Free Expert Tips To Train For A Marathon Need advice to run a marathon? Or maybe you want to complete your 42km in a faster time? Check out these free expert tips and nutritional advice to assist your training.
Learn how your body works and use that knowledge to stave off fatigue and keep your energy levels elevated throughout the day.
Load Up On Omega-3
Breaking food down into energy takes two to three hours. “Go longer than that without eating and your energy levels will fade,” says dietitian Sian Porter of the British Dietetic Association.
Make your meals like a pygmy on prunes: small and regular. “Ensure a mix of fat, protein and fibre, plus a little sweetness,” says Porter. “A good energy meal is fish that’s rich in omega-3, such as mackerel, with rice and vegetables, and then yogurt for dessert.”
Keep A Sports Drink Handy
The food you eat is turned into glycerol by your liver, which becomes glucose in your bloodstream – body fuel in its purest form. “This is absorbed by our cells, providing the energy they need,” says Tom Sanders, professor of nutrition and dietetics at Kings College London.
A sports drink with 6 to 8 per cent glucose gives an ideal instant energy surge. “If you can’t lay your hands on such a drink, jelly beans and even white bread with jam will do,” says Ruth McKean, dietitian at the Scottish Institute of Sport.
Opt For Lean Protein
As food hits your stomach, different enzymes convert it into fuel, breaking proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into sugars, and fats into fatty acids.
“High-fat foods require more effort to digest, sapping your energy levels,” says Porter. Opt for lean protein – think grilled chicken – and only have the burger for lunch when you’re planning to nap in the afternoon.
Go Cycling Three Times A Week
Inside your body’s cells are tiny “engines” called mitochondria, which use glucose to produce the chemicals adenosine tri-phosphate and creatine phosphate. These are what your cells run on.
Mitochondria seize up with age, but you can keep them revving by cycling for 90 minutes three days a week, according to Mayo Clinic research.
Use Your Weaker Hand
When you put demands on your body, your power grid responds: “Your brain’s pituitary gland signals to your liver to release glycerol into your bloodstream – to be delivered as glucose for energy,” says Sanders.
Research shows that using your weaker hand for everyday tasks repairs damaged neural connections and builds brand new ones to improve energy transfer.