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How to eat on the day of competition


You are what you eat and drink. Of course, food and liquids that you ingest affect your physical condition and, of course, the runners know about it. But the complexity of counting calories, different kinds of rumors and other factors can lead to errors in the diet. And if the experiments in nutrition during conventional training can be part of your plan and allow you to learn the necessary lessons, you make a mistake before the start is quite undesirable. Runnersclub advises runners what to eat before, after and during the competition to improve your running


“Nutrition on race day is pretty tricky. explains Lauren Antonucci (Lauren Antonucci) — dietician runners club of new York. One side should not eat anything unfamiliar, it’s an unnecessary risk. With another — can be powered as always: because you will burn more energy than you spend on ordinary days”.How to solve this dilemma? Below are 6 basic rules that will be useful for both novice runners and professional athletes.

Calculate the luncheon

The majority of competitions in running down the highway starts in the morning, so it is very important correctly and in time for Breakfast. Says Kate Sweeney (Kate Sweneey), doctor of medicine and a senior dietitian women’s hospital in Boston, and besides triatlonistka with experience: “If you eat too late before the race, you may have stomach problems and in addition to being unpleasant, perhaps even pain, you risk to waste time on the forced stop in the bathroom. In addition, much energy will be wasted on digestion. Skipping Breakfast is not worth it — low blood sugar level itself is a feeling of fatigue and may even cause dizziness”.

Kate advises to eat for 2 — 3 hours before race start. The calorific value is determined based on the distance: 5-mile race is a 150 — 200 calories per meal, and for the marathon, for example, more than 500. Also, if you are going to run more than 16 miles, an hour before the start you can eat a banana or energy bar — again, to increase the sugar level. “If you need to get up very early to have time to eat in the allotted time, and you hardly sleep, you better Wake up, eat, and then take a NAP”.

Do not lean on heavy protein foods

Omelet with cheese — not the best Breakfast before a run: animal proteins and fat long digested and converted into energy any time soon, besides, they can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates that you eat. Even if before the usual morning exercises you feel quite normal after such a meal, before a competition it’s all the same you should refrain because you will need to run fast. Also, try to exclude from pedagogo diet fibre (crude dietary fiber). It contains, for example, wholemeal bread, fresh vegetables and fruits. Consumption of large amount of fiber before you start can lead to cramps and indigestion.

A good Breakfast should be light and rich in carbohydrates: perfect bun with peanut butter, banana and toast with jam. Oatmeal is also good, it has a little more fiber, but if you tried oatmeal during the training, you can not change yourself and before you start. It can also be served semolina: it is easy to digest and is quickly becoming the energy.

Do not drink too much water

Dehydration can severely dampen your race, but too large a volume of fluid is also dangerous: you run the risk of a full stomach gurgle and very early to want to write. Furthermore, drinking excessive amounts of water you can lose a lot of electrolytes and sodium levels in your blood drops to a critical point — you may start vomiting and headache.

Advice on the correct intake of fluids doctor gives Antonaci: “Drink 0.5 — 0.7 liters of water or isotonic drink 90 minutes before the start. Just before the race to drink a little more cups of water (0.2 l). Of course, if the weather is hot, the figures should be adjusted upwards. Can focus on the colour of your urine: it should be pale yellow, but not transparent.”

Don’t forget about the food

You haven’t ran so much and feel great — I think why waste your time drinking? The truth is that after a while you can feel worse, and it will be too late. “While running, the mechanism of occurrence of thirst running late,” says Kate Sweeney. And when you feel you want to drink, so by this time may be severely dehydrated, which will certainly affect your speed”.

It is not necessary to drink a full glass at every food item — you can do just a few SIPS every 5 kilometers. Also, try to consume 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate (120 to 240 calories) every hour, once ran 60 minutes. Long training runs — great way to work out tactics of your diet on the course.

Eat only the tested gels

Hard to say as your stomach (and gag reflex) will react to something new in a stressful situation, such as competitions. No matter how attractive the taste of cinnamon and caramel on a 35-kilometer — now is not the time to conduct a tasting. At best, your body will absorb and you get energy. But at worst, you will run straight to the toilet and God knows what will happen next.

Choose a time and examine the meals that will be offered by the organizers of the marathon (if on the event website no such information, then look through the list of sponsors — there may be clues). Try the gels of these firms and tastes, which are learned in training.

However, it is possible not to think about it and just run with your food.

And the precious moment — the finish line. Perhaps you dream of a bottle of foam, but do not rush — first of all, drink plain water and something to eat. “Alcohol is a diuretic,” says Sweeney, that is actually the more you drink, the more fluids you lose”. Of course, in beer a lot of carbohydrates, but it’s not the carbohydrates, which replenish the glycogen stores and feed the muscle.

“You will recover faster and will feel better if first tightly eat,” says Antonucci. — The traditional banana and a bun is not very suitable, but a piece of meat, yogurt and a protein bar (with a large bottle of water) for 30 — 60 minutes after the finish will be very useful.”