For us runners, the second concern before a race, after asking ourselves over and over again whether we train too little or too much for an event, is food.
How many myths, recipes, bad information and even rituals we handle before an event. Food shouldn't be an issue, but it always is.
Instead of talking about specific foods, which variety magazine and entertainment, it is more important to know what are the reasons and the process that your body faces before, during and after a race. Only then will you know what to eat and when.
The process of running
Running is a very stimulating exercise for those of us who do it, there is no muscle in the body that you don't use. Energy consumption is accelerated, and therefore there must be not only sufficient reserves to achieve the goal, but the system must be adequate so that these reserves adequately reach each of these muscles. Many reservations, without adequate way to get where they are required is the same as not having them.
Your body needs 3 specific elements for the challenge of a marathon.
Carbohydrates They are energy in the form of Glycogens, which after being oxidized are converted into glucose and feed your muscles. These carbohydrates, and there goes the first nutrition myth to collapse, they are not just any carbohydrates. They must be complex carbohydrates, which the body converts into glucose at a stable and progressive rate. If you eat carbohydrates that convert to sugar too quickly, you will have a spike in your blood sugar, and you don't want this! The famous "rush" is nothing more than a high spike in your sugar level, which then drops sharply. In this violent descent, dizziness, fatigue, hypoglycemia and even fainting occur.
The starch contained in pasta is one of the sources most used by runners, as its carbohydrates break down slowly; however it should be consumed without any seasonings that affect your digestion on race day, in order to avoid undesirable stomach aches. However, apart from pasta, if you are intolerant to gluten, you can get it from fruits and vegetables such as Spinach, Grapefruit, Turnip, Apples, Lettuce, Plums, Apricots, Zucchini, Pears, Asparagus, Artichokes, Strawberries, Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers, Radishes, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Eggplant and tomatoes.
Proteins They are vitally important for the runner, since proteins through their amino acids have as their main function the construction and repair of the muscles that are demanded to the maximum in a marathon. The highest concentration of these are found in meat. In grains, despite also having amino acids, they themselves lack a wide variety of them. If you are a vegetarian and you run marathons, you should combine ersos grain in order to obtain a balanced source of amino acids.
If you are an omnivore, and you eat meat, try not to do it a couple of days before, and substitute and supplement with grains and dairy, as meat has a slow digestion process and you may find yourself feeling heavy and tired during the race. . Your body redirects forces to the digestive system, forces that you might want to be directed at your muscles.
Dairy is also another issue to consider on race day, as there are those who recommend cereals with milk for breakfast on the day of the event. Milk is also difficult to digest, and you are sure to get stomach cramps if you drink a lot. Do you want cereal? Try to consume it with the least amount of milk possible, and if you can do it without it, and have a glass of cherry juice.
The fats They are the energy reserve of your body. Once glucose stores begin to run out, the body turns to fat stores to meet the demands you make when running. These fats can be contained not only in oils, but also in meat and fish. Of the latter, the omega3 it contains is ideal for its anti-inflammatory effects on the runner's muscles.
THE WALL is your food and your mental strength. The only wall is yourself!
The wall, generally close to kilometer 30 of a marathon, is nothing more than the threshold at which your body uses all its energy resources, usually already fat. Where dehydration and loss of potassium from sweat take their toll. Fatigue reaches levels of Stress mental and physical that only proper preparation can overcome. Training is not enough, eating properly so that you have enough reserves and getting your body used to gradually burning them is the secret of how to get past that barrier.