How To Fuel Your Body To Go The Distance
Running a race? Read these tips
As the warmer months roll in, so too do the marathons, half marathons and fun runs across the country..
Next Sunday the Lovin Dublin crew will be running the Wings For Life World Run. But this is a run with a difference - instead of running towards a finish line, the finish line runs towards you in the form of a 'catcher car'!
We were lucky enough to chat to John O'Regan, the winner of last year's Wings For Life World Run which took place around the Ring of Kerry. We asked him how best to fuel your body ahead of doing a run, so take note - these tips will help you go a long way!
Two Weeks Before The Race
- At this rate you're at peak fitness, so you won't be getting any fitter. This period is best know as 'taper time' where you reduce the volume of training, but maintain intensity and pace.
- Sleep is very important as that's when the body does its best healing, so make sure you're getting a minimum of eight hours each night.
- Ensure you are hydrating your body adequately even on rest days, and actively rehydrate by upping your water intake in the two weeks leading up to the race.
- Based on how training has been going and your level of fitness, decide your goal time (or distance) for the race ahead of time.
The Night Before The Race
- Create a checklist for all your gear and make sure you have everything ready to go for the morning. Ensure you have rain attire, even though you may not need it.
- Put a small snack or two in your bag for when you have finished the race to replenish lost energy.
- Make sure to attach your number to the top you will be wearing on the day.
The Morning Of The Race
- Eat a normal breakfast - if a bowl of porridge has been working for you, just eat that. Don't eat a massive fry or a stack of pancakes to 'fill up', just eat as you usually would 2-3 hours before training.
- If you are running the race with friends, colleagues or family members arrange a meetup point for afterwards. (This is particularly relevant for the Wings For Life World Run as you could all end up at different finish points!)
At The Start Line
- Make sure you have stored your belongings somewhere safe.
- Only focus on yourself, don't mind anyone else around you. You're the only one that knows your stamina and how much training you've done. If you get distracted by others, or try to keep pace with friends also running the race you could end up injuring yourself.
During The Race
- Begin slow and steady, pacing yourself as you can speed up once you get comfortable with the track.
- Try to relax, and enjoy the experience.
After The Race
- Immediately after it is best to drink your nutrition - something like chocolate milk is easily got from any shop and will give you an instant protein hit as well as a sugar boost.
- While your gut instinct may be telling you to instantly go on the tear (once you've had a shower, we hope!), get a good meal into you before any alcohol crossed your lips. You need to remember that your body has been under a lot of strain, so booze will go straight to your head!
Remember Why You're Running
John said it's super important that you "enjoy the day surrounded by like-minded people, and remember why you're doing it." Most races are in aid of various different charities, so always remember the cause at the heart of it all. The Wings For Life World Run is for people with spinal chord injuries, so you run for the people that cannot, and it's always important to keep that in your mind.
Want to join our Wings For Life team?
1. Sign up and donate €20 here.
2. Join Team Lovin Dublin here.
3. Run on May 3rd as fast as you can – Simon Zebo will be chasing you in a car!
Registrations for the Wings For Life World Run close this coming Tuesday the 28th April, so make sure you sign up in time!