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Fuel your body, maximise your performance
Running in Swindon in association with Swindon Chiropractic Clinic
The food and drink you consume before, during and after running is vital to your performance and development as a runner.
It doesn't matter whether you run once a week or every day, your body needs to be healthy and hydrated in preparation for any run.
Keep to the following simple rules, and you'll feel fitter, healthier, and prepared to take on any distance.
Running in Swindon
1. Keep hydrated
Your body is made up of almost 60% water, so you need to keep it topped up. Try to drink at least 2 litres during a rest day, and DOUBLE that on a day when you will be running.
If you're taking part in a race, try to drink a pint of water or a sports drink an hour before you run (not too close to the run, as you will be needing the toilet!) and half a pint for every 30 minutes of running. This will be easy at organised events, with drink stations every couple of miles.
Running in Swindon
2. Never skip breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - even if you're planning a run later in the evening, eating breakfast will help. A bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast will do.
On race days, try not to eat in the hour before it starts.

Running in Swindon
3. Vary your diet

If you're a relatively healthy person you shouldn't need to make any drastic changes to your diet. You don't need to live off a diet of carbohydrates to be a good runner, and as with any diet - variety is key. Having said that, carbs are a MUST for pre-race meals.
4. Eat little and often
If you're running in the evenings, you need to ensure the food you eat during the day is nutritious enough to keep you going. Frequent snacking throughout the day is the perfect way to keep your blood sugar levels up, and keep your body going during the run.
Eating little and often has proven very successful with runners - just make sure you maintain those healthy main meals too.

Running in Swindon
5. Donít forget your pre-race meal
Carbs are clearly the key to a pre-race meal, but make sure you don't over-indulge the night before a race as this could affect your sleep, and ultimately your performance.
Most runners will carbo-load on pasta, which is a great slow-releasing food. However, don't be fooled in to thinking the energy will keep you going the following day. Your body uses up energy during sleep, so you will still need a healthy energy-filled breakfast on the morning of your race.
Bread, cereal and bananas are great for that lasting energy boost. Just make sure you drink plenty of water too.
Obviously if you're going for a 20-minute jog and you've followed the simple rules of pre-run nutrition, you shouldn't require any food or drink during your run.
However, distances of 10k and longer will burn and use up more of your resources than you can load before a run, so you will need to top your body up as you go.
1. Drink on the go
Drinking on the run is massively important. If you're taking part in an organised event, there will usually be drink stations dotted around the course, making it simple to rehydrate as you go. If they offer energy drinks, try to vary your intake between those and water.
If energy drinks are available, make sure they're ones you've tried before to ensure your body will react the right way.
Running in Swindon
2. Energy gels
Energy gels are really popular during races. You can carry them around the course with you in a pouch or armband, and consume with water at your selected drinks station.
If you're taking part in a long-distance race, save your energy gel for the final 1/3 or 1/4 of the race - it could give you that final boost you need, and avoid the dreaded 'wall'.
Running in Swindon
1. Refuelling is essential
It's vital that you refuel your body with high-carboydrate food and drink straight after a race.
2. Don't over-indulge
Your body will need to take on the energy and glycogen it has used during the race within four hours. But be careful - over-indulging in a huge meal after the race may cause sickness, as your body struggles to cope with the intake.
Stick to the 'little and often' theory, and your body will be back to normal and ready to go again within hours.
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