The months of training are behind you. The worst of the emotional challenges have hopefully been conquered by now. At this point, you are like a fully wound watch, primed and ready to go when the race flags off.
As you rightfully focus on your mileage and recovery, it is equally important to switch nutritional gears, to ensure that your body is loaded with the right nutrients to propel you far on D-day. As a seasoned runner, you have probably done everything right until this point – training and nutrition wise – and you have a solid plan in place for the week ahead. This is just a quick checklist to encapsulate the nutrition essential for the final week before Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon – SCMM.
1) Get carb-loading right.
Don’t be carb-phobic, because carbs are the main source of energy for your body during exercise!Upping your carbohydrate intake in the week before SCMM will ensure that your build up enough glycogen stores that will last you for the duration of a HM or a FM, without hitting the ‘wall’ of glycogen depletion in the second half of your run. Load up from sources of low glycemic index carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates aren’t instantly converted to glucose, but instead, result in a slow release of glucose and contribute to your body’s glycogen stores.
Wheat, oats, jowar, bajra , nachni , brown rice, multigrain bread and fruits are excellent sources of slow release carbohydrates that can be included in varied ways in your meals throughout the day.
though essential for the health of digestive system, adds bulk to your intestine, and can make you feel bloated and heavy while running. Switch to a low-fiber diet about 3 days prior to race day. Avoid fibrous vegetables like broccoli, beans, spinach, and other leafy greens – especially on the night before the race.
3) Don’t ignore those proteins.
Though carbohydrates should be your main focus, proteins are crucial to proper muscle recovery. You should be including 2-4 servings of protein over the course of the entire day, which can be in the form of peanut butter, lentils, chick peas, soy, tofu and legumes of your choice.
4) Stay hydrated all the time.
Drink water, but also make sure to consume fluids in an amount that doesn’t give you any discomfort. Monitoring your urine color a few days before the event should give you a good idea of whether you are getting enough fluid intake. If your urine is dark yellow, you probably should be drinking more water. On race day, as part of your warm-up routine, consume a sports drink containing both high-GI and low-GI carbs like RRUNN Pre, so that you get an instant hit of energy along with sustained slow release of energy – thus, preventing spiking and dropping during the race.
5) This is not the time for experimentation.
The breakfast addition that your fellow runner raves about, or the new super food that you read about in an online article – try it out when you get back into training post-SCMM. This goes for your fuel immediately before and during the race too. You have spent months figuring out what works for you and acclimatizing your body to it – stick to the routine that works for you.
6) Race fuel is crucial.
An isotonic drink like RRUNN During will replenish electrolyte losses and maintain fluid balance all the way to the finish. On race day, remember to drink by thirst. Too less, and you can dehydrate. Too much, and there is a risk of Hyponatremia.
Before you are off to celebrate with your fellow runners and bask in the glory of that well-deserved medal, make sure you take a recovery drink like RRUNN Post within 30-45 minutes of your finish. The 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein in this drink ensures complete muscle recovery, and anti-oxidants minimize free radical damage to the muscles.
Once you check these off your nutrition plan, relax and reflect on your training journey so far. Visualize that sweet moment of finish. Whether it’s a sub-4 finish or a new personal best – envision that SCMM goal. Take this week to heal, rest, and rejuvenate yourself for the big day. Good luck!
Kinita Kadakia Patel
(Sports Nutrition Consultant)BHSc, MSc. Dietetics
Dip Sports Nutrition Oxford College London
Cert. Sports Dietician by SDA Australia
Cert. Specialist in Peak Performance ISSA USA