Personal Trainer Eddie Johnson is offering helpful weekly advice in the run up to the Pharmalink 2014 Maidenhead Half Marathon on Sunday, September 7.
The 40-year-old hopes to help beginner and inexperienced runners with the basics of fitness, nutrition and maintenance to keep them motivated and get them ready for the race.
Eddie was overweight - weighing 18 stone with a 40 inch waist - until he was 21, but shed the pounds and discovered a career in fitness when he realised he wanted to help other people do the same.
This week: With just one week to go until race day, Eddie suggests the ideal dietary preparation.
Everyone is different and my own strategies for nutrition are based on what I know through practice works for me.
I help others prepare their own nutrition strategies, but always recommend that they get used to what works for them through practice.
This means not trying something new for the first time on the day of the race.
This is why I am writing this blog a week ahead of the big race on September 7.
You have the chance to try it out.
Let's start with the gross bit!
As a runner, it is important that we have had a good movement on the morning of the race.
We don't want to be digesting food and possibly needing to go for a number-two stop during the race.
Of course, we want to have the right energy from food in our system to enable us to run well.
For breakfast the day before, have some slow release energy food.
The best example would be oats, coming from porridge or granola for example.
Once digested, some foods release their energy in to the blood stream more quickly, but this is temporary and doesn't lead to lasting and 'stored' energy so well.
In this respect, it would be better to go for oats for breakfast instead of corn flakes for example.
Avoid wheat in any form, especially bread or pastries, at breakfast time.
For lunch, the largest meal the day before the race, go for some carbohydrate from pasta or baked potato as well as some form of protein.
Definitely have a green salad with it as this will help with digestion.
I don't like to feel like I am digesting a big meal when I go to bed the night before the race.
My chances of having digested and stored the energy I need from food as well as making sure that I have emptied my bowels effectively before the race are enhanced if the later meal is light.
But this makes it even more important to have had a large lunch.
The evening meal should include vegetables and some form of protein, but less carbohydrate from things like pasta, rice or potato.
A salmon steak with steamed broccoli and butternut squash would be perfect!
Sauces are best avoided at dinner time as they are normally more challenging to digest.
Again, have a green salad with dinner to help your digestive process.
For breakfast on race day, have porridge or granola about 2 hours before the race.
The last part of this blog covers hydration.
Being hydrated during the race is probably more about how you prepare in the days before than it is about drinking water during the race.
Drink plenty of water the day before, but ease off after about 7pm.
This will mean that you are likely to have passed the excess through your urine before you go to bed.
It's not a good idea to need the loo lots during the night because you have carried on drinking water until just before bed time!
If the colour of your urine just before the race is a straw like colour (just off colourless) you are on the right lines.
During the race, drink little and often to just keep your good hydration levels topped up.
If you would like any further advice about nutrition or hydration, please feel free to contact me.
Now that you have some ideas to keep you motivated, here's you final training guide.
This is it! The end is in sight!
This particular plan is for runners looking to finish the 13.1 mile course in less than two hours and 30 minutes.
Rest – Either have a complete rest from physical activity or do something non-weight bearing such as swimming or cycling
Run/walk – short bursts of slow running mixed with walking – don’t run until you are exhausted and then have to walk the whole way home. Jog or walk the whole time or distance.
Race – remember to jog about 1 mile as a warm up before racing and 1 mile afterwards to cool down
The sub-1:30 and sub 2:00 schedules can be found on the Pharmalink Maidenhead Half Marathon race page.
If you have any doubts about your level of fitness it is advisable to check with your doctor before you undertake any programme of physical activity.
Most importantly, enjoy your training and have a great race!
Download a Race entry form here.
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