Eating and running

Eating and running

You will certainly find running guides on all websites and you will hear from your friends that you should not eat before running. Two hours is the average minimum you need to wait between a meal and physical activity. Additionally, the last meal before training should consist of 50-70% carbohydrates and be easily digestible, so no sauerkraut or deep-fried sausage. Following this line of thinking, we eat a bar with the inscription “power” or “energy” and wait two hours for training.

Dry half

In the case of people who take part in competitions over distances longer than 10 kilometers, this is how most stories begin under the title “I can't eat gels”I have colic after taking gels” i “I run a dry half marathon“. I know this very well because I made exactly the same mistakes. Before each training session, I saved my stomach, and when it came to the competition, it turned out that nothing could work for me, at the 18th kilometer I was wandering on fumes with tangled legs, blindly looking for the finish line. Meanwhile, one of the smarter rules about running that we all often forget is this we train like we race.

Don't eat before running – if you don't want to learn how to absorb calories during exercise

This means that if you want to run a tenner in 45 minutes, you can't train at a 5:00 pace. But it also applies to nutrition. If you're planning a half-marathon and you need to take at least one gel (and you definitely need to). eat gels also during training. If you are planning a longer distance competition and the points include bananas, oranges, or rolls, eat bananas and rolls also during training. Even if after two kilometers you find that you have to look for a toilet, this way you will certainly get to know and prepare your body better for the planned exercise than constantly running comfortably on an empty stomach. Sometimes I deliberately go for a run right after eating, because if I eat a roll halfway during a mountain marathon, I won't sit down for two hours waiting for it to digest. I just eat a roll on the run.

Take proven items to competitions

Eating and drinking just before running and during training also allows you to check what suits you – not all gels work the same and not every meal suits us. From my experience, I once tested the effect of store-bought isotonic drinks during training and unfortunately, on average a kilometer after each sip, I suffered from colic. Fortunately, it was only training and not a competition! However, as an example of behavior that should not be imitated, I will describe a situation during a mountain half-marathon when I knew that there would be bags of chocolate at the points and I assumed that I would quickly grab a handful, squeeze along the way and in this way I would easily and pleasantly provide myself with energy. However, it turned out that during exercise the chocolate just won't melt in my mouth (and biting chocolate is a desecration for me). After two kilometers, I spat it out into a piece of paper… and was left with no energy. Moreover, during long mountain runs, it often turns out that the body rejects what we have tested and packed in the backpack, and suddenly we have to reach for something else. Therefore, you cannot rely only on one proven thing but test several of them.

Therefore, if you go to training, then test, taste, try, check.

This is what another golden rule of running says – only take proven things to competitions! And this doesn't just apply to T-shirts and shoes, but also to drinking and eating. Where better to check all this than during training?

A runner does not live by candy bars alone.

Don't just rely on candy bars

Of course, sauerkraut with deep-fried sausage before training will not be a good solution, but on the other hand, each of us likes something different and it is worth finding “something” before the competition. But should it really be a so-called bar? energy two hours before exercise? Statistically speaking, in a healthy person, the blood sugar concentration increases approximately 10-15 minutes after a meal, reaches its highest level an hour after eating, and returns to the pre-eating value two or three hours later. In fact, it may turn out that after a bar that was supposed to give you energy, you will leave for training in the same condition as before eating the bar. And it will soon turn out that it can even worse standing.

Surely all of you have heard about the glycemic index, which classifies food depending on the rate of sugar absorption in the blood, i.e. it shows how quickly the blood sugar concentration increases after eating a given product. Foods with a high glycemic index are digested faster, which causes a sharp increase and then a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. There is also an indicator called the glycemic load (GL), which takes into account the carbohydrate content of a given product. e.g. 100 grams of watermelon has a high GI – 72, but only 5-7g of carbohydrates, so it has a low GL – 3.5.

In the case of products with low GI and low GL, the glucose level in the blood rises slowly, does not change much and lasts a long time, while in the case of products with high GI and high GL, the blood glucose level rises quickly to high values, there is a large insulin release. , followed by a rapid drop in sugar levels below the initial level. And bars have high GI and high GL. Repeated consumption of this type of food may lead to insulin resistance and, consequently, diabetes. Moreover, it is worth realizing that almost every bar contains on average the equivalent of two tablespoons of sugar, which is the same as in a glass of cola. Who would like to drink Coke before every workout? This cannot be a healthy solution.

That's why I don't think you can eat candy bars with impunity, even if you're a great athlete. Meanwhile, I have seen people eating energy bars before training, during training, and recovery bars after training and on their day off as snacks.

You don't need to eat candy bars!

Be careful what you eat and where you put it

Of course, I'm not going to stigmatize eating candy bars once in a while, as if it wasn't, it's a quick source of energy that is sometimes needed right now. Besides, I like Snickers and from time to time I allow myself one on long running trips in the mountains.

But there is one more problem with all these sweets – after a while they simply stick together. Third dextro, gel and a chocolate bar, personally I can't handle it in one run. Sometimes I just want to something plain or something salty, that's why during mountain runs you can find peanuts, plain rolls, soups and kabanos sausages at the points. I once stood at one such point during a unique ultra run – Kreta Hardcore Run (about 376.6 km) and absolutely no one took cookies or cola, but everyone willingly took tea and plain food or salty snacks. It seems to me that for distances longer than a half marathon, it is really worth considering changing the taste during the run and taking something that is not pure sugar.

Be careful with chocolate, it can freeze or melt

But if you want to take all those bars and chocolates with you, it's also worth checking their availability, and by this I mean not only taking into account the fact that chocolate can easily change its state of matter but also considering where you are going to hide it. Once, during a run, I hid chocolate in the back of my running backpack and, as you might expect, I took out the chocolate in liquid form after 20 km. By the way, I was even happier then because I could easily drink it without having to stop running. Taught by experience, I hid a candy bar in my front during a thirty-kilometer training session, but unfortunately, it was a harsh winter and the bar froze so much that I couldn't bite him at all.

So, for the second long training session, I took marshmallows, it was a bull's-eye! Soft, sweet, perfect. So I decided to take marshmallows to the competition, but there was such a downpour that I began to worry that the chocolate would melt and run in a brown stream somewhere down my jacket or legs, causing distaste among the other runners. So I put the marshmallow in a plastic bag and while running I couldn't get to it at all, it got so tangled. There is one conclusion – Where you hide your food is as important as the food itself! And this also needs to be tested.

Therefore, if you intend to take part in competitions longer than 10 kilometers, it is better to check during training how you eat during the run, what is best, and where to hide it so that it is easily accessible. And it didn't change the consistency.

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