Fuel Your Endurance Training to the Finish Line!

Marathons take place all over the country in November and December, which means many people have already started training. So, the question is, are you fueling like your training?

Endurance activities such as distance running and triathlons require different nutritional strategies to ensure you are adequately fueling your body with the nutrients it needs. Whether you are training for a full or half marathon, an ultramarathon, a triathlon, or just enjoy endurance activities to stay active, navigating the first steps to take with your nutrition may seem overwhelming. To make it easier for you, here are some simple first steps you can take:

Step 1:  Fuel up with carbohydrates before your training session. 30 minutes to one hour before you start your training session, whether it’s a long run, bike, or swim, your body needs a quick source of energy to top off your fuel levels and prevent a crash while training. A piece of fruit, whole wheat toast, or a granola bar are excellent sources of quick fuel to get your training started.

Step 2: Continue fueling with carbs while you train if your training session will last longer than 60-90 minutes. Carbs are the easiest energy source for your body to utilize during exercise. During long training sessions, be sure to sip on a sports beverage (or consume sports foods like gus, chews, and blocks) to replenish your body’s carbohydrate stores. This will help you to power through longer training sessions without running low on energy!

Step 3: Start the recovery process with carbohydrates and protein within 45 minutes of finishing a workout or run. Your body uses carbohydrates to replenish energy stores and protein to repair and build muscle mass. In the immediate post-workout window, consider a post-workout snack like chocolate milk or a smoothie made with milk, yogurt, and fruit.

Step 4: Don’t forget to hydrate! Rehydration after training is essential to replenish fluids and electrolytes. During endurance training, especially if you train outside in hotter temperatures, your body loses fluid and electrolytes as you sweat. After running or exercising, beverages like water, sports drinks, milk, chocolate milk, smoothies, and ready-to-drink post workout shakes all count towards your fluid goals. Urine color can be a good indicator of hydration status. The goal is to rehydrate until your urine is pale yellow to clear.

If you want to take your running game to the next level, start with fueling it! Check out The Sports Nutrition Playbook’s Marathon Training Program that starts September 6th! Register today!