NUTRITION FOR TRAIL RUNS
By Rachel Cieslewicz
Training for races calls for proper training, sleep, nutrition, and life in general to all come together perfectly. Nutrition impact is often severely overlooked. Has it ever happened to you: your stomach feels great during training, but on race day gastric distress or bonking has kept you from reaching your race day potential? Sometimes it is nerves causing the issue, but more often, we put in our mind that race day nutrition needs to be severely different than that of a hard training day. In fact, the opposite is true.
Each person has individual needs when it comes to nutrition. It is imperative to realize that what we put into our bodies is every bit as important as the actual running when training for events. Just like a training journal for your workouts, it is a great idea to keep a food journal alongside it. My favorite way to log it is in Training Peaks www.trainingpeaks.com This website is amazing in that you can track all of your training, racing, and nutrition in one place. It has amazing analytical tools you can use to track and adjust progress for years. When you log your training day details, keep in mind and report what affect the food and hydration you consumed before, during, and after your workout had on your ability to complete your training. It is a great tool to have over time to help you with race day.
Generally, you might hear that pasta and other forms of carbohydrate loading the night before the race, along with massive quantities of sports drink will lead you to the best race ever. This is not necessarily true. Before hard training days, have you tried this? What was the outcome? Did you feel great and light and able to train at your full capacity? What about during your races? Do you all of a sudden in the race take in foreign gels and sports drinks you’ve never tried before? This is asking for disaster.