Emma Cutfield is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Education Manager for Vega. This year, Emma’s running in her second SeaWheeze and 9th half marathon. Emma’s mission is to empower you to be proactive about your health and she's got some tips to help do that.
SeaWheeze training is officially underway and we know you are killing your runs and yoga sessions. But one area of training that is easy to skip on (trust us, we know) is the nutrition… aka, what to put in your body to make you even stronger and faster. Our friends at Vega are helping us out, and have put together this SeaWheeze Nutrition Guide to get you fueled up for your runs.
Timing is Everything. What you eat is almost as important as when.
Follow these guidelines for successful fueling during training and race day.
Maximize your running experience when you’re in the zone with energy to burn.
1-2 hours before
Avoid dairy, or meals with large amounts of protein which can be difficult to digest in time for your run, leaving you bloated or cramping.
Pre-Run Meal Ideas:
1. Oatmeal: Mix in dried fruits, and nut butter or raw nuts & seeds
2. Fruit smoothie: Choose 1-2 cups of your favorite fruits and blend with a non-dairy milk, ice and 1-2 tbsp of hemp, flax or chia seeds. For the most nutrient dense option, try adding leafy greens like spinach or kale!
3. Toast with nut butter and jam or sliced fruit such as a banana. For the most digestible option, look for sprouted whole grain bread.
20-30 minutes before
To maximize your energy (and therefore your intensity) consider topping up your tanks with a small piece of fruit (fresh or dried), or ½-1cup of a carbohydrate based sports drink. Look for an option that’s made with natural flavors and sweeteners; artificial ingredients can irritate your digestive system.
Push harder, last longer. Take it to the next level!
For longer duration running/racing (60 minutes or more)
Avoid “hitting the wall” by refueling often. Take advantage of the fuel stations along the course, appearing every 3-4 km’s, or carry your own handheld or hip belt bottle/s during training runs.
Electrolyte water will help prevent cramping, and is absorbed quickly. At each aid station or every 15-20 minutes through-out your run, aim for a half cup of fluids. Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator will be at each aid station during the SeaWheeze. Note: exact rates of replenishment will vary depending on your weight and fitness levels.
Consuming additional carbohydrates such as a gel or chews will help keep your energy steady, and your legs energized! Vega Sport Gels will be available at several aid stations during the SeaWheeze; aim to refuel 1-2X during the run, typically around the 7 and 15km mark. Gels are best when consumed with a few sips of water. And make sure you train with the gels or chews that you plan on using on race day – there are some surprises that we don’t want during the race.
Recharge and repair. So you can do it all again!
The speed at which you recover post-run is one of the greatest determining factors of athletic success. Reduce recovery time between your training workouts through your post-run nutrition. This will have a big impact on your overall performance for race day.
Within 20 minutes of completing your run
Have a snack or drink with a higher proportion of carbohydrates. This repairs your muscle cells by replenishing muscle glycogen. This will begin the regeneration of new muscle tissue.
Post Run Fuel Up:
Dried fruit and nuts (4 parts fruit to 1 part nuts), or a plant based sports recovery drink or smoothie.
DIY Recovery Smoothie:
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- 1 cup of frozen berries
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 banana, sliced
- Blend until smooth, makes one serving
Recovery Recipe from www.thriveforward.com
1-2 hours post-run
Fuel up with quality protein. It may seem counter-intuitive, but endurance athletes actually have higher protein needs than our strength training counterparts. While carbohydrates are the best fuel source for intense training, including generous portions of protein in your diet as an endurance athlete can help prevent muscle breakdown during extended duration activity.