Next Sunday, we'll be running the 20km run of Brussels just like 40.000 other enthusiasts. With its expected 29 degrees Celsius or more, you are probably wondering how you can still be a fast runner despite the hot conditions. Keep in mind these rules of thumb to stay alive while running without going horizontal.
We know we promised we'd be talking about food, but first this:
Rule nr. 1: Drink
Above and before anything: you should drink. Drinking enough water is of paramount importance, and this should be an everyday rule. Yet, in hot weather, don't only count on the water provided by the organisation of the race. Bring your own water, for instance in a camel bak or even just in a bottle. Moreover, as of three days upfront you should start hydrating your body more excessively. Yes, that means you should start today! Take another glass and keep on reading...
Rule nr. 2 : Beat
Keep track of your heart rate rather than your finishing time, especially when you're not a trained runner. The 20km of Brussels is know for its steep hills at the very end, and believe us, they will kill you. So, keep some extra reserves right unto the very end to simply KEEP. ON. RUNNING. even if it's super super, like really suuuper slowly.
Rule nr. 3 : Eat
Hey, this is the fun part! Yet, what to eat before your run is often the most important question for new runners. Know that during harder training sessions and races, your body uses carbohydrates (stored in the muscles as glycogen) as its main fuel (energy) source. You're only able to store a relatively small amount of carbohydrate, which is why keeping it topped up is so important.
Rule nr. 4 : Repeat
It's a matter of providing your body with enough fuel before a training/race, yet also during and after.
When to eat before a race?
Eat a meal two - four hours before the start of the race, and include a range of foods depending on your taste.
What to eat before a race?
To provide sufficient fuel, foods should be mostly high in carbohydrate. But you should also eat foods that you're used to and won't make you go run for the toilet every 5km. That's why we have here provided 3 ultimate breakfast recipes before you hit the streets of Brussels.
6 slices of white or light brown bread with jam and a glass of (chocolate) milk
100g cornflakes/honey pops/rice krispies/coco pops with 1 banana and 250 low-fat yoghurt
Recipe: 100g flour, 1 egg, 250ml milk, 20g butter -- with sirup, sugar, honey or jam
To avoid on the day of the race?
Foods very high in fibre
Excessively fatty foods
Unusually spicy foods
Yet, this is only the start. Don't forget your nutrition during and after a run!
Drink. Beat. Eat. Repeat. & let's meet at the finish line.