It's no secret that I love food. Like really really love it. Like plan-my-next-meal-whilst-eating-my-current-meal love it. But nutrition and how to fuel for a run is something different, and something I tend to steer clear of on the blog as it’s such a personal thing. What works for one doesn't work for another; it’s very much trial and error and quite frankly, I think some things are better left to the experts.
But I was lucky enough to be invited to speak to the head Nutritionist Emma at Science in Sport this week and I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about what I should and shouldn't be doing.
Following the Wilmslow Half marathon recently, I felt beaten and exhausted for the whole week afterwards. Yes, I raced hard to get a new PB and put in a lot of effort, but I had run plenty of long runs before hand and not felt like I did the following week. So during my chat I wanted to see what could have caused this and if I should have done something differently to fuel pre, during or post running.
Emma was able to give me lots of great advice, some of which is common sense but having a real life person spell it out for you is such a help. We know we should all hydrate before race day and that we should eat some protein and carbs as soon as we can after exercising – but having someone really discuss it with you really opened my eyes. I realised that while I've been paying attention to my training, my running form and my new trainers, I've been neglecting my nutrition - the most important aspect of training. Even though I know the basics and know what I should be doing, for some reason it seems to have fallen by the wayside. I realised that the reason I felt so shattered was because of my bad planning. I dutifully carb loaded and concentrated on what to eat BEFORE the race, but I hadn't planned to eat the correct things after the race, and didn't have the right foods and certainly not enough food, in the days following to refuel my body.
Leading to the feeling of having been run over by a bus. Not good.
So after a pep talk form Emma, I know what I need to be eating and drinking but I now need to put this in to action. I’ll give it a whirl for the Manchester marathon which I'm running as a half and half relay in a couple of weeks. And hopefully I will feel much better for it.
A lot of you will have marathons coming up in the next couple of weeks, so in the midst of all the taper madness, race planning and dreaming of the finish line, make sure you take some time to think about what you're eating and drinking as well.