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By Alister Gardner,  2-5 min. read  

Ever heard of ‘hitting the wall’? That’s when your body’s carb reserves (glycogen) run out! It’s pretty common and why Run Ottawa partnered with xact nutrition to provide FRUIT2 energy bars, a tasty alternative to gels, that give you energy all the way to the finish!


2-3 days pre-race

Carb loading is not about giant pasta dishes but simply about emphasising carbs in your meals.  Combined with some rest, this will build up your glycogen reserves.  Stay hydrated (avoid alcohol) and get a good night's rest.
Race day breakfast (important!): stick with carbs; something light and easy on your stomach. Coffee lovers: caffeine both wakes you up and stimulates the nervous system!  Sip fluids but not so much you need to stop before you’re around the block!


During your run

Energy + fluids = happy running. A gel or a FRUIT2 every 45 minutes will help avoid the dreaded bonk. Be sure to have regular access to water.  Adding electrolytes to water helps absorption and maintain hydration.  Plan ahead:  Think how you will carry or stash your gels and bars.

 


Finish line celebration 

Congratulations, you are a #RunOttawa2020 finisher! Eat a mix of carbs and protein to help get your strength back and 500 ml of fluids with electrolytes helps re-hydrate.

Example:

 

30 mins before race

FRUIT3 with electrolytes +/- caffeine or a Kronobar ENERGY

45 mins

FRUIT2

1 hr 30 mins

FRUIT3 (added electrolytes with or without caffeine)

2 hrs

FRUIT2 

2 hrs 30 mins

FRUIT3 (added electrolytes with or without caffeine)

 

3 hrs

FRUIT2

 

3 hrs 30 mins

FRUIT3 (added electrolytes with or without caffeine)

 

4 hrs

FRUIT2

4 hrs 30 mins 

FRUIT3 (added electrolytes with or without caffeine)

 

Pro tips:

  • Sweating is the main cause of electrolyte loss. The more hot and humid it is, the more you should aim to replace lost electrolytes. Your sports drinks and gels are the best source!
  • Help your bars and gels go down with a mouth full of water if you can. You should be aiming for at least 500-1000ml / hr I fluid intake. More if it is hot out!
  • Mix up your energy chews. Have fun and take a variety of flavours to keep your taste buds on their toes (FRUIT2 comes in 4 flavours: strawberry, apricot, orange and maple).
  • Caffeine is great for stimulating your central nervous system and reducing perceived effort. FRUIT3 Blackcurrant has 50 mg and will pick you up as you start to feel worn down.
  • Scoffing a whole gel or energy bar in one go while on the run can sometimes be tough on the stomach, taking two or three small bites of a FRUIT2 or FRUIT3 bar will do the same job and be easier for your system to manage.

 

Alister is an elite runner specialising in long distance trail running as well as co-owner of xact nutrition. 
 
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