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RFYL Weekly: Marathon tips on fueling up

Marathoners after race

This Saturday, the Run for Your Life team will not be meeting up in Central Park; instead, the team is scheduled to volunteer for the “City Challenge” on Randall’s Island, which starts at 7:00 am in front of the Icahn Stadium. RFYL volunteers will assemble near the front of the Icahn Stadium entrance at 7:15 am; participants will receive course assignments at around 8:15 am.

On Sunday, October 23rd, the RFYL team will meet outside the Atlantic Avenue terminal #4 train station at 7:15 am. The team will pick up the marathon course at Mile 8 and run to the finish line inside Central Park to complete an 18-mile run, concluding the team’s long-run training schedule. We will have fellow teammates on bicycles to assist with navigating the course route and supplying vital training supplements to help sustain runners along the course.

Marathon Tips on Fueling Up

  • Make water a staple of your diet. Once your body feels thirsty, you have already gone too long without drinking. You should be drinking throughout the day, not just during your runs.
  • Aim for a well-balanced marathon training diet that includes all food groups. You need fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. You even need some fat!
  • Before you eat, ask yourself whether your food choices will provide your body with the energy it needs to train efficiently. This will naturally lead you away from fried foods filled with fat and toward fresh, lean, unprocessed foods with low amounts of healthy fat.
  • Long-distance training can deplete your body of iron. Make sure you are eating adequate amounts of meat, spinach, and other iron-rich foods. Some runners need to take a supplement. Protein powders seem to grow in popularity as well.
  • Hard training depletes glycogen in your muscle, but carbohydrates refill that glycogen. Eat carbs before and after an intense run, and fuel up on carbs for race day. This is why most marathons host carb-loading dinners the night before the event!
  • Maintain your energy level during runs of more than ten miles by carrying energy gels or bars with you.
  • Carry carbohydrate snacks on longer runs to replenish lost glycogen. Whole grain bagels or bread and fruit are easy to carry along.
  • Make sure you have an energy drink on hand for all runs lasting longer than an hour.
  • A little caffeine just before a race can help boost performance. Just don’t go overboard with it.
  • Food is fuel. If you do not nourish your body on marathon training days, you will not have the energy needed to perform.

Adapted from “60 Marathon Training Tips

Coach Andre’s tip:

Have you ever heard the saying: “Practice what you preach”? This is also true when training your body on what to eat during long training runs. Many runners have finicky stomachs, so we should stick to the same eating and drinking routine during training. Therefore, maintaining that regimen ensures we won’t have any surprise stomach or bathroom issues on race day. Train smart by eating and drinking healthy because your health is your wealth. Be well.

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