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The Long Run – What to eat before a long run

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The Long Run – What to eat before a long run

Getting the most out of your long run means you have to be ready for the run a number of hours before you lace up. We have all been there mid run, be it the runners trots, or cramps which render us almost useless.

To get the most out our long runs, we need to get the most out of the meal we eat before. Based on research into endurance running, it is suggested that we eat 0.5g to 1g carbohydrate per 450g of body weight.

Let’s assume our weight is around 13.5 stone, that’s around 86kg. We should then be aiming to consume 192g of carbohydrate before our long run. That roughly equates to between 650 and 750 calories.

When going on your long run, it is best to avoid foods which take more energy to digest, thus taking energy away which you would otherwise be using as fuel for your run. To this end, it is best to avoid, or consume as little as possible of the following: protein, fibre, fat.

These foods also are not efficient in their transfer of energy efficiently to fuel in your muscles. These foods are vital for a healthy diet, recovery, and long term prepping, but with 2 hours before a run, they will be of little use to you.

It is also crucial you hydrate properly before your long run. Take 500ml of water or an energy drink of your choice. As well as hydration during your run, its key we reduce the risk of dehydration where possible, as just like eating the wrong food before a run, being dehydrated will have just as much as a negative effect on your run.

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Paddy is the founder of Run Republic. Paddy has run 14 marathons and 1 ultramarathon to date.

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