A half marathon training diet plan should consist of foods that your stomach is able to digest. It’s best to avoid some food—like fatty meats—to avoid upset tummies. But, fortunately, nature also provides foods that can ease our digestion. Here’s a guide to foods that will keep your system running smoothly.
Half Marathon Training Diet Tips
Banana are rich in energy and they restore electrolytes and potassium that may be lost due to sweating when training. This fruit also has lots of fiber to aid digestion.
I drink half a litre of yoghurt before my training work outs. Rich in energy and essential amino acids. You have trillions of bacteria in your gut that help you digest food, and yogurt contains some types of these healthy bacteria. Yogurt has bacteria, which replenishes the normal flora within the gastrointestinal tract so it’s healthy.
Lean Meat & Fish
If you’re going to eat meat, go for chicken, fish, and other lean meats—they’ll go down a lot easier than a juicy steak. This diet provide protein that you need to repair your body. During intense half marathon training your body gets tears and knocks. Eating protein helps t repair the body.
Whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oats, and brown rice, are a good source of fiber, which helps digestion. Fiber also can help you feel full and lower cholesterol, but it can cause bloating, gas, and other problems in people who quickly ramp up their intake—it’s better to take it slow when consuming more. Don’t over indulge just before a race or a long run.
New York Times has an interesting article, Can Athletes perform well in Vegan diet. They interviewed a cross section of experts and I picked the following bits;
Plant Sources of Vitamin B12
The foods that vegans like Scott Jurek avoid, like dairy products and eggs, are the easy ways to get protein in a plant-based diet, obviously. But you still have grains, nuts, soy. Eat enough of that and you’ll be fine. The one issue is vitamin B12, which is found only in meat; B12 is important for endurance athletes, since it affects red blood cell production. But many cereals and soy milks are fortified with B12 now, or you can take supplements.
Weight Maintenance For Vegan Runners
Favorite weight gain or weight maintenance advice is to drink juice. Grape juice, pomegranate juice, tart cherry juice. They have plenty of calories, and if you pick the right juice, especially pomegranate or tart cherry juice, it looks as if they can help with recovery. Tart cherry juice was a very popular topic at the recent American College of Sports Medicine meeting. It’s a potent beverage, in terms of speeding recovery. And it’s vegan.
After running a Half Marathon you should first replace the fuel you used, and that’s mainly carbohydrates—that’s primarily what the body uses as its fuel source at an event like that. Most of us first reach for water at the finish line but we drunk enough water during the race.
I normally have a Chocolate bar and an energy drink in my bag, and the first thing I do after crossing the finish line is, pick up my bag, chew the Chocolate bar and drink the energy drink. These are not real carbohydrates but sources of energy that restores my energy levels before I move to the next stage of recovery.
Not all carbohydrates are equal. White Bread is a carbohydrate but it is low on nutrients. In fact, one piece of banana is better than eating half a loaf.
List of quality carbohydrates that should be in every runners diet.
Whole Grain Cereal
Whole Wheat Bread
Protein & Fat
The body also use fat and protein during a grueling half marathon. It is also a good Idea your post race meal to include some small amount of protein as well, and that’s going to help the body recover from that long duration work.
Some Quality Protein that every runner should eat
The rule of thumb is that the ratio of Carbohydrates to protein should be 4:1
Another awesome drink am planning to include in post race refueling drink is Flavored milks; many runners swear chocolate milk in particular is a great refueling source.
Forget Gatorade sports drinks, the best sports drink to have after a running workout or hard race is chocolate milk, studies say.
In a University of Texas at Austin study, athletes who drank low-fat chocolate milk after a hard work out (as opposed to those who drank sports beverages with just carbohydrates) developed more muscle and less fat, as well as improved workout times. Another study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found cyclists who drank chocolate milk had twice the maximal oxygen uptake (the most amount of oxygen an individual can use during intense exercise, an indicator of your cardiovascular fitness) as those who drank calorie-free beverages or carbohydrate sports drinks.
