Like anything else, once you commit to doing something, you must see it through to the end…in the healthiest way possible. It is quite normal to plan your running training around a schedule. Making sure that you have enough days in the week to run. Planning your longer runs on the weekend. Shopping for the right shoes and printing out all the necessary information for the day of the race. However, it doesn’t occur to us that nutrition is a vital part of training.
Being gluten free is already a challenge in your everyday life. One that limits you to what you can eat for energy boosts, sustenance, etc. When you decide to train for an amazing feat like a marathon, or any run for that matter, you must factor nutrition in. Although you are running, and training, every runner has different needs. Listen to your body when you train. And be good to it. Here are 5 tips to help you train while thriving on a gluten free lifestyle:
1. Hydrate! Before, during and after a run. This is especially important during the summer months when it is hot and humid. Plan your runs either on a path that has hydration stations, or carry a handheld/water belt filled with water. You can also bring Gatorade, Powerade, or coconut water as ways to get electrolytes during your run. When you finish, drink plenty of water and recovery drinks to helps hydrate again. You do not want your muscles to atrophy, nor do you want to get dehydrated and get a headache or sick.
2. Eat some protein before your run. Your muscles work very hard when running, and while they are powering through the run with you, they are losing vital nutrients that are needed to keep them strong. Protein is what you need to replace them and give you energy. Some greta things to have before a run that are light is some peanut butter/almond butter on celery, a waffle with peanut butter or almond butter, Shakeology, hard boiled eggs, or a protein bar.
3. Refuel with “real food” during your run. Especially on long training runs. Real food includes grapes, bananas, raisins, salted GF pretzels or crackers and honey (like in packets). These snacks are easily digested, will keep your energy high, your body fueled and will help you achieve a successful run.
4. Stick to what works for you. If you are training for a half marathon or a marathon, do not try something new on race day. Stick to the foods you have been using throughout your training. The last thing you need is a stomach attack right in the middle of your run.
5. After your run, load up on protein and water…again. Your muscles went through a lot. Make sure they are taken care of and rebuilt with protein. This can be in the form of protein shakes, protein bars, nuts, even cans of tuna. Many people swear by chocolate milk as a recovery drink. It all depends on your taste. Don’t overload, just make sure that you take care of your body after, the same way that you took care of it before and during. Drinking coconut water is also a great recovery drink.