As 2013 begins to wind down, Team NutriBullet is doing anything but! We're gearing up and getting ready for the LA Marathon on March 9, 2014. The team this year boasts more than 70 runners of all ages and fitness levels. As the team's dietitian, it is crucial to ensure our runners understand the importance of proper fueling. This can make the difference between a truly enjoyable marathon and training experience and one that's a nightmare. Here are some tips our team is incorporating into their training plan.
1. Cleaning up your Diet
Getting ready for a long run is a mental process just as much as it is a physical process. Nutrition and food is part of the mental and physical preparation and getting your kitchen in order will help you be successful with your diet. Making several small modifications can lead to significant changes. Below is a list of common foods and better choices you can make in substituting them. Give your pantry a nice little makeover by discarding processed, expired and trans fat foods. Making healthy choices starts with having healthy options at home!
2. Carbs as Fuel
Do not fear carbs! I try and enforce this concept after every run we all go on. There tends to be a strong fear of carbs with certain people, worrying it will lead to weight gain. The truth about carbs is they are a crucial source of fuel for runners. Carbohydrates provide the body with ready-to-use energy that fuels muscles and the brain. It's all about making the right carbohydrate choices. Incorporate complex carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, rolled oats, beans, farrow, millet and edamame into a daily Blast or eating plan.
3. Strength Training
While running will be the primary focus of a marathon training plan, strength training gives the extra edge needed to feel your best on race day. Incorporating weights and circuit training can help build lean muscles and burn subcutaneous fat in the body. Having a daily Blast will help feed the muscles with the proper nutrients needed to stay strong and powerful, leading to an overall more comfortable run.
4. Include Healthy Fats
A common misconception is that a diet low in fat is a healthy diet. This is not true. During training, you should be getting 20-30 percent of your calories from fat. The most important part of this is to make sure you are choosing the right sources of fat. Avoiding trans fat found in processed foods, chips, cookies, limiting saturated fat found in red meats and dairy and including healthy fats found in avocado, olive oil and hemp seeds will help you reach your dietary needs. Including healthy fats can help regulate certain appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin and leptin.
5. Eat Before you Run
Everyone is different, but if you are just getting into running, it is important to put fuel in before you gear up for a long run. Some people will say they can’t eat before a run, but having a good source of fuel will make your run more enjoyable and will give you more energy to burn more calories over the duration of your workout. When you run on empty, your energy levels decline much quicker.
These 5 tips can help get you started on the path to optimal nutrition while training for the marathon. Check out these Blast recipes for some great ideas to fuel your muscles, aid in recovery and give you that extra boost of endurance!