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Running 26.2 miles take a lot of energy, perseverance, stamina and training. However,if you are not fueled properly with the right nutrients, it will make the marathon course seem much longer and more challenging.
Endurance athletes and long distance runners know the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, especially when they are preparing for a big race. The proper meal planning plays a big part in successfully completing a marathon, especially if you’re trying to do so in a certain amount of time. It’s no secret that consuming tons of fats and sugars will slow you down mentally and physically whereas lean meats, fruits and veggies give you what you need to push yourself throughout your training time frame and the race itself. Eating well will also help stave off sore muscles during the marathon.
“The best pre-marathon foods are those that are rich in carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Food choices vary by personal preference and taste,” Dr. Felicia Stoler, a New Jersey-based nutritionist and exercise physiologist who wrote “Living Skinny in Fat Genes: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great,” told Competitor.
In the days leading up to your marathon, it’s important not to introduce any new foods into your diet as you don’t know how your stomach and body will react. Additionally, the day before your race, you’ll want to carb-load in order to have sufficient fuel sources to power you through all 26.2 miles.
Here are some excellent pre-marathon food options:
In addition to eating well before your marathon, you can give yourself a deep tissue massage to work out any knots or kinks in your lower body muscles, which will help prevent injuries during and after your run.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: