Nutrition tips to train for a half marathon
In the summer of 2010 I had the opportunity to participate in the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA. I was part of the Team in Training group, which raises funds for research against Leukemia. Each participant makes a commitment to raise funds and in exchange we are provided with a coach that trains us during a whole season. One of the things that I liked the most about the training was all the tips that I got to improve my performance. There are many things that can influence your performance besides your physical condition. Nutrition is one of them. Here are some of the things that I learned from my coach that helped me get ready for the Big Race.
* Eat a good source of potassium everyday. Exercise depletes electrolytes from your body, which can result in dehydration and muscle cramps. Examples of potassium rich foods are bananas and orange juice.
* Eat a good source of iron everyday. Iron is the nutrient responsible for carrying oxygen in your blood and therefore greatly affects your energy level. Examples of sources of iron include: meat, peanut butter and beans.
* The importance of carbohydrates: Carbohydrates is your body’s preferred energy source while you are working out. For this reason you should consume carbohydrates before, during and after a workout. Eat a snack ( bread, fruits, yogurt) one or two hours before exercising. During the workout consume 30 to 60 grams (power gels are convenient) per each hour of exercise. Finally eat 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates along with protein to help in the recovery process.
* Prevent Dehydration: Dehydration can lead to injuries from lack of concentration or coordination. As with carbohydrates, drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise. If your training sessions are long or in high temperatures, a sports drink can keep energy and sodium levels from dropping too low.
I really enjoyed training for the half marathon. I learned a lot about the methodology of training and how important nutrition is or improving performance. There are no words to describe the sense of accomplishment that I got after completing the marathon.