if you don’t fill it with gas and keep it tuned up, it will eventually either break down or stop working altogether. So how do we keep it working perfectly? Give it love and appreciate it!
— Protein: This helps to strengthen and recover muscles.
— Good fats: You burn fat when running long distance, as your body uses this as fuel. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean cakes, cookies and endless amounts of butter, but things like extra virgin olive oil, nuts and peanut butter.
— Carbohydrate: Try to stick to low glycemic index carbs, which will stay in your system a bit longer and help maintain energy during training and racing.
— Vitamins and minerals: Eat your vegetables! Broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, carrots and kale are great options.
— Calcium: This is important in keeping our bones healthy.
— Vitamin C and antioxidants: These are important for keeping you healthy as a whole.
Hydrating your body is crucial as well. Our muscles are 70 percent water and if you get dehydrated, your muscles will start cramping and your performance will be limited. So in order to get the most out of your sessions and to recover properly, make sure you are hydrating your body with water and electrolytes. You will be pleased with how you can perform consistently well and recover properly.
For pre-race and pre-hard training sessions, my favorite choice would be whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a banana. This was the PERFECT pre-race meal for me, as it provides a combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat. And it was so delicious that even if I was nervous and not hungry, I could easily get it down.
These fueling/hydration practices will guarantee you the ability to complete your training feeling energized, and being healthy. Commit to a healthy plan like this and success is inevitable!
For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.