Running nutrition – how to avoid “hitting the wall”

10. July 2018

No matter what distance you decide to tackle, don’t let all your hard work during running training go to waste with a poor nutritional strategy! SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gels provide an ideal boost without the need for additional water but don’t forget to stay hydrated with our GO Hydro Hydration tablets. Recovery is just as important as training and racing itself, so get the perfect recovery supplement with our REGO Rapid Recovery Protein. For more information,  look through the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) herebelow.

I’m training for a marathon in January, which one of your products will help me with energy whilst out running and during the marathon?

SiS GO Isotonic Energy Gels would be a good start to practise while running. They are easy to carry on medium to long runs and will help you maintain the quality of training. Because you do not need to take them with water often it is all that you need. In a race they will give you a degree of self-sufficiency to work around the on course energy and hydration drinks. It is important to try and run with as many gels, drinks as you hope to carry during your race in some of your training sessions too to ensure that you can run with without compromising biomechanics. Also, don’t forget about recovery, taking SiS REGO Rapid Recovery after could be the best way to ensure that you run well in your next session.

What should I practice during training in terms of hydration and energy?

It’s probably a good idea to see how much you can realistically carry without affecting your running style. So load up your gel belt with as much as you hope to carry in the race and practice. Once you know how many SiS GO Energy Gels you can carry, and how much SiS GO Electrolyte you can include – then experiment with how much you wish to supplement with the on course drink. Even if you do not like/agree with the on course drink it is usually a good idea to try and consume some, perhaps with some additional water because the opportunity cost of having to carry the calories yourself is so high. With most of your training runs, a few SiS GO Gels will probably suffice but make sure you practice running with the load you hope to race with.

running nutrition

I’m struggling with when to take on fluids on my long runs and tend to run without fluids. Can you offer any advice?

Dehydration can cause increased heart rate, increased body temperature, increased usage of carbs at the muscles and ultimately early fatigue, it is key to hydrate during runs. Consume around 250-500 ml fluid around 1 hour before, SiS GO Hydro is great for this time. For during your runs aim for around 500-1000 ml per hour of fluid, a little and often approach helps avoid gastrointestinal discomfort.

I am training for my first marathon at the end of October and have so far got as far as running 10 miles. What will you recommend me from sports nutrition side?

It would be very easy to say that you need more carbohydrate to help fuel your longer runs but modern understanding of how the body adapts to endurance training suggests that carbohydrate loading for all your runs could be counter-productive. For sure you would be advised to practice your carbohydrate loading and fuelling strategies before your longer runs – in order to retain your ability to process carbohydrate come race day and to practice the art of feeding whilst running. You would also be advised to practice running with as much fluid and gels as you intend to carry in the race, can you physically run with that many gels for instance? You may wish to benefit from some low carbohydrate runs e.g. by running before breakfast and it is possible that you may help improve adaptation by consuming SiS Whey Protein before or after this training. If you have increased your training volume your need for protein will go up so a mid-afternoon protein shake could have the dual benefit of increasing your protein intake and helping to control appetite on the following meal. SiS REGO Overnight could help with your nighttime recovery so you have less muscle soreness and fatigue on waking.

running nutrition

I am doing my first half marathon in May. Any advice on what to take in my training and also the race itself, also what food to complement the gels?

SiS GO Gels should provide the energy boost when required for most of your training needs. For longer runs you may need to take some extra fluids and SiS GO Electrolyte is appropriate for this. Some people like to take some small amounts of solid food usually in the form of an energy bar but if you are running at a reasonable pace then gels and drink is probably the best strategy. Remember to practice running with as much as you will run with during the race even if you will only need a fraction of that during training.

How can I ensure I get enough protein after a long marathon training run?

Research shows that consuming 20-25g of protein following exercise is optimal to initiate muscle repair and stimulate muscle protein synthesis, whereby the body makes new proteins. Aim to consume 20-25g of protein every 2-3 hours daily.

What would you recommend to eat and drink in the days leading up to a marathon?

Increasing your carbohydrate intake to around 8 grams per kg body mass during the 24-48 hours before the marathon will increase your carbohydrate stores in the muscle. This can be through increasing carbohydrate portions at meal times or adding between meal snacks such as SiS GO Energy Bars. Also try SiS GO Energy, this can be consumed alongside snacks or meals to increase overall carb intake, providing 48 g per 500 ml. It also helps avoid the feeling of bloating which can occur from food.

What would be your fuelling advice be during a marathon? How would you time the taking of gels?

We would suggest consuming up to 60 g of carbohydrate per hour during running, which equates to 3 SiS GO Isotonic gels per hour. As this is difficult to carry, combining fluid intake and fuelling is a better technique if it’s feasible. SiS GO Electrolyte is a carbohydrate and electrolyte blend and provides 36 g of carbohydrate per 500 ml. Fluid intake is typically around 500-1000 ml per hour, with sweat rates and environmental temperatures indicating if more or less is required.

What’s the best thing to have before a long early morning run if you don’t feel very hungry.

Consuming breakfast before running helps to top up carbohydrate stores, something light such as porridge and orange juice is ideal. If you struggle with food then consuming a carbohydrate fluid such as SiS GO Electrolyte helps to hydrate and fuel.