Nutrition is Key to A Successful Trail Run
When preparing for a trail run, you need to make sure that your body can endure the route and duration of your run. Make sure you take care of your body long before the trail run, as it might take some time for the body to adjust. Of course, there are a few people who have exceptionally good stomachs and can eat anything at any time. However, for the rest of us, we need to monitor what to eat and when to eat, otherwise it might badly influence our run.
As you are getting ready for the trail run, you need to keep in mind the three important stages: before the run, during the run, and after the run. Make sure that before the run you know how your body reacts to certain foods so that you can prepare accordingly. The right nutrition is key to a successful trail run.
Before the Run
Make sure that the night before the trail run you have a healthy meal for dinner. This means it should be high in carbohydrates, low in fiber, fat, and protein. Any fat that you consume has to be healthy, which is usually stored in avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil. Healthy fats are good for joint health, recovery and injury prevention. Do not overeat as it might cause distress to your stomach and you might wake up feeling bloated. Also, avoid the foods that you know for sure will cause you issues, for example, spicy foods. In the morning before the run, eat mostly carbohydrates; however, avoid fat or fiber as they can leave you feeling bloated. Granola with berries, peanut butter sandwich, or oatmeal with bananas is good for you. Try to eat at least 2-3 hours before the run, to give your stomach time to digest the foods.
During the Run
You can try packing up energy bars or fruit that have easily digestible sugars and carbs, but it all depends on how long are you planning to run for. If it is more than four hours, then make sure you pack some protein with you as well – nuts, beef jerky, or drinks high with protein. Listen to your body as you run as it will help you understand what exactly it needs at the moment. This way you ensure your general well-being and how much longer you can last.
After the Run
Once you have successfully finished your trail run eat a healthy meal with nutritious ingredients. Some foods that are high in protein will be a great help for your body to recover. Don’t forget to hydrate too. On the day of your run, you need to drink no less than 2 liters of water. If you want to celebrate the successful run, go easy on any alcoholic beverages. Alcohol might make you even more dehydrated than you were before, as it will pull all the fluids from your body. Even though the run is over, you still need to eat in moderation, so minimize your portions to keep a consistent nutritional profile.