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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

Taking the next step: how to transition from walking to running

If you’re a casual walker looking to intensify your exercise, you should give running a try. It can burn more calories, strengthen your heart, and lower your cholesterol levels. Running can also reduce stress levels and lead to developing a healthier lifestyle. Most importantly, running nourishes your mind and soul by helping you clear your head and find peace within yourself. But how do you even begin to transition from walking to running? Our advice below will get you on the right path, the path to completing your first half marathon! This is a journey that will take time. Just remember, you’re not alone on your journey! We’re here to help you transition from walking to running. Here’s an excellent playlist for your journey!

Running gear

Your transition from walking to running may not be as difficult as you think. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable running shoes. You can extend the life of your running shoes (and save money) by only running in them. Proper fitting running shoes can also help prevent painful shin splints. Here are 7 more tips to avoid shin splints and keep your transition from walking to running on track! Wear workout gear that allows you to move freely, is lightweight, and wicks sweat. Keep a water bottle nearby to stay hydrated and replenish lost fluids. We’re fans of nuun hydration and their tablets. It’s easy to carry and help replace lost electrolytes. 

Begin your journey from walking to running

Let’s assume you walk four or five days every week and want to begin running. That’s a great start! Even if you don’t walk that much, the steps below will help you during your transition from walking to running. Pro tip: you can always take breaks in between if you are out of breath or feel exhausted.

Weeks 1-3

Develop an exercise schedule if you don’t currently have one. The goal is to become more comfortable being on your feet for extended periods of time.

  • First week – walk 30 minutes/day for four days
  • Second week – walk 40 minutes/day for four days
  • Third week – walk 50 minutes/day for four days

Weeks 4-6

Now it’s time to crank it up a bit! But don’t get too excited just yet. You want to slowly incorporate jogging into your schedule.

  • Fourth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 30-second light jog/4-minute walk for 15 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
  • Fifth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 1-minute light jog/4-minute walk for 20 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk
  • Sixth week – 10-minute warm-up walk, alternate 2-minute light jog/3-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Week 7

When you feel comfortable with this routine, increase your jogging intervals and decrease your walking intervals as you see fit. Set a goal for yourself before you begin. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time.

  • Seventh week – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 3-minute jog/2-minute walk for 25 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

Week 8

If you continue to feel comfortable, extend the duration of your intervals as you see fit. Alternate your jog and walking like previous routines. Continue to set small goals to reach. Feel free to pick up the pace during your jog if it feels good. If you feel overwhelmed or exhausted, cut back the time.

  • Eighth week – 5-minute warm-up walk, alternate 5-minute jog/1-minute walk for 30 minutes, 5-minute cool down walk

You did it!

By now, jogging for longer periods of time should become more and more comfortable. Congratulations, you’ve made the transition from walking to running! Continue to extend your jogging time. Maybe even quicken your stride and break into slow runs. You’ll eventually eliminate the walking portion of your intervals. When you feel comfortable running for 30-40 minutes, it’s time to sign up for your first half marathon! Do you have advice for someone who wants to graduate from walking to running? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter.

The 2020 September running playlist is the anthem you need to chase your 13.1-mile PR

We’ve got more tunes for you because Austin is The Live Music Capital of the World. We’re sharing our favorite tunes with you every month so you can train for and chase your half marathon PR. Often times one song (or several!) can power you through a tough time during an intense workout or a long run. Trust us, we speak from experience! Jam out to the entire September running playlist or take your favorites and make your own list. The 2020 September running playlist has the music you need, including Austin’s rockers The Black Angels and megastar Lady Gaga. Don’t forget, we share every song on the massive #WeLiketheSoundofThat playlist and Twitter. Follow us so you know what’s next!

Playlist pro tips:

1) drag the 2020 September Running Playlist to your ‘Playlists’ section for quick access

2) click the download button so you can listen even if you’re offline

Utilize the September running playlist and these 5 self-care tips to maximize your training. Keep the volume at a level where you can pay attention to your surroundings. It’s important to know what’s going on around you! Is there something you like that we didn’t list? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group and Twitter.