How to prepare for a marathon

Nutrition, Exercise and Motivation Diary for Beginners

Wednesday, September 23
11 days left

I start the day with a protein and carbohydrate shake. Although I am not a very athletic person, I choose a special diet in order to properly replace the fuel burned during training. The body acts as a sponge and the correct food intake during intense exercising can cause muscles to build up and at the same time it can accelerate the fat burning process (the correct way to lose weight, ladies!).

The best time to have a meal is two hours after exercise, which should consist of maximum 200g of carbohydrates.
My training during the day includes: walking 6km, running 4km and 30 minutes of exercises for the arms, abdomen and legs. Ambitious as I am, I decided to take part in a sports competition at work, which challenges us to a pedal racing during one week 22-26 / 09.

Friday, September 25
9 days left

Nothing compares to a green tea in the morning and some smooth jazz. A cup of green tea is ideal morning after you wake up, instead of coffee. For a detoxifying effect and you can add the juice of half a lemon, which will speed up your metabolism.
Green tea helps you get rid of excess fat naturally and is super – rich in antioxidants.
By drinking green tea throughout the day you will keep your appetite under control, you will have lots of energy and a beautiful complexion. It is 200 times more effective than vitamin E on the skin because it acts on the elimination of free radicals.
During the day (especially in the morning) I like to eat energy bars with green tea as a snack, but this never replaces a proper meal.
There is one more week left before the marathon weekend and I hope it won’t start raining. Nothing compares with a workout outdoors.

Friday, October 2, 2015
2 days left

Two days before the race it is recommended to keep the body really well hydrated. For a week my diet consisted of pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit and bread. It is advisable to avoid foods high in unhealthy fats such as creamy sauces, cream cheese, butter, oil, and anything extremely rich in protein before a race.
2-3 days before a race, over 85% of the calorie intake should come from carbohydrates. The recommended amount is 8 g carbohydrate / kg body weight. You can expect to gain some weight in the process because, for every gram of carbohydrates, your body will store 3 grams of water.
In spite of my special diet, I haven’t given up my daily smoothie. Energy-boosting and quick to prepare, I recommend it instead the classical breakfast. My shake consists of: banana, soy milk, honey, avocado, mango and nuts. It’s a complete snack that contains all the necessary nutrients.

Sunday, October 4

Good morning! It’s already 7:00 and I’m starting a quick warm-up, while drinking half a liter of water on an empty stomach. Drinking water in the morning on an empty stomach helps relieve stress, since dehydration leads to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is often the culprit when we fail to lose weight.
The race starts at 8:30 am, so I have time for one snack. A banana and a protein bar are enough. Never eat just before the race, so that you don’t get cramps or nausea,, just as you should never run on an empty stomach, because you will soon feel feeble and lacking energy. Eating carbohydrates before a race will not make you faster, but it will increase physical endurance.

A proper warm-up before the race is mandatory!

Play and START!
With a well-chosen playlist, I start the race with a big smile on my face.
4 km in 30 minutes! A quite reasonable result for a beginner!

The boys in my team arrive first at the finish. The organizers greeted us with beer without alcohol, but nothing compares with a glass of water after such an effort.

In terms of nutrition after intense exercise, it should be targeted mainly at replenishing muscle glycogen. Ideally, you should eat 15 minutes to an hour after exercise, trying to get fueled with carbohydrates and protein. As far as I am concerned, after a challenging workout I indulge in 2 tablespoons of honey. One of the most important objectives of an athlete is to accelerate recovery (so that he/she can get back in shape soon).
Last but not least, don’t forget that today is the International Smiling Day, so don’t forget to smile!

Article by Gabriela Sandica

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