Have you started your specific training for Venicemarathon? If by chance you haven’t you’re still in time since it’s fourteen weeks away. After asking me numerous questions about how to train for a marathon I always know that the nutrition questions are soon to follow. Rather than preaching from a pulpit on the virtues noble proteins or how many carbohydrates grams to consume, let’s have a look at the four most common questions I’m asked about training and energy.
- How much pasta should I be eating? This is of course asked in Italy. In your home country it may apply to rice, bread or yes, even pasta. You need to include carbohydrate in your diet but you can get them from many sources. Whole grain rice (even red or black), buckwheat, quinoa, beans or legumes can easily substitute pasta. About quan-tity: a normal portion that satisfies your hunger is enough. Balance out your meal with a portion of protein and one of vegetables (or fruit) and you’ll be good to go.
- Morning workouts: breakfast before or after? This depends on how your body works. Some of you may be blessed with a metabolism already programmed to take any nee-ded fuel from your fat reserves and are ready to go first thing in the morning. Others may be battling low blood pressure in the early morning hours and need extra time before they feel normal. If you belong to the first group, lucky you! If instead you have problems running and performing on an empty stomach, try eating half (or a whole) banana and sip on some tea sweetened with honey before you head out the door. After your workout you can then eat a normal breakfast, a mini reward for your efforts.
- Should I have something to eat during my workout? Up to an hour and forty minu-tes I don’t think it’s necessary to eat or drink anything besides water while you run. You might even be able to make up until two hours. But (and there’s always a but!) if your workout is particularly intense (with intervals or a particularly difficult terrain) or goes past the second hour, eat or use whatever you think you will be using in your marathon race. Fruit, whatever you think you’ll find at the refreshment stations or what you plan on bringing with you. That way you’re killing two birds with one stone by testing your race nutrition at the same time.
- How much should I drink? Once upon a time the experts would advise to drink “x” amount of liquids a day or during a marathon race. But then cases of hyponatremia started occurring more frequently and they had to rethink their research. A good habit is to start your day off with a glass of water first thing in the morning and then continue drinking throughout the day according to thirst. Remember that fresh fruit (and vegeta-bles) should also be included in your hydration regime. The word watermelon is not a fluke!