What does your body need now for the Bath Half Marathon challenge?
An expert has come up with nutritional advice for the thousands of runners starting next Sunday's Bath Half Marathon.
With just over a week to go until the race, many runners will be starting to give their bodies a bit of a rest, and begin to think about what they should be eating both before and after the event.
Clinical performance nutritionist Martin MacDonald, who has put together tips for runners, has urged people not to make dramatic increases in carbohydrate intake in the last few days.
"This has been shown to be of limited benefit, and we would now recommend reducing your training in the last one to two weeks before the race, accompanied by a modest increase in carbohydrate intake, while maintaining your protein and fat intake."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said runners should practise race day strategies in their regular training, getting used to drinks and gels, and avoid high-fibre foods the night before.
Mr MacDonald also advised runners to steer clear of alcohol for 48 hours before the race.
He suggested breakfast should include a good sustainable source of carbohydrate, and fluids.
"My perfect pre-race breakfast is rolled porridge oats made with full fat milk plus a handful of cashew nuts and berries.
"The icing on the cake comes from adding some coconut oil, which contains medium chain triglycerides – an amazing source of easily available, but sustainable energy.
"Make sure you're well hydrated, and aim to sip about 250ml of water about half an hour before the race."
After finishing the race, he says, runners should resist the temptation to eat chips and drink beer for a while and provide the body with the things it needs to replenish and repair itself.
"The necessary components of this are protein, carbohydrate, a salty snack, perhaps a little fat and micronutrients, and to sip water or soft drink to gradually replenish your fluid levels."
There is a recipe on the website www.Mac-Nutrition.com for a recovery smoothie that contains all of these.
He said caffeine might help on the day.
"One of the benefits of endurance running is that you don't need to worry too much about carbohydrate intake on race day. Some runners also report improved performance through increased caffeine intake, caffeine is added to some commercial drinks and gels or can be used in tablet form.
"But caffeine affects individuals differently and can cause dehydration.
"So it is important to test your tolerance during training."