Pre-competition nutrition and running training x IRONMAN 70.3
Finishing the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon requires effort and focus. This is a big load on both the spirit and the body, which is why it is important to pay more attention to nutrition during the training period. We’ll also take a look at the running and post Guinness World Record holder Marti Medar’s advice on running gear.
In addition to training, it is important that the daily food is varied and rich in vitamins. This is especially true during the preparation period, when the body has to work harder than usual. Proper diet plays an important role in whether running becomes a misery or whether a personal best is achieved. Most fuel comes from carbs (pasta, rice, potatoes), and high-carb snacks (banana, raisins, oatmeal cookies) are also good. “If we use the energy, it must be restored!” In general, it is recommended to eat the usual food, and to postpone the testing of new foods, drinks and sports supplements until the recovery period. It is impossible to predict how the body and metabolism will react to new supplements. If desired, it is recommended in the early days to introduce into the diet exactly those supplements that you plan to take with you on the track, so that the body gets used to them or there is time to find an alternative if a particular product does not work. Marti’s nutritional advice:
- Don’t forget the proteins.
- Don’t eat too much fat.
- The diet should be rich in minerals.
- Drink little and often.
- Don’t run on an empty or full stomach.
- Recover quickly from workout – within 30 minutes after the workout eat something light (yogurt with a banana, a slice of toast with butter, fruit smoothie), because the body needs to store glycogen.
- If it’s warm, always bring a bottle of water or sports drink with you to replenish salt and minerals lost through sweat.
“In fact, during the race, you have to force yourself to drink water with vitamins or salt, because you spend more than 6 hours on the track,” confirms Andra.
Carb loading, or more carbs
Diving into the world of triathlon, in various sources you can often read about carb loading, i.e. increased consumption of carbohydrates. This usually starts 3-4 days before the competition, but about a week before the competition is also a good starting point. Carb loading is a strategic method that increases the capacity and endurance of the body by increasing the amount of glycogen stored primarily in the liver and muscles. At the same time, the volume of physical activity and the proportion of fatty foods are reduced, thereby saving the amount of carbohydrates. Again, you should know why and when to increase the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. As a rule, carb loading is suitable for certain sports and their duration. When cycling and running, fatigue can be expected as muscle glycogen levels decrease.
“Run, Forrest, Run!”
Running is the most natural and easiest way to exercise. It can be done anytime, anywhere, and in any weather. Running is the backbone of many sports because it provides a good aerobic base and the ability to sustain your particular sport. That is why running is called the “mother” of all sports. A pair of suitable running shoes, clothes for the weather is enough – and you can start running. Our heroes are preparing for a difficult half-marathon, or a 21.1-kilometer route that runs through the streets of Tallinn. There are 9 drinking stations in the two lap race and the finish line is at the Seaplane Harbour.
“My running expectations are high. I started running for Ironman, I didn’t run at all before – and this is not even a joke! This is not rocket science, but you still need to prepare,” Katrena admits.
Laura Liza, how are you?
At the beginning of training, the focus was on long sessions with a low heart rate. My training plan included running-walking workouts, which at some point turned into regular running sessions. It was also important to monitor the pulse in order to lay a solid foundation. Since workouts are often long, I had to pay more attention to nutrition and give the body enough food and fluids. In fact, training is a good place to test the eating intervals and what fuel suits your body. It’s a big no-no to start experimenting with new things during the competition. Carbs play an important role in the preparation; they must be given to the body in sufficient quantities in the form of bars or gels. That way you will last until the end of your long workouts and avoid exhaustion during training or competition.
“The last thing you want is to run out of steam in the middle of the competition.”
How to choose your footwear?
Suitable ground for running is not too hard on your feet: a soft forest path or a gravel road. Frequent running on hard surfaces can cause various problems and even injuries. The right pair of running shoes will help, and the choice of running footwear is constantly increasing. In general, running shoes fall into three categories:
- Casual running shoes: they have moderate cushioning, a smoother sole and good flexibility. Shoes made of more durable materials should be preferred so that they can withstand heavy use. For example, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39, Nike WMNS Air Zoom Vomero 16, Nike React Infinity Run FK 3.
- Off-road and winter shoes: the outsole pattern plays an important role, it should be rough. For runs on very slippery/muddy roads, choose shoes with studded soles to increase traction. For off-road running and in winter conditions, the upper part of the shoe should be made of a material with a denser and more durable texture. This protects the toes from the forces of nature and cold. When running in winter, the upper part can even be waterproof. The higher running shoes protect the ankle on uneven ground. A good choice would be the Nike M Pegasus Trail 3.
- Competition Shoes: For longer distances and competitions, opt for lighter running shoes with less cushioning. With these shoes, the legs get tired less; they make it possible to move more naturally and faster. At the same time, the foot hits the ground harder. Therefore, it is not recommended to use very light shoes with little cushioning during regular training. The more trained the runner and his feet, the thinner the sole on which he can run. To run for miles, you can choose Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%, Nike W Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FK or Nike W Zoom Fly 4.
In addition to different running shoes, we all have a different type of foot. Not all running shoes fit everyone the same, so you need to determine your foot type.
“Because over the years I have tried many different shoes from different brands, I have certain principles: comfort, good support and durability,” Marty says.
How to choose the right sportswear?
The key word in running clothing is layering. This means that each layer fulfils its specific purpose and, if necessary, something can be removed. In the summer weather, a top or T-shirt is enough. When it’s hot, you can even run without a shirt, but in this case you need to be careful not to burn yourself. In spring and autumn, it is appropriate to run in a long-sleeved sweater or in a T-shirt and a light jacket. In winter, however, two coats are needed, and even three, if necessary. The bottom layer is a form-fitting base layer that draws moisture away from the body. The second layer is heat-insulating, but at the same time it is breathable. If necessary, add a top layer to protect against wind and rain.
“Thanks to the Tipust Topini event, I realized that in my running training I do not use the full potential of speed and endurance. I run more consciously, and in case of pain or tension, I let my body recover,” says Anna-Lisa.
Do you feel like running, but don’t know anything about upcoming events? As part of the Sportland Kõrvemaa series, the Metsajooks run will take place on August 21. You can choose a distance of 5 or 10 kilometres. Don’t be shy, register today!