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A Runners Dilemma

May 28, 2016

Recently I consulted with an almost elite tri athlete, first time female half marathon runner, 48 year old male marathon runner and the enthusiast runner.

Funny, because all of them asked similar questions, and all of them followed a different nutrition profile for optimum results.


The most common question asked was how much hydration do I need to avoid cramping?

Well, Hydration should really start a few days before the race.

Hydration status in marathon runners depends on the balance between sweat losses and fluid replacement.

Adding some electrolytes to your water before, during and after your race will help not only with hydration, particularly on a hot day, but also cramping. It is only now that I say, water alone sometimes does not make the cut!

A quality electrolyte with no added nasty’s such as phytosport can be considered.


Pre race bfast?


Should be eaten a few hours before the race to eliminate tummy pain and allow for digestion.

I recommend low GI carbs and protein, eliminating high fat and high fibre.


Mid Race?


For shorter races a snack during the race is not necessarily needed. Longer races will require a carb, usually in the form of ‘simple carb’ that is absorbed quickly.

Some recommendations are energy gels, honey sandwich or a small banana.


Post race?


Well carbs to replenish, protein to repair and fluid to rehydrate will do it!

Something like a steak with potatoe’s and vegetables. Or immediately after a race, a

whey protein shake to initiate protein synthesis.


Is there a right or wrong?


Not really. Although we know generally what will make a difference to your performance, we are all different. Sometimes it takes a few experiments to get things right for your body.

Test different foods around your training, and find what improves your performance and recovery time.

With the city to surf for 2016 not that far away, perhaps now is the time to concentrate not only on your running, but also hydration and correct fuelling pre and post race.

Finding a coach that has been there, done that will help also.

Keep your eye out for this guy- Drew Calabria IRON MAN Cairns, 12th June, 2016.

Drew’s coaching is also available online click here.