So, in the 30-minute recovery window after running, have a nice cold drink of low-fat chocolate milk to boost your performance and overall physical shape.
What kind of pre-race and mid-race nutrition plan did you follow?
The best answer was from, Rami Bardeesy, 42, from Canada whon finished in 2:32:19.
I took in a slight increase in protein-rich foods during the last three weeks and a minor decrease in total calories in proportion to reduced running volume. Pre-race day consists of normal breakfast, followed by a massive carbo-load mid-day (~450g of carbs: maltodextrin, bagels, M&M’s, pretzels, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate) then light pasta dinner. On race day, I had a breakfast of coffee, juice, a bagel, a banana and more coffee, and then stayed hydrated until the race. On the run, I consumed a chocolate GU and water at miles 9, 15, 19 and 21 and some Gatorade every mile other than 1, 9, 15, 19, 21 and 25.
Most articles I have read on fat intake claim that at least 20-35 percent of a runner’s diet should come from healthy fats.
During running, muscles rely on fats for energy after the all the carbs have been depleted. The difference between the elite runners and the casual runners is elite runners are good at utilising their fat stores as energy source.
When it comes to fats, their are good fats and bad fats.
Examples of Bad fats for runners
Saturated fats are bad fats, they are fats mainly found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood, which have been shown to contribute to health problems.
Example of good fats for runners
Cold-water fatty fish, canola and soybean oil, walnuts, flaxseeds and tofu are good sources of omega-3 fats, which have been linked to disease prevention.
Amounts of fats to consume
Remember at least 20-35 percent of a runner’s diet should come from healthy fats.
The importance of protein for runners is, protein helps in injury prevention. Protein is crucial to muscle recovery after a run.
During running a alot of body tissues experience small tears. A diet rich in protein helps in repairing muscle damage.
Research also has shown when protein is taken atleast one hour after work out it diminishes the effects of cortisol—the so-called “stress” hormone that breaks down muscle.
Amount of protein runners should eat
To gain the full benefits of protein’s power, most sports dieticians and nutritionists recommend eating protein within 30 minutes of finishing a run that’s when your muscles are the most receptive to a helping hand.
The amount of protein to eat should be based on your sex, weight and age. Running Times magazine has a formula on how to calculate your Protein requirement based on your weight.Read it at Running Times Nutrition
They say the most important meal of the day is breakfast. This is even more important for cyclist who need plenty of energy to power their rides.
A breakfast for a cyclist should be a feast. A large breakfast raises liver glycogen stores and blood glucose levels.
Many experts recommend the meal to be eaten at least three hours before you go out for your morning ride. The three hour period is enough time to allow ingestion.
Breakfast food types for cyclist
Food type should be easy to digest foods. Breakfast meal can consist of mainly of energy giving foods, cereal, dairy or soy milk, juice, and toast with plenty of carbohydrate rich jam. For the days when a rider does his long runs and hills he may add in some protein from eggs and egg whites, protein powder, and even add in a large bowl of rice and pasta.
Breakfast Drink for Riders
A fresh fruit juice will provide much needed energy. Caffein is the drink of choice for many Tour De France riders. Many Tour De France riders start the day with plenty of coffee to lift their brain power and energy levels. Moderate doses of caffeine should be well tolerated and provide a legal performance boost.
Researchers have actually quantified the nutritional consumption of riders in the Tour de France (1991 Tour), and the Tour of Spain (1998 Tour), and measured that riders average a daily food intake of 4,000 to 8,000 calorie
Daily carbohydrates consumed by a Tour De France rider
It is estimated that the Tour de France requires a carbohydrate intake of 13 g/kg (6 g/lb.) of body weight, and they need to intake these amounts day after day.
Another interesting analysis is from sports scientists.They have a neat anaylsis on how much a 78Kg rider will need to consume to avoid fatigue and remain competitive. Read it at sports scientist