Monday, February 13, 2012

Key to Long distance running: Fuel and hydration.

If you are into long-distance running, then here are some tips from my husband who has run several marathons and is now training for his ultra-marathon (50-km run) with SacFit group. He is a pace coach for the 9 min/mile pace group.

Before the run:

1. Do not run empty stomach. Have something like a toast with peanut butter or something which you digest easily.

During the run:

2. Power food: Our muscles need some fuel while running long distance runs. Try Gu. It is like a thick gel. Have it with water every 40-45 minutes of running. There are PowerGels for those who do not like thick gels. There are chews available too: Cliffshots and GU chomps. These will help the muscles to repair.
3. Electrolytes: Endurolytes by Hammer is like an electrolyte but has more than just sodium. It also has calcium, magnesium, potassium, B-6 and manganese. It is good to prevent cramping after the run. One at the beginning of the run and one every hour should be just fine. It all depends on how long you run and how hot it will be. The S-CAPs also by Hammer is just a sodium replacement.
4. Water: The important thing to remember is to drink water with whichever supplement that you choose.
5. Muscle food: After you are done with running, the muscles crave for food. So, within 30 minutes after you stop running, have some protein mix or chocolate milk. Have atleast 350 calories after running for a couple of hours.

After the run:

6. Snacks (These can be used during longer 2hour+ runs too): Some good running snacks include: Honey Stinger Waffles, peanut-filled pretzels, Pringles chips, Sports energy bars. You might also even want to try the after-running Sports drinks for recovery.
7. Stretching: Do not forget to stretch after running, before your body cools down. Click here for some stretching exercises.