By Veronica Larisova
Long distance runner and exercise physiologist / nutritionist.
With only a few days left before the biggest fun run in the world, I hope you have been following a good running program for the past three months, instead of trying to start your training now. After some hard training, this week should be all about tapering.
That’s if you are a first-timer or if you intend to do really well and possibly smash your personal best (PB). If you haven’t put the hard yards in (literally), don’t ditch the race altogether!
Just enjoy it as a FUN run, not an Olympic RACE.
Instead of pushing yourself beyond your current fitness level, jog and even walk up the heartbreak hill. Leave your ego at home.
So given you have trained and planning to run your best, there are few strategies that could help you to run faster and recover better.
Nutrition is the key to optimal performance and recovery. Food is our fuel and if you don’t use the right one, you won’t go very far and might break down. It’s kind of like trying to put soda in the fuel tank of your car. You won’t need any crazy expensive supplements and gels though. Just a wholefoods diet, coffee and lots of water will do the trick.
Carbohydrate loading is a nutrition strategy aiming at filling your muscle glycogen stores to their maximum capacity by increasing your carbohydrate intake few days prior to a marathon race. Science says that carb loading has no effect on performance in events lasting less than 90mins so don’t bother trying this for C2S and stick to your usual healthy diet instead.
Overeating high carbohydrate foods will leave you feeling heavy and cause lots of water retention, especially when you aren’t used to it. Even when carb loading for a marathon, eating a late big high carb dinner the night before your race, will make you feel sluggish and slow you down.