London Marathon Milestones: Is RUNGER Affecting You?
Is RUNGER an issue for you? Do you even know what it is?
In this, the second episode of five of our London Marathon Milestones series dedicated to food and nutrition to support you as you prepare for the London Marathon on 2nd October, we discuss the concept of RUNGER and give hints and tips on how to prevent it occurring as you move through your training plan and your mileage begins to increase significantly.
You will now be approx. 4 weeks into your training….so only 12-13 weeks until race day!! So, hopefully the Everyday Healthy Nutrition Principles we discussed last time are now embedded and habitual BUT….maybe not!!
So, we will:
- Consider what may have got in the way of healthy eating becoming CONSISTANT and give some TIPS on how to get back on track. We will then move on to
- Discuss the concept of RUNGER
- Introduce the concept of eating before, during and after your long run to help prevent RUNGER becoming an issue
Highlighting factors that may have led to some runners struggling to implement a Foundational Everyday Healthy Diet. Factors including:
· Lack of time to shop
· Inability to reduce/remove “treat” foods
· Pressure from Family and friends to eat what they are eating
· Emotional eating
Focussing on ideas of how to “get on track” including:
· Setting personal boundaries
· 80:20 approach to everyday nutrition
· Meal prep
· “On the go” foods
Introducing the concept of RUNGER including the definition:
“….the combination of long distance running and hunger colliding leading to an OVERWHELMING need for food NOW!!”
Discussing “intuitive eating and the use of the “Hunger Scale’ as a tool to help individuals distinguish between true physical hunger and psychological/emotional hunger.
Outlining 5 key points to consider for fuelling long runs:
- Adequate food for fuelling BEFORE the run
- Appropriate fuelling DURING the run
- Eating IMMEDIATELY AFTER the run
- Fluid intake and hydration
- Eating for your shorter runs
Then moving on to discuss Point 1: Adequate food for fuelling BEFORE the run
Introducing Point 2: Appropriate fuelling DURING the run
Focussing on Point 3: Eating IMMEDIATELY AFTER the run
Highlighting the importance of Point 4: Fluid intake and hydration
A short message about Point 5: Eating for your shorter runs
- If you have been unable to commit to an everyday healthy food plan CONSISTENTLY – now is the time to get on track – before your run training takes a large leap forward and you are running much longer distances
- An inability to engage with dietary changes could be emotionally/psychologically driven. Are you making food choices to please others rather than rather than thinking about YOU and your needs?
- Remember RUNGER is a “thing” and could be detrimental to your running performance. So, eat appropriately; not too much, not too little…but sufficient amounts to fuel your running
- Now is the time to practice your food strategy for training. Aim to establish what works and doesn’t work for you
- Don’t forget about hydration – become mindful of your daily fluid intake and chec k the colour of your urine regularly
- Finally, it really is about PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE at this point before you move on to fine tuning your nutrition and hydration for your forthcoming London Marathon
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
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Aileen and Karen