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Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Posted 14 Jun 12

How should I eat around my half-marathon training?

Hi Kelly, I have signed up to do a half marathon at the end of September, IÂ?ve been training a couple of weeks, for about 3x half an hour sessions a week. The problem is that I donÂ?t think I am getting better at all, in fact I feel I am getting worse. I think I maybe not eating the right foods before training, could you advise me on an appropriate diet for running which will still help me lose weight? I am 5,6ft and weigh about 12.7 Ibs. Many thanks, Carly

Our expert says...

Hi Carly,

 

If you are training for a half marathon then as you progress with your training your weight loss will come a lot more effortlessly, all you need to do is get your pre and post-run nutrition right to ensure optimum recovery and preventing immune suppression and illness/injury. Here are the key points to remember:

 

- Don’t run too soon after eating - ideally leave 1-2 hours although this varies for every individual

 

- Your pre-run meal should contain carbohydrate and protein but not high fat as this slows digestion and can sit heavy on the stomach.

- ensure the body has fuel before exercising i.e. don’t exercise if you have not eaten all day as the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) will be higher and can lead to fainting, heat exhaustion and in severe cases hypoglycaemic coma!

- Ideally, consume 50-100grams of a carbohydrate and protein source within the first 15 minutes after exercise to optimise muscle recovery.
 

- Your body’s protein requirements will increase and your consumption needs to reflect this to cope with the increasing mileage from your training. Good quality white meat, green vegetables, fish, nuts/seeds and tofu are just a few examples.


- Listen to your body regarding pre and post-exercise nutrition, if you find during one session you struggle for energy then it may be that you have not prepared well enough prior to training, i.e. left it too long since your last snack/meal.

So I would suggest you look to exercise between 1-2 hours after a protein/carb-based snack or meal and look to consume a small snack within the first 15 minutes post your exercise session. This structure will ensure you have the energy to train effectively and support your recovery after. Focus on your training and consuming more protein instead of fat and the weight loss will follow.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Kelly

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