Week 12: Dr May - fuel up before you train
You've heard it before…and here it is again: breakfast is very important.
Skipping breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes that runners make when they go on a long run, jog or walk.
When you have nothing in the 'tank', you will feel tired, fatigued, and cranky from the very first steps of your run. Therefore, having breakfast every day is a must.
Your pre-exercise meal plays an important function as it fuels not only your muscles but also your brain.
The brain cannot store fuel like other muscles. It gets its fuel from the liver, which starts out the day depleted of energy from sleeping.
Therefore, it's critical that you eat in the morning, particularly before you do any exercise - it helps you feel sharper.
Researchers found that, typically, the brains of runners are out of energy after a run and not their muscles, as you might think.
So what should you eat before training?
Exercise is fuelled primarily by carbohydrates. A light meal of both simple and complex carbohydrates lays a foundation for your morning workout.
Depending on your stomach, you will need to find what works for you and once you find what works, use the same formula on the day of the training.
Ideally, you should eat your breakfast at least an hour before running, giving the food a chance to digest.
The size of your breakfast will partially be determined by the intensity of your workout.
If you are running slowly, or walk for a long period of time, you will be able to eat more and digest the food more easily.
If you are doing very intense exercise, such as sprinting or increasing your speed on your run, it will be harder for you to digest food, therefore, you may want to try liquid meals such as smoothies.
A typical pre-run meal (taken more than an hour before your run) should contain about 300-500 calories, depending on your weight. The guidance and nutrition planner from David Gillick will help you to achieve this.
The big event on June 1 starts at 2pm, therefore, like the above advice, make sure you eat a small meal of 300-500 calories of carbohydrates one hour or more before.
This will give you the foundation for the energy that you will need to cross the finish line.