I started my half-marathon training plan last week and I am getting very excited/nervous for the upcoming weeks of training. Jumping into this training is going to require more focus on a healthier diet, especially before going on those long runs.
I was never conscious of what I ate before I ran until one morning after eating apples and peanut butter. I thought this would be a nice, healthy pre-run meal to eat. I was wrong very, very, wrong. As soon as I got done with my three miles, I took off to the bathroom, and I was very sick the entire morning, to say the least.
After that experience, I began researching which foods to eat and what not to eat. Keep this in mind also, that everyone’s body is different and some of these foods may or may not affect you.
What Not To Eat: running.about.com gave a list of foods that should be avoided before your run. The first on the list was foods that are high in fiber, which was were I went wrong on my pre-run meal. Although apples are healthy and a great food to consume, they are considered high in fiber, which explained my horrible morning run.
Now, whenever I want to eat any vegetables or fruit, I make sure they are not high in fiber if I eat them before my run, or I wait until after to eat them. Another no-no to eat is foods with concentrations of high fat. Yes, everyone is going to have some cheat days, but for the most part try steering clear of foods such as French fries, cheeseburgers, etc. a couple of days before your races.
What To Eat: U.S. News gave a great article on their health page about a lsit of foods to eat before a run. It also included foods to eat considering how long you will be running, because running for 30 minutes or less does not require as much nutrients and carbs as a run over 30 minutes would. A few 30 minute and under foods would be foods such as bananas, peaches, or an English muffin with jelly.
For the longer runs, carbs are definitely a must. Foods such as slices of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and grains are great choices that will keep your energy up throughout your run.
I hope these foods help you out for your runs!