Eating before a run



  • So what do you guys do?
     
    As I have said, I have a 21km run next Saturday, half marathon in distance only given it is supposedly a brutal trail run.
     
    I have a 2L camel pack to put fluids in, have played with adding salt to get the balance so as to not taste it, gonna grab a couple of snacks for the run this week as well, but it is the night before and immediately before I have no idea on.
     
    What do you do?



  • Not run is what I would do. That sounds horrible.



  • Have heard of folks eating loads of pasta in the days leading up - plus sugary coke. Carbs and sugars!
     
    Before rugby and the only 10km run I've done I'd have an up and go and a banana. Then water or maybe a coffee or energy drink. If coffee cleans you out that could be a good way to clear the tubes!



  • Whatever you do, make sure your poo routine is sorted.
    Depending on start time, this can be a biiiiig (and funny) problem. I haven't been able to run reasonably long distances (20+) for a couple of years, but back when I was that was always something I kept in mind - particularly for races 🙂



  • What do you do?Carb load. Eat pasta. Today was Canberra Marathon and all the Italian restaurants were full of hopeful runners last night.



  • Whatever you do, make sure your poo routine is sorted.
    Depending on start time, this can be a biiiiig (and funny) problem. I haven't been able to run reasonably long distances (20+) for a couple of years, but back when I was that was always something I kept in mind - particularly for races 🙂

    Yep, taking a lax on Friday morning to give me time to empty and get over it by Saturday...race start about 9.30, which is a good time for me for that issue anyway! 
     
    I am planning on carb loading Thursday and Friday, no exercise and then probably an energy bar or goo or similar and fluids Saturday morning



  • Yeah - generally sports science would say carb-load and eat a big pasta meal the night before.
     
    As I've got older I've become a bit more relaxed on what sports science says - unless you're looking for the extra .00021 percent to win a gold medal at the Olympics. As long as you have a pretty decent meal the night before and a decent breakfast on the day, you won't go too far wrong.   
     
    I reckon poached eggs and smoked salmon on toast is a pre-run good breakfast. Main thing to avoid is anything that's going to give you indigestion.
     
    Controversially, I have just finished reading the story of an Aussie who set a fastest time record for running around the world. To me he came across as a bit of an arse-hat, but he did have a few interesting things to say. One was that he started and finished the day by drinking a litre of milk with Nesquik. And he had a study to cite that said milk is actually better balanced than all those electrolyte drinks on the market. I'd tend to agree with that. For years the friends I've done hiking, trail running, mountain-biking with have capped things off with a caramel milkshake - and we've begun kicking things off with the same. Take that advice as you will. 🙂



  • Good point there Chris. Chocolate or flavoured Milk is pretty perfect post exercise as had good ratio of carbs to protein.
    Re before your run, I'd be inclined to not stray too far from what you usually would eat. It's low risk, unless you know from experience that you always need a major dump an hour after brekky...



  • funny you should say that though Chris, as I have been craving and drinking alot of milk the past few weeks since I upped my running...
     
    I'll probably go light on the morning though, often feel lethargic if I am full and given I rarely run in mornings, that part is new.



  • I've been told a couple times that milk is actually better for hydration than water?


  • Banned

    Whatever you do, make sure your poo routine is sorted.
    Depending on start time, this can be a biiiiig (and funny) problem. I haven't been able to run reasonably long distances (20+) for a couple of years, but back when I was that was always something I kept in mind - particularly for races 🙂

    Yep this is pretty crucial. Eating something other than your normal breakfast could cause problem. Don't risk the massive lines for the portaloo.



  • Eat a couple of hours before the race - nothing too heavy. Get some magnesium tablets in too for muscle relaxation and cramp prevention.
    Keep fluids at a fairly high level, because once you start to work you won't need to piss. Grab some gel packs to scoff about 10km in so you can kick on.
    Are they supplying any fluids on the trail?



  • Make sure your snacks are fairly moist, as you're going to dehydrate quickly and start getting bowel cramps if you're not hydrated enough. Hence the gel comment - cyclists use them a lot



  • Eat a couple of hours before the race - nothing too heavy. Get some magnesium tablets in too for muscle relaxation and cramp prevention.
    Keep fluids at a fairly high level, because once you start to work you won't need to piss. Grab some gel packs to scoff about 10km in so you can kick on.
    Are they supplying any fluids on the trail?

    Yeah I think there are a few stations along the way, but think they are well along the way.
     
    Gu energy gel is what I was told to get.
     
    I guess my biggest concern is about emptying myself, the time of the run means I should be fine, but when I have run early in the morning before, I have used a lax the day before or take, er, provisions with me on my run to deal with it, but am hoping the 9.30 start means it wont be an issue.



  • Yeah I think there are a few stations along the way, but think they are well along the way.
     
    Gu energy gel is what I was told to get.
     
    I guess my biggest concern is about emptying myself, the time of the run means I should be fine, but when I have run early in the morning before, I have used a lax the day before or take, er, provisions with me on my run to deal with it, but am hoping the 9.30 start means it wont be an issue.

    I was told  (When I trained for a Marathon a few years ago) that you shouldn't use those gels on the day unles you ahve used them in training, i.e. don't try anything new on the day



  • If you're planning on consuming gels during the race, have a look at what the going rate is for running. You can only absorb so much carb at a time - in cycling I think it's around 60-100g per hour. The rest is just wasted sugar, and I know a lot of people get nausea/indigestion if they over do it.
    So it's good to have a fixed rate in mind, eg one pack per hr and keep the intake steady over the course of the race because it's easy to forget/lose track. Also you might want to factor in a caffeine gel to push you through the last few miles!



  • I guess my biggest issue with it, is this is my first (likely to be my last) of this kind of run, so tough to say what I would normally do.
     
    I have a 2L camelpack, that I expect I will use by the halfway point and be able to refill there for the return journey. Being bale to drink while running is new to me, let alone eating anything...I would probably only be looking at a single gu anyway, again, I'd plan on consuming at halfway.
     
    So is all new territory for me any which way you look at it.



  • I was told  (When I trained for a Marathon a few years ago) that you shouldn't use those gels on the day unles you ahve used them in training, i.e. don't try anything new on the day

    Fucken amen to that. I'm not a runner ( obviously ) but like many enthusiastic smashers of tin I've always been keen to try other kinds of supplements. Creatine boasted all sorts of benefits but all it did to me was make me shit through the eye of a needle on many occasions one afternoon at work. I remember Anton Oliver saying it did nothing for him either and he's the kind of bloke who just looks at a weight bench and puts on muscle.



  • Fucken amen to that. I'm not a runner ( obviously ) but like many enthusiastic smashers of tin I've always been keen to try other kinds of supplements. Creatine boasted all sorts of benefits but all it did to me was make me shit through the eye of a needle on many occasions one afternoon at work. I remember Anton Oliver saying it did nothing for him either and he's the kind of bloke who just looks at a weight bench and puts on muscle.

    This happens when the creatine doesnt disolve probably prior to drinking and it fails to get absorbed correctly.



  • Lydiard said that the best pre race meal was a couple of slices of toast and honey, and a black coffee, 2 hours before the race. Plenty of National Titles and a few Olympic gold won using that advise.
     
    John Walker used to have fish and chips and a 2 litre coke the night before a big race.
     
     
    My advice is to just eat your normal diet, Changing things up could only pose problems,  When I did ironman a couple of years ago I tried all sorts of gels in training and they all gave me huge stomach problems, don't use them unless you've tested them out in training before.


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