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Following GU’s nutrition planner can help you perform your best

You train for months to chase your 13.1-mile PR at 3M Half Marathon. All of your hard work leads up to Sunday, January 23rd. GU Energy Labs, the Official Energy Gel and Chew of 3M Half Marathon, is here to help you perform your best! Their products are scientifically proven to give you the energy you need. Their on-course Nutrition Station will be near Mile 7.

GU will provide the following flavors of gels and chews on course: Salted Caramel (35 mg of caffeine) , Tri-Berry (35 mg of caffeine), Campfire S’mores (no caffeine) Chews Flavors: Strawberry Energy Chews & WatermelonEnergy Chews (no caffeine).

All aid stations will be stocked with water and Strawberry Lemonade nuun to keep you hydrated on course.

But it is not all about race day. What you do in the days leading up can also impact your performance on the course. Below we will provide some tips and information that you can do before the race.

Fueling Before Running a Half Marathon

During the week before you run a half marathon, you need to focus on both hydration and providing sufficient energy/fueling.  Your calorie intake will be higher than usual and you will increase your carb load. It is also important that you hydrate in the week leading up to race day. You can supplement your water intake with nuun hydration to make sure you are getting the electrolytes your body needs to be sufficiently hydrated come race morning.

When you combine carbohydrate loading and tapering your workouts, you can store more energy in your muscles which will give you more energy sources during your event.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that carb-loading begins one week before the event with another additional increase 1-3 days out. ” Increase your carbohydrate intake to about 8 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Cut back on foods higher in fat to compensate for the extra carbohydrate-rich foods. Also, scale back your training for three to four days before the event. The combination of eating more carbohydrates and tapering activity appears to boost muscle glycogen stores.

For most athletes, 5 to 7 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight daily is right for general training. (Note that 1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.) Endurance athletes may need up to 12 grams per kilogram.”10 Low carb hit SvV | Voedingscentrum | Flickr

To give you an idea of carb counts, these foods have 15 grams of carbohydrates:

  • One slice of bread
  • One 6-inch tortilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 medium baked potato or sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • One small apple
  • Two tangerines
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups green beans
  • 1 1/4 cup milk or yogurt

On race morning you will want to rise early so that you can eat at least 2-3 hours before your start time. This will allow you to digest and not have a heavy stomach. Oversleep? Don’t panic, go with a lighter meal with supplemented liquid or gel carbs.

On Course Fueling Advice & Half Marathon Nutrition Planner

Image of GU Energy Labs' half marathon nutrition plan. GU is the Official Energy Gel and Chew of the 3M Half Marathon. Click on this image to download the nutrition plan that can help you perform your best on race day.Here are some tips for making sure you’re giving your body what it needs so you perform your best on race day. Planning what to eat during a race can be overwhelming. With so many variables, it’s hard to determine what the “right” answer is for you. When deciding what to eat and drink, we think it’s helpful to break it down by looking at the nutrients your body needs.

A successful nutrition plan takes into account the number of calories your system can handle in an hour. It should also factor in your body’s need for electrolytes, amino acids, water, and protein. When thinking about your nutritional need for a race or training session, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Every day is different. For example, body size, air temperature, activity type, intensity, and personal preference will affect your nutritional needs.

That’s why we recommend mixing and matching products to find out what works for you. For example, if you prefer to drink your calories, you can bottle up your fuel using ROCTANE Energy Drink. We developed a half marathon Nutrition Planner to help you dial in your plan for race day. We all know things can change on race day, but it helps to start with a plan! Download the Nutrition Planner and follow the steps below.

Here’s how to use our Nutrition Planner

  1. Pick your goal finishing time and find out what your average pace will be
  2. Use the table to determine your total nutritional need for the event
  3. Mix and match your favorite products and flavors, then calculate your totals
  4. Make sure your plan meets your body’s demand for each nutritional element

12 tips that could make running easier

Would you like to improve running? Are factors like motivation, stamina, and ability holding you back? Did you know jogging or running on a regular basis can reduce your chances of acquiring diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes? If you’re a nervous beginner, here are some helpful tips that can make running easier for you. Make sure you have these 7 essential items you need before training begins.

Pro tip: when you start adding long runs to your training, follow our long-run recovery timeline!

  1. Start with walking.

Before you break out into a run, start with a walk. It will warm up your muscles, joints, and bones and serve as the starting point for your run. Make it a habit to walk for the first five minutes before your run. This will help you get accustomed to running.

  1. Pair running with an activity you enjoy.

If you have a hard time leaving the house for a run, pair running with an activity you like doing such as listening to a podcast or your favorite playlist. While engaging in your activity, start your run. Keep yourself occupied with the activity throughout your run. This will help you enjoy your new-found workout.

