Having a healthy and balanced everyday diet is always a guarantee of good health. A sports enthusiast's diet must also meet the needs of physical exertion. Adapt your diet for trail running using these few simple nutritional guidelines.
EAT HEALTHILY ON A DAILY BASIS
Trail running, like any endurance sport, requires a lot of energy expenditure. When you go trail running, you are certainly going to want to eat more at each meal. All the more reason to adopt a sports diet tailored to trail running and your nutritional needs.
Training period: adopt good dietary habits
During your training period, don't worry too much about following an overly specific or restrictive diet. Listen to your body, it generally lets you know what it needs.
Maintain good habits with a balanced diet. Prioritize healthy, organic and relatively unprocessed food. Eat everything in moderation, without forgetting to treat yourself!
Should I consult a sports nutritionist?
A sports nutrition specialist can help you adopt the right diet for trail running:
- find a balanced diet for trail running
- improve your sports performance
- overcome digestive problems
- limit weight or mass gain
- compensate for new energy needs or nutritional intake
- simply know the basics of a sports diet
WHAT SHOULD YOU EAT BEFORE A TRAIL RUN?
The start date is approaching? Simply maintain a well-balanced diet during the last weeks before the race.
A few days before the race: stock up on energy
2 to 3 days before the race, you can adopt a diet more specifically tailored to trail running that encourages assimilation. Increasing your glycogen reserves will help you perform well for longer. However, be careful not to eat too much rich food because gaining weight would be counterproductive.
- Reduce your red meat consumption
- Instead choose fish, which is easier to digest
- Eat starchy food such as potatoes and rice
- Dried legumes such as beans or fava beans are also advantageous
- And what about a bowl of pasta? It's also an option, but pasta is harder to digest than rice.
The day before the race: don't panic
The day before the race, eating rice with a few vegetables, for example, is a good choice. Don't overindulge to fill up to the max on slow-release sugars, wrong timing to make yourself sick!
The day of your trail run, eat your last meal 3 to 4 hours before the start. Once again, you should prioritize rice, along with honey, which is very good for the muscle fibers. Do not change your dietary habits so as to prevent any intestinal discomfort.
Also remember to eat just before the start. A few pieces of dried fruit, dates or a fruit jelly will suffice. A pre-race drink might also be a good idea to prevent hypoglycemia.
KEEPING WELL FUELED DURING A TRAIL RUN
Throughout the race, remember to eat regularly without forcing yourself. Do not try new foods or new tastes that could quickly make you feel nauseous. Too much energy gel may cause reactive hypoglycemia, for example. If too much sugar makes you feel sick, take advantage of the refreshment stations to eat savory foods. This is a frequent feature of long trail runs.
Prevent any dehydration by alternating between water and energy or isotonic drinks when you feel thirsty. Drink more when the weather is hot to supply minerals. Drinking properly will limit the occurrence of much-dreaded cramps or tendinitis.
EATING TO RECOVER WELL
Once you have crossed the finish line, it is essential to rehydrate in order to limit sore muscles and other post-race problems.
Also remember to eat to replenish your reserves as quickly as possible. You can prepare a carbohydrate-rich recovery ration to eat when you finish.
Finished an ultra trail? Yes, you can order a large homemade burger if you like... Enjoy your meal!