Written by Dr Fiona Lithander, Performance Nutritionist and Dietitian
In this blog post, our in-house Dietician and Nutrition expert, Dr Fiona Lithander, gives us the information and advice that we need to stay well-fuelled before and during a long run. Whether you’re taking part in the University of Bristol Run Series Half Marathon or you like to de-stress with a long run in the evenings and on weekend, this post is for you!
Before a run
The key thing is to start your run well fuelled and well hydrated. A pre-race meal is recommended about 3-4 hours before the start of the race. This may differ slightly between people which is why it is important to practice, to see what works best for you.
“I have been really struggling with motivation during these last few weeks. The Run Series provides me with an excellent opportunity to do this for me, to collect the medals, join a community and feel a part of the university again.”
Studying: Bachelor of Science, BS Childhood studies
What is your experience with running up until now?
I never used to run; I was adamant that I couldn’t do it. I used to think it would deteriorate my muscle growth. However, in the first lockdown, I purchased my first pair of running shoes. I started with a short 5k around the downs, once or twice a week as a maximum. I was very much a gym girl; cardio wasn’t my forte at all. Since the first lockdown, I have steadily increased my distance and decreased my time. So, to cut it short, I am probably an intermediate runner.
What motivated you to sign up for the run series in 2021?
I have been really struggling with motivation during these last few weeks. The run series provides me with an excellent opportunity to do something for myself, to collect the medals, join a community and feel a part of the university again.
What is your top tip for getting out the door for your training runs?
For me, I must schedule the run a few days before. I am not a spontaneous person as such, I like to mentally prepare for a run. I like to eat properly beforehand (a carby meal a few hours before). It is about doing what suits you. I also like to run in the evenings, as a break in-between studying. The sunsets are also so beautiful so it is great for the mind as well.
What are you most looking forward to about taking part in the Run Series this year?
I am most looking forward to being a part of a community again. I love to socialise and, obviously, it has been hard this year to feel connected. The run series will allow me to feel a part of a team and strive to be the best version of myself that I can be!
What is your favourite pre-run snack/food?
I love sliced banana with peanut butter on top (crunchy peanut butter, of course). Personally, it is so important that I also eat well the day before. If I eat poorly, I can’t expect a good time but again just getting out and running is so much better than not doing anything. Do this for you.
There is still time to sign up for the first Run Series event, the virtual 5k, this weekend (20-21 March). For more information, and to sign up, visit the Run Series website.
We caught up with Henry Abrahams, our resident Sports Physiotherapist at the University of Bristol SportsMedicine Clinic,who has just got back from 2 weeks working with the GB Olympic Rowing Team helping them prepare for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“For the athletes and support teams who were working towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the pandemic has really shifted the goalposts, not only with the games being delayed to 2021 but also through restrictions on travel and training. Alongside my role as a Physiotherapist based at the University of Bristol Sports Medicine Clinic, I am also lucky enough to work as a contractor with British Rowing, the National Governing Body for Rowing.