  1. Set small distance goals.

If the run time feels daunting, set small distance goals. For example, you can do a 1K run or a jog around the park to start. Set small challenges that are achievable so that you will feel determined to continue.

  1. Enlist a running partner.

Even though some people prefer to run alone, you can opt for a running buddy. It will help if this person enjoys running. Running with a friend can make this exercise a pleasurable experience.

  1. Keep track of your progress.

Keep a record of how much and how long you run. At periodic intervals, go over your record. You will be able to see a steady improvement in your time and distance. This will inspire you more to run.

  1. Listen to your favorite tunes.

Music is a great exercise accompaniment. Make a compilation of energetic tunes or listen to ours. On your next run, put on your ear pods and listen to this list. The music will stimulate you to adjust your speed and pace. You’re also more likely to enjoy the run.

  1. Invest in good shoes.

Your footwear matters when you run. Avoid the temptation of buying cheap shoes. They can seriously damage your feet, joints, and back. Spend the extra money on a pair of good runners. Pro tip: follow our advice to pick out the right running shoes.

  1. Progress gradually.

Avoid progressing in your training too quickly. This can rapidly demotivate you and even injure your body. Follow your training plan and take advantage of your rest days. This tip is applicable for a beginner, novice, and a pro.

  1. Reward yourself.

Hard work deserves to be rewarded. Each time you complete a goal, treat yourself.

  1. Join a runner’s group/forum.

What better way to encourage yourself than to talk to other runners. They can provide valuable tips and suggestions to improve running.

  1. Positive self-talk.

Your mind is your biggest obstacle when it comes to running. In fact, you’ll find it easier to come up with reasons not to run versus pushing yourself to get out the door. This is where you have to repeat positive affirmations like:

“I’ve got this!”

“I can do this.”

“One run at a time.”

“I’m one step closer.”

  1. Follow a training plan.

This is especially helpful if you’re a beginner. There are 30-day beginner programs that will help you build your endurance and confidence. Many of them gradually progress from walking to running.

Running isn’t about losing weight or getting fit. It’s a lifestyle. The first two weeks may feel like an uphill battle, but if you apply some of these tips, you can make running easier.

These tips can help you increase your speed as a runner

Whether you’re a first-time runner or not, you will eventually want to increase your speed. This is the best way to set new PRs! You’ll have to put in the work though. It takes hard work and dedication to increase your speed. Below are 7 different ways that you can increase your speed and chase those PRs. The more of these tips you integrate, the better. Pro tip: make sure you effectively warm-up before any run or workout.

Interval training

This means exercising with periods of high and low intensity to run faster. Running an interval involves running faster than your everyday pace. The intervals revamp the efficiency of the oxygen delivered to your body. This will help increase your speed and efficiency. Learn more about how interval runs and these 6 other types of runs can help increase your speed.

Interval workout example

  • Jog for three minutes
  • Sprint for one minute
  • Repeat this cycle four more times, resting in between each repeat

Use the treadmill

If you want to run faster, you need to practice. Buy a treadmill and use it as a source for you to keep yourself motivated during bad weather days. Especially if they keep you from going outside for your daily run. The treadmill assists with leg turnover, making it easier to run faster. Push the pace as much or as little as you want. Increase your speed over time to see improvements.

Run hill repeats

This can be challenging, but it’s worth it. Running hills is a form of resistance and running mechanic training. You’ll increase your muscle strength, especially your glutes and calves. The muscles needed to sprint across the finish line! Pro tip: get the right running shoes for you with our helpful insight.

Add strength training

How you increase your speed is not just about running. You need to keep yourself active and functioning. Strength training involves physical exercises that improve strength and endurance. It is associated with the use of weights but can take a variety of different forms, like booty bands. Start with small weights and increase your goal gradually. If you manage to beat your record, you are doing great. 

Try yoga

Yoga has extensive benefits beyond our imagination. Add yoga to your daily or weekly training plan and you won’t be disappointed. A study showed that twice-weekly yoga sessions increase flexibility in your joints and improve the balance of your body. The added stretching could also prevent injuries like shin splints.

Be steady and focused

Things take time, so don’t get off the track. You won’t achieve your big goal overnight. Set up smaller, weekly goals along the way. Take it easy on yourself. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! Take challenges and try running faster than the day before.

Eat right

Let’s turn to optimal fueling. We can talk about making sure you have enough to eat before you run and eating enough to recover properly. Just don’t let your sugar cravings overtake your goals! Eating healthy and hydrating properly will help you work harder. 

These are some of the most tried and valued running techniques. You can have your unique ways to help you increase your speed. Do you have any unique ways that have helped you increase your speed or have you tested any of the above out? We would love to hear.