Training Runs: What do they teach?

Training runs are used to prepare a runner for race day. It takes a lot of runs to get the nutrition, fluids, clothes and other aspects of running right.

A mistake made or a lesson learned from a run while training is a run well utilized. Use these runs to try different types of fuel belts, different types of sports drinks, different types of breakfast, different food during runs, different running shoes, running socks, clothes, sunglasses, caps etc.

As the runner puts on more miles, the body will start giving out signals about aches and pains. It is beneficial and prudent to address them immediately. Trying to put off the message only worsens the pain.

There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from the runs while training besides putting on the miles.

Food for runs during training

Training runs are used not only to build up the miles and endurance but also to discover the ideal food and drinks your body will need for race day.

  • The night before the run
    • Eat a meal with high carbohydrates the night before.
  • The morning of the run
    • Try different breakfasts and see which one works best for you. The key is experimentation.
  • During the run
    • Try different energy gels, Gus, and sports drinks. There are a lot of them available out there. You have to try them out and see what works for you. If none of the gels and Gu's work, try some fresh fruit, fruit skins or raisins.
  • After the long run
    • In order to recover from the runs, it is essential to get protein within half an hour. Protein is helpful for the recovery of the tired muscles after running.

Either whey protein concentrate or isolate will work; the isolate is more expensive than the concentrate. Whey protein is available in any sports or nutrition store like GNC or Trader Joes. You can mix it with water, make a smoothie with fresh fruits, or take it with coffee, oatmeal or juice.

After experimenting with different foods, you will most likely end up with your best choice of food for race day.

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