This week’s coaching tip is about post-run or race fuelling. This is a really important process and something a lot of runners get wrong. All runs need some sort of post race fuel. For shorter, easier runs, this may just be your next meal e.g breakfast containing carbs, protein and fat if you’ve done a morning run. But for anything hard or over an hour, post run fuelling should be planned in advance to satisfy your body’s needs so that it can rebuild / repair and cravings don’t take over later!
Good recovery fuel should have a mixture of carbs and protein in a 3 or 4:1 ratio – that is 3-4g carbs for every gram of protein. It used to be accepted wisdom that the best window for refuelling was within 30 mins of the workout, and although this has been contested by recent research, it won’t do any harm to aim for that, and for women it’s thought to be more important to refuel sooner rather than later. If you are not planning to have a meal in that time, have a snack immediately after and aim to have your next meal within 2 hours post run.
Here’s just a few ideas to to get you started:
- a formulated recovery shake or bar (check the nutrition to make sure it has the right ratio)
- A protein shake with added carbs eg banana, dates, honey
- Eggs on toast
- Milk or a milky drink plus an egg sandwich or a peanut butter bagel (skimmed milk has slightly more carbs than full fat, check the nutritional info on plant milks)
- Yoghurt, muesli, chopped banana and honey
- Beans on toast
If you’re like me, eating always sounds easy, but the harder or longer your run, the more blood is diverted away from the stomach and the less hungry you’re likely to feel. This is a particular problem for some runners but if you learn to make refuelling a priority, you will recover faster and feel better. If it makes you feel slightly nauseous, take small bites of something you fancy and as blood returns to your stomach, your appetite should return too.
Don’t forget to hydrate as well – glycogen stores can’t be refilled without available water. An electrolyte drink such as High 5 zero is perfect for this.
This week, aim to plan recovery fuel for any run over an hour, or a harder session such as tempo or intervals, and share below what you plan to use to recover.
This really is an easy win that ALL athletes should take seriously! And don’t forget to ask any questions you have here or in the weekly “ask the coach” live sessions
Other resources on this that you may find useful include:
MH Runner’s recent webinar on Nutrition for Runners
My blog on recovering from a marathon: https://www.mhhealthandfitness.co.uk/how-to-recover-from…/
I hope that you can take something away from this blog. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve set up a very supportive free Facebook Community where like-minded people can share their experiences of life and exercising. Please feel free to join and invite others you know who may be interested.
I also have a Facebook Club for runners where I post two weekly workout videos, host a live weekly Ask The Coach question and answer session plus a monthly live webinar on a host of running related topics. This is ideal for those who use free plans but want to have access to a coach and ongoing information. You can find more information and join here.
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Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire