No matter your training regimen or level of ability, it is always important to plan out your meals and nutrition. It can make a big difference in your energy during your training and your overall performance on race day. Where do you start, and what do you need to know? Most importantly, you need to start or center your plan on 3 elements: complex/good carbohydrates lean sources of protein, and limited fat content.
When it comes to planning out your daily dietary intake, and what types of food you need to consume, remember that there is no one size fits all solution. You need to find what works best for you, but you can still follow some guidelines. You can use meal planners and software to help you manage your daily intake and your progress over time. There are many solutions available, and if you are interested in a management system, you can try LiveStrong’s My Plate system.
Remember to eat well before you execute your training. Usually it is best to eat 1 to 3 hours before you commence your workout. Fruit is always a great option if you are looking to consume something within 30 to 45 minutes prior to a workout. For those in the midst of really long training sessions, it is a good idea to keep foods and supplements on hand to make sure your blood sugar remains steady and to give you the energy to complete your session. For example, you can look into bars and gels, bananas, and bagels with peanut butter to supplement your training. Do your research, and try different foods and supplements to see what works best for you and your training schedule.
After an intense training session or after the big race, it is still important to fuel your body with the right foods to optimize the time you spent working out. After your training sessions or following the race, you will want to eat a balanced meal to promote recovery. This includes a well-balanced mix of good carbohydrates, lean proteins, and any recovery supplements, and remember to consume enough calories. Also, do not forget to drink enough water, which is usually 2 to 3 liters a day depending on your workouts and their intensity levels.
Make sure you take time to properly prepare for the competition by planning out your meals. We hope this information has been helpful and informative. Most important, it is NOT too late to register to volunteer or participate as an athlete! Just go to http://trycharleston.org/registration.html.