Rob's Cork City Marathon Blog Week 6 - Eat, exercise, rest, repeat

There’s lots of advice out there about what to do when you’re running but what about when you’re not out on the road pounding concrete into submission?

Top athletes will tell you that what they do away from the arena is just as important as what they do on the pitch or race track.

So, here are some tips on what you should be eating, additional exercises and rest.

FOOD

Last year, I covered what kinds of food to eat before, during and after a race. Essentially, you need to think of what you’re eating as fuel for your body.

You wouldn’t want to put bad diesel in your car, so why put crap into your body?

A balanced diet is important but you should consult your GP or dietitian before you make any radical changes.

Start your day with a healthy and filling breakfast and get plenty of fish, lean meats, fruit (blueberries are my top tip!) and vegetables into your daily eating habits.

Nuts are fantastic for energy and wholewheat pasta is rocket fuel for runners.

The night before a really long run, I always eat a few slices of pizza. It’s the kind of slow burning food that stores in your body and releases when you need it.

It really works for me and it's good to try things out and find out what's good for you. By the time the marathon comes around, though, you should have an established eating routine.

Don't eat anything that's not part of your normal diet in the days leading up to the race as you don't want any nasty surprises.

People have asked me about various different diets, such as the Ketogenic diet, but it’s important to remember that they will work for some people and won’t work for others.

Diets are not catch-all solutions and people’s bodies react in different ways.

Again, I will stress, that you should speak to a dietitian, nutritionist or GP about your individual needs.

I follow three golden rules:

  1. I eat when I’m hungry

  2. I eat to recover

  3. I eat a healthy and balanced diet

That's it!

Forget about sugary drinks and replace them with water. Hydrating constantly and sparingly is better than guzzling a litre in one go.

Always keep a bottle near by.

I have to admit that I don’t always practise what I preach and can, on occasion, be found chomping on a chinese or biting into a burger!

I don’t live like a marathon monk and neither should you if you enjoy life’s more unhealthy culinary delights.

The thing to remember is to do it at the right time and not have bad foods as part of your daily diet.  There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for a week’s hard work. It’s a great little motivator.

EXERCISES

If you have any little pains or aches bothering you then you should see a physio and get a diagnosis.

They’ll be able to give you exercises to deal with the problem and also may identify other problems that are directing pain and injuries to other parts of your body.

It’s often a good idea to take a day off from running and concentrate on strengthening your joints to ensure you have the best chance of avoiding injury in the lead-up to a race.

REST

Rest is just as important as getting miles in. If you run too much, you’ll eventually wear yourself down to the point where something will give.

Rest is an essential part of training, not an optional extra.

Don’t think you need to be out there on the roads every day of the week. Some days you need to take it easy and let your body recharge itself and recover from what you’re putting it though.

Follow and interact with @whatrobdidnext on Twitter and tweet your training pics to @IrishExaminer using the hashtag #IECorkMarathon

Rob's Cork City Marathon Blog Week 6 - Eat, exercise, rest, repeat

 

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