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A Guide To Nutrition For Those New To Running.

By James Lowndes

The old phrase “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” could have been written with runners in mind. Granted you are not a elite runner (yet!) you need to adopt a similar approach to nutrition as the pros. Pay attention to hydration, eat the right foods and look after yourself after your run.

The first thing you need to think about is hydration. Even the day before a long run or training session you should keep a water bottle handy. Drink little and often and you will be ready for action.

Whether you are running a mile or a marathon, the night before a run is not the time to try out new or spicy foods. Stick to foods rich in carbohydrates like pasta. This will give you a slow release of energy, keeping you going for longer.

Tip: keep the fruit bowl well stocked. A banana eaten before your run is a great source of quick release energy

Whilst you will not be wolfing down food during your run, you will still need to make sure you don’t get dehydrated. When you sweat you lose bodyweight and studies have shown that even a loss of 2% (1kg for a person weighing 50kg) can affect performance by 10% to 20% Unless you are running for more than about an hour and a half your body will be fine to use up its glycogen stores to keep you going, but a sports drink, diluted fruit juice or just plain h2o is essential to keep you hydrated. Make sure you sip slowly. A runners bottle with flip lid makes this easy, although most sports drinks come with these type of caps too.

Whatever the season, the act of running raises your body temperature and you will sweat. If it’s windy or cold you may not notice, but you better believe it. It is important to replace the lost fluids to avoid dehydration.

Tip: Half fill your water bottle and pop it in the freezer. The ice will keep your drink nice and cool on your next run.

Another great little trick is to keep a small stash of sweets in your bum bag or pocket. Not only will they give you an energy boost, they are a great reward for your efforts – some runners tick off the miles with a jelly baby, but whatever works for you is good.

Now the run has finished, you can stretch and slump on the sofa right? Wrong!

Once your run is over, go through your usual stretching routine and then think about hydration again.

If you really don’t feel like doing any cooking, make a quick sandwich before you head out, or precook a small jacket spud. It really is important to eat something, if it is just a small roll. Believe me your body will thank you afterwards.

By following this post workout regime you will ensure that your muscles are given all they need to start the recovery process, making the next training run more bearable!

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Lowndes, James "A Guide To Nutrition For Those New To Running.." A Guide To Nutrition For Those New To Running.. 25 Jun. 2010. 11 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Lowndes, J (2010, June 25). A Guide To Nutrition For Those New To Running.. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Lowndes, James "A Guide To Nutrition For Those New To Running."

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