What you consume and when you have it can help improve your running performance, whether you’re a 5km runner or a long-distance runner. Whether you’re joining a big event like the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon or a short distance running event like the Mai Dubai Community Run or even if you only jog the occasional few miles, it’s still crucial that you eat right to help you feel good, pick up your pace, and recover quickly after training. Here’s a quick nutrition guide to help you maximize your performance.
A lot of runners only try to have a balanced diet a few days before a race which is actually wrong. Health practitioners recommend that runners should always have a balanced diet even when they’re not joining any race. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods is a good starting point for runners. This will not only provide a wide range of nutrients but also help decrease inflammation and post-workout muscle and joint pain. Some of the best foods to eat every day include fresh produced fish, chicken, whole grain, cheese, nuts, rich leafy greens, beans, chia seeds, and quinoa. Eating these foods will improve cardiovascular health and a lower risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and more.
The good news is that you don’t need a strict diet when you’re a runner. In fact, runners need a lot of carbs, especially when doing endurance training. We’re not saying you should binge on pizza, pasta or bread all day but you definitely need carbs in your diet. Carbs can help you store glycogen which is critical for lengthy runs. It’s important to remember that fat doesn’t burn as efficiently as glycogen which causes your body to work harder to convert it. Therefore, you’ll want to maximize your glycogen storage in the days leading up to your run to prevent burning out.
We suggest having a low-fat, carbohydrate and low-fibre meal at least 3 hours before running a race to prevent any indigestion, fatigue, or stomach discomfort while running. If you’re joining a race, avoid heavy meals that day before the race and only eat familiar foods on the day itself. Foods that will be good to eat include banana, toast, bagel, peanut butter, or sports drink. As much as possible, avoid deep-fried foods, foods high in saturated fats (red meat or any processed foods like bacon, sausages and pastries. You should also avoid any dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt if you have any history of gastrointestinal problems.
When you run, your body relies on glycogen reserves stored in muscle tissue for energy. The more you run, the more you deplete your glycogen reserve. You also lose water and electrolytes in the form of sweat. Finally, you break down muscle fibre that needs amino acids from protein to repair and rebuild itself. Therefore, if you’re joining any long runs like the Mai Dubai City Half Marathon – you should eat a lot of carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes and fluids to help replace losses from sweat and help repair a significant number of micro-tears that occur during a long run. The ideal window for refuelling after a long run is within 30 minutes and some of the best snacks or meals to consume are peanuts, oatmeals, hard-boiled eggs with fruits, or brown rice with salmon or chicken and veggies.
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The Mai Dubai City Half Marathon is one of the most popular running events in Dubai. The 5th anniversary edition of the MDCHM will be held on the 29th of October 2023. Register now and follow us at @promosevensports on Instagram to keep up with our latest announcements.
The Mai Dubai Community Run previously called the Skechers Performance Run has 2.5 km, 5km, and 10km races available and it’s a family-friendly event which is great if you want to bring your family with you.
No city in Dubai has a better combination of nature, love of sport and iconic infrastructure for hosting a beach run than in Palm Jumeirah. Come and explore and experience Palm West Beach in a whole new way.
The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay was held last 9th February 2023. The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is the only corporate race in the world and anyone can enter as a team of 10 for a great team-building activity.