NUTRITION IN TRAIL RUNNING. WHAT TO TAKE AND WHEN TO TAKE IT.
Author: Ainhoa Prieto – www.bikain-bike.com Sports nutritionist
After several months of hard work, late workouts in the cold, under the rain, tired… you did and here you are, ready for giving your best on this big race. Within all the prep-work for the race, I guess you might have thought about your food and supplements for the race, and if you are still thinking about how to manage this, this is the time to plan a good nutritional strategy so that you are well fueled all the way during the race.
There are several things you should consider to make your strategy work, and you’ve got the most important ones just here:
Before mentioning what to do on race day, it is worth noting the importance of the days before the event. In fact, just like your training will change during those days with some tapering of sessions, your diet also needs to adapt for what is coming ahead. So, you should think on the following points:
- Cabohydrate loading: in order to ensure that your glycogen levels are topped up, your diet should be quite high in carbs on the 24-48h before the race. Hence, you should include natural and high quality foods such as: oats, rice, pasta, quinoa, potato, sweet potato, fresh and dried fruits…
- Hydration: after the last post about hydration, you already know the importance of your hydration status and your performance. Therefore, make sure you drink about 2-3L of water daily. You can also add a pinch of salt or include your HYDRAZERO drink, to improve that water retention and facilitate the muscle glycogen storage.
- Prepare your gut: I guess you might have had some experiences with your gut so far, which normally are not very pleasant. In order to prevent this kind of issues, it’s essential that you train your gut for the event, with your eating and drinking during your sessions. Also, make sure you don’t try anything new on race day since you don’t know how you are going to tolerate that.
1.Pre-race main meal
Whatever if it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner time or neither of those, the last main meal before the race should be around 3-4h in advance. But, there are also some people that prefer not to eat anything on race day and do all the energy top-up during the previous days. If you are doing you pre-race meal, you need to choose something you like, something you digest well and something that it works well for you. Again, do not try anything new. In this pre-race meal, carbs are going to be the main nutrients on your plate, and it’s recommended to avoid wholegrain/brown options, so that there is no fiber in there and your digestion can be quicker. Protein and fats can slow digestión, therefore you should only include them in very small amounts.
¿So, what can I eat before the race?
▪ Porridge with banana and honey
▪ White rice with carrots and pumpkin
▪ Chicken wrap with rice and sweet potato
▪ Pasta with tomato sauce
▪ 226ERS ENERGY CAKE y K-WEEKS IMMUNE
Vegie Energy Cake. A delicious chocolate flavoured cake with crunchy pieces of cocoa elaborated using gluten free ingredients filled with nutritional properties such as rice and teff flour that provide fibre and slow- burning carbohydrates with minerals and amino acids.
K-Weeks immune meets compatible substances for improving our Immune System in high stress and physical exhaustion periods. This mix facilitates decision and control of each and every one of these favorable substances, leaving numerous capsules, vials and replacing the tablets getting an economy intake, incorporating daily routine and making it comfortable.
2.Snacks and drinks during the race
Your energy stores will go down along the way, so you need to top them up in an easy, fast and easy to digest way. For an event of >2h you should aim to get about 60g of carbohydrates per hour. Bare in mind that it’s not that easy to get to that amount, so you need to train well your gut so that it can absorb all that quantity during exercise. Again, do not try anything new.
Apart from the amount of carbs, it’s very important the type of carbs you choose, because they can be absorbed from different pathways, so you can get more and faster. In order to do that, you should have different type of foods, snacks and drinks, and logistics will be a good point here. For these cases supplements like drinks, bars, gels, gummies… can be a great alternative.
You can choose from the following in our product guide:
Energy Drink. Its use is particulary recommended for exercise or competition lasting not less than 90 minutes and for loading up on carbohydrates before long-lasting competition.
SUB9 Energy Drink. This original product provides sufficient carbohydrates to ensure the energy needed for sporting performance, as well as repid- assimilation proteins and BCAA ́s 8:1:1 It also provides sodium, the mineral our body most consumes during exercise.
BIO Energy Gel. The gels have been designed to satisfy the energy demands to provide a sustained amount of energy release when training. Sodium is the principal mineral included in the ingredients which is lost through sweating.
Endurance Fuel Bar. Energy bars made from natural ingredients. Perfect for taking during training and competitions, especially during outdoor endurance activities. It is also highly recommended for taking at any time as a snack or energy boost.
You should combine between these products every 45-60’, doing something like 1 gel, half a bar, 1 gum… or 500ml of high carbohydrate drink and ½ bar, 1 gel or 1 gum… repeat this 45-60’ cycle again and again until you finish the race.
One of the main pieces in this puzzle is hydration. But, it can be quite challenging to drink while running. Therefore, you’ll need to train this beforehand. Apart from water, you should get isotonic drinks containing carbs and salts, in order get that extra energy while making sure you are hydrating well. You can also choose from the products that provide these salts in an isolated form such as capsules or high salt drinks, like:
Isotonic Drink. Its use is especially recommended for intense physical exercise or in competitions lasting less than 90 min and as hydration and recharging of mineral salts deposits before and after intense exercise or competition.
Hydrazero. It should particularly be consumed while training or competing as a form of hydration, recuperating the levels of mineral salts after physical exercise or replenishing mineral salts stores before trainings or competitions.
The SUB9 Salts are an evolution of the Salts Electrolytes considering a continuous intake over longer periods. As for the minerals, it has increased the amount of sodium to 215 mg magnesium and up to 10.05 mg, reduced to 54.01 mg potassium looking for a lower proportion of capsules above salts. They contain ginger extract to improve digestion, the main problem in such disciplines.
Well done, you got to the finish line! Goal achieved? We don’t you’re your answer, but what we do know is that it’s your time to recover from this big race. So, make sure you get a recovery shake in order to start as quick as possible your recovery process. You can choose your favourite flavour from the RECOVERY DRINK, which will provide you all the goodness for this moment.
After that, your following main meals should contain:
– Carbohydrates: to replenish your energy stores.
ie: rice, sweet potato, potato, pasta, fruits, vegetables…
– Protein: to repair muscle damage.
ie: fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy products, tofu, tempeh…
– Healthy fats: to reduce inflammation.
ie: avocado, nuts and seeds, salmon, sardines, anchoives…
Last tip before you go to bed, aim for having a NIGHT RECOVERY CREAM which is a tasty and great option to continue your recovery process while you sleep thanks to its casein content.
I think you now have enough information to create your nutritional strategy for the race. I just want to finish saying, good luck!