What does good preparation look like?
The first thought: the right training! That is of course clear and therefore it should not be about training here. But not only the training, but also the right nutrition can make the endurance exercise easier for you. What does an optimal runner's diet look like?
First of all, the same recommendations apply to runners as to everyone else. It should be well-balanced and predominantly plant-based! This includes whole grains, lots of colorful vegetables and fruits, as well as legumes and high-quality oils. On the other hand, highly processed convenience foods should not be eaten as often. They usually contain a lot of salt, sugar and fat.
But it is not only important what you eat, but also how much. Athletes consume a lot of energy during training and should therefore eat more. However, you should not eat so generously immediately before the run. Then the body would be busy with digestion and would have less energy for the muscles. The food coma sends its regards! It is better to eat a proper meal with enough carbohydrates and proteins, for example pasta with lentil bolognese, about 2-3 hours before the load. This way, you won't be overstuffed while running, but you'll still have enough energy for the next few hours. Eating too little before a run can also reduce your performance. If you get a little hungry just before the start, easily digestible carbohydrates such as bananas or dried fruit are a good choice.
Do you need certain nutrients when running?
The priority is to consume enough energy and drink enough! Once this is ensured, you can start thinking about specific nutrients.
The most important nutrients in the diet of runners are carbohydrates and proteins. Why? Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. They are easily digested and provide energy almost directly. Therefore, about 50-60% of daily calories should come from carbohydrates. Proteins are needed by the body for both muscle growth and muscle regeneration. You should therefore cover about 15-20% of your daily energy intake with proteins. Fat is rather unfavorable as a short-term energy supplier and needs time for digestion. Therefore, you should not eat too much fat shortly before a run. Nevertheless, about 20-30% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats during the training period. In addition, it is very important to take in enough vitamins and minerals through fresh fruits and vegetables. Lots of vitamins and minerals - does that mean supplements?
Do you need as a runner:in nutritional supplements?
Theoretically, the supply of all essential nutrients is also possible for athletes through food. However, this becomes more and more difficult after a certain amount of sports and the resulting increased need for nutrients. Because let's be honest, who cooks fresh and healthy food three times a day when you also work and do sports 5 times a week? There is often simply not enough time. Therefore, it may make sense to supplement the balanced diet with supplements. This is not only about the classics magnesium, calcium, sodium and zinc. For menstruating women, it is often iron that should also be considered. Iron is responsible for oxygen transport in the blood and is therefore particularly important in endurance sports. Vitamins such as the B vitamins and a minimum supply of proteins are also important for performance and can be taken as a supplement. Before taking supplements, however, you should always talk to your doctor or a certified nutritionist.
You've been eating well and preparing for the last three months. Now the day of the race has come. And only one question remains: What if I get thirsty or hungry in between runs?
Do you need food and drinks during the run?
That depends. Food, especially solid food, is only needed for very long distances such as a marathon or ultramarathon (45 km or more). Again, it is mainly carbohydrates that the body needs. A rule of thumb recommends taking in 30-60 g of carbohydrates per hour. This can be the banana, a bottle of apple juice or a handful of gummy bears. Because the KoRo Women's Run is relatively short (5 or 10 km), you don't need to worry about food. Sufficient drinking is more important! Depending on the temperature you should drink about 150-200 ml of water every 20 minutes. The warmer, the more, of course!
If you feel like registering for this year's KoRo Women's Run, you can do so until May 2nd. Under the following link you will find all important information about the run and the registration: https://www.berliner-frauenlauf.de