After weeks, months or years of training, when a runner decides to join a race, such as the half marathon , it is necessary to take a series of precautions the day before to be in full power to make the tour without any complication.
It is not that you have to spend the entire previous day lying in bed or without getting up from the sofa, it is simply important to rest, have a minimum of sleep (between 7 and 9 hours), not spend the entire day walking or doing another type of efforts.
Sleep repairs, recovers and stimulates growth hormone.
Especially if you have a tendency to get nervous. Napping can make it hard to sleep at night. Even more so if it is the first half marathon it is normal to feel with some uncertainty, doubts and desire for the time to come. Therefore, it is best to try to reach the end of the day without taking a nap. For this same reason it is recommended not to drink a lot of coffee or stimulating drinks.
Go jogging the day before, yes or no?
Preferably yes. If the race is Sunday, the ideal is to rest on Friday, 48 hours after the race and on Saturday, just 24 hours after the test, go jogging gently 4 or 5 km, just enough to warm the entire muscle chain and articulate, and thus be able to spend 10 minutes to stretch well. It is what is called making a pre-race activation.
This practice helps to relax, reduce tension and nervousness, help you sleep better, keeping muscle fibers in a better state, as well as breaking a little sweat, which will help balance our thermoregulatory processes.
What to take the night before?
Your meals should be a well balanced, moderate and separated intake about 12 hours from the time of the half marathon.
We will complete our glycogen stores by eating pasta or rice (carbohydrates), some grilled meat (protein) and doing proper hydration (it is recommended to drink better water before dinner or after.
If we drink during dinner it will give us a bloated feeling of stomach.
Nutritional advice for the previous night
Avoid foods with a lot of fiber. Nerves along with excess fiber can play tricks on you and cause diarrhea.
Do not hydrate excessively. Overhydration will only produce a bloated sensation in the stomach and disturb sleep and rest with interruptions to go to the service.
Do not experiment. Foods that are usually taken should be taken.
Avoid sauces, mainly spicy ones. They can produce difficult gases and digestions that will not let you sleep well.
Tips for breakfast before running
Do not experience or improvise breakfast, the race depends on it. Taking food to which we are accustomed to breakfast will be ideal. Of course, it is convenient to acquire healthy habits beforehand and for breakfast to be healthy and balanced.
To make a good digestion we will need to take it with enough time (2-3 hours).
Breakfast should consist mainly of foods with carbohydrates.
If you are accustomed to coffee and digestion is adequate, caffeine intake accelerates the activation of the senses and promotes greater neuro-muscular involvement, which will benefit performance.
After breakfast and until the time of the test, an optimal state of hydration (without exaggeration) should be maintained based on small sips from time to time of water or mineral salts.
What to eat after running?
After the effort of running, you have to recover.
First: Right after finishing the test, the body will be very receptive to the absorption of carbohydrates (which is what has been consumed most) of easy assimilation such as carbohydrate gels and this will help to slightly recover glycogen levels muscle and in turn will slightly reduce the sensation of inflammation of the leg muscles.
Second: We will have to drink. Hydrate for the next 2 hours and recover what is called electrolyte balance through isotonic drinks and mineral salts that have been lost through sweat.
Third: Make a small meal based on certainly caloric foods but which will be very positive for their great energy value. Fruits such as bananas and nuts such as raisins or dried apricots.
Fourth: Lunch time. It will have been about 3/4 hours since the end of the race, our sensation will be of some recovery and appetite will have opened. Ideally, make a balanced meal that provides us with carbohydrates (60%), fats (25%) and proteins (15%).