When I was training for my half marathon, I found it quite tricky to eat the right things and the right amounts before my longer runs to ensure that I had enough energy but wasn’t too full. It can be so hard to know what to eat when training for a race and it is important to get it right as what you eat can considerably affect your performance. Some days I ate too much and suffered with a sore tummy and a stitch en route – the absolute worst feeling when you’ve still got 7 miles to go! Other days, I hadn’t eaten enough and simply ran out of energy a few miles into my run. So what should you be eating and how much?
Before I trained, carbs were the enemy. Does this attitude sound familiar? It can be so easy to think of carb related food as the devil and see anything bread and pasta related as a big no no. I soon learnt that these kinds of food were essential for ensuring that I had enough long lasting energy for my run, I just had to ensure that I didn’t over do it. A bowl of porridge in the morning is one of my favourite dishes as it is full of slow release energy. The right portion size of pasta or rice can also be the perfect lunch or evening meal to eat during your training. It is important to make sure that you do eat the right carbs though. It is important to eat brown and whole meal carbs as these are the foods that will provide you with long lasting energy.
When Vapiano restaurant told me about their #EatPastaRunFaster campaign I was really excited to get involved and I had experienced first hand the importance of carbs as a part of your diet whilst training for a race. In the lead up to the Great Manchester Run, Vapiano have teamed up with nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker who has devised a pasta-based diet plan to accompany fitness training plans using pasta dishes from Vapiano’s menu. So if you’re wondering what to eat when training for a race, this plan can really help. The diet plan provides plenty of protein whilst balancing your carbs- the perfect combination for training. You can see the diet plan here.
Here are some other great ideas for what to eat when training for a race:
- Breakfast: Banana and peanut/almond butter brown sandwich. I found this to be a really good breakfast to eat before a long run. it is packed full of energy and is also so so delicious.
- Post run: Natural yoghurt, honey and blueberries. I wasn’t often too hungry after a run but I found that when I ate this within half an hour of getting back from my run, I was much less likely to feel sore the next day. Natural yoghurt full of protein is a great food for recovery.
- Dinner: Pasta with chicken, spinach and pesto. Pesto is such a delicious food to put with
- Post race: After my race, I was so dehydrated that I drank so so much water and I think I become over hydrated. If this happens, halloumi is a great thing to eat. The salt helps to rebalance your electrolytes and it made me feel much better.
My last fitness challenge was Born Survivor and I don’t have any races lined up at the moment but I am more then sure that I will sign up for another in the future. Completing a full marathon is on my bucket list so who knows, maybe this will be my next big race! Watch this space…
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or health expert by any means. These are simply my views and opinions and what I found to work for me regarding what to eat when training for a race.