By now, those who plan on running in The Daily News Boogie should be well into their training program.
However, they need to remember it’s not just about footwear and water. Food is an important factor and your stomach needs training too, says registered holistic nutritionist Rhonda Eden.
She points out that our bodies can only store enough sugar to provide 60 to 90 minutes of vigorous activity such as running.
So that means not just drinking while you run, but eating, as well.
At this stage of your training, you should be including sugar boosts during regular intervals while you’re running, she said.
Some people use athletic gummy foods, others eat dates, or even raisins or jelly beans. Whatever you use, make sure to drink water with it, she said.
Eden said if you run for too long without boosting those sugar stores, you’ll experience “the bonk,” when you tap out.
Those who plan on doing a long run need to ensure they’re taking in 300 to 400 calories an hour, she said.
And not all at once — eat about 100 calories every 20 minutes, or whatever timing interval works for you, she said.
“You need to train your stomach to handle the kind of food and amount of food,” Eden said.
“You don’t know how your gut’s going to react on race day.”
So start training your gut when you train the rest of your body.
“Have a plan. Figure out what works for you.”
On race day, Eden advised eating breakfast two and a half to three hours before the race. She sticks with eggs and toast, but knows others who go with oatmeal, or even brown rice and cinnamon and dark chocolate.
Eat a 100-calorie snack one hour before running. Then eat frequently and regularly while you’re on the actual run.
Eden sets her watch alarm to 10-minute intervals. Every 10 minutes, she drinks; every 20 minutes, she eats and drinks.
She uses water, but knows others who drink Gatorade or similar sports drinks. Again, it’s whatever works for the individual and runners have to figure that out beforehand when they’re training.
Those who run too long without topping up can start to feel cramps, or dizziness or stomach upset. But usually by the time that happens, they’re far into the run, Eden said.
If that happens, she suggests slowing down or even walking for a while. Then try to at least drink some water.
Finally, don’t forget the follow-up. Don’t get sidetracked by making a great time or the thrill of crossing the finish line. Eat within 20 minutes of finishing, she said.
That victory meal should include protein, carbs and fat.
“You’ve torn down muscles, so you need some protein,” she said.
Eden, who gives talks at the Running Room, said many newbies don’t know about eating during and after a race. And because many of them are in it to lose weight, they’re reluctant to take in more calories.
But the down side is possible injuries or sickness. If you want to cut calories, do it outside of your running schedule, she said.
“Listen to your body. Know your body,” she said.