London Marathon Milestone 3: Overcoming Mental and Physical Hurdles
This is the third in our London Marathon Milestone series where we focus on food timing and food quantities for performance in training.
People running marathon distance often experience physiological and mental hurdles along the way during training, so here we delve into strategies on how to overcome some of these potential hiccups to support training and race day success.
Outlining HOW MUCH carbohydrate to eat and WHEN to eat it to support running performance for those long runs.
PRE – RUN:
- Eat a substantial meal/snack at least ONE hour before running
- Oats is an easy food to introduce before a run – as a porridge or overnight oats
- You could have eggs on toast if digestion isn’t a problem
- Be mindful of how you feel as you start running
Considering HOW MUCH carbohydrate to eat and WHEN to eat it to support running performance for those long runs.
DURING A RUN:
- Eat a quick release carbohydrate snack every 45-60 minutes
- Aim to ingest between 30g and 60g carbohydrates every hour
- Foods to consider include; Menjool dates, Ella’s Kitchen fruit puree pouches, raisins, flapjacks
Discussing HOW MUCH carbohydrate to eat and WHEN to eat it to support running performance for those long runs.
POST – RUN:
- Eat a quick release carbohydrate snack within 30mins of finishing the run
- Foods to consider include: banana, honey, mango papaya (fresh or dried)
- Introduce slow release carbohydrate foods alongside some protein approx.1-2 hours after the run
Delving into some physiological hurdles a marathon runner may experience and outlining some strategies to overcome them, including our FIVE STEP approach to recovery:
REDUCE – training load
REMOVE – training for a period of time
SUPPORT – including nutrition, sleep and rehab (physio, massge etc)
RETURN – to training but at a lower level
INCREASE – training load steadily
Exploring some mentall hurdles a marathon runner may experience and outlining some strategies to overcome them:
- Turn a negative throught into a positive one
- Find a mantra that works for you
- Always use positive words
- Mental association versus mental dissociation
- Use a reward strategy
- As you progress with your training miles remember the AMOUNT of food you eat and the TIMING of food intake becomes VERY important…..especially your carbohydrate intake
- Eating pre, during and post your long run are EQUALLY important for running performance, recovery from training and minimizing the risk of injury.
- As the miles creep up so does the potential for physical and/or psychological hurdles to overcome. Physical hurdles may include: illness, injury or fatigue. Mental hurdles may include: lack of confidence in ability, boredom when running, negative mental chatter
- BUT, these hurdles can be managed. If physical hurdles are an issue then consider following our 5 STEPS to recovery: REDUCE – REMOVE – SUPPORT – RETURN – INCREASE
- If mental hurdles are plaguing your long runs then consider using positive thinking strategies or find a mantra that will support you. Or maybe you could think about mental association or disassociation techniques to see you through to the end.
- Finally, just remember how far you have come and RUN IN THE MOMENT…
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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