If you want to achieve your HBF Run training goals, it’s important to know how to maximise your energy reserves. Lucky for us, the health specialists at Blackmores are here to give some expert advice.
It’s a pretty simple equation: exercise = expending energy. If you’re low on energy, you won’t be able to train at your best.
Do you find yourself hitting 'snooze' instead of jumping out of bed for that early morning run? Or collapsing on the couch after work instead of sticking to your training plan?
Take this quick quiz to find out if your energy levels are to blame.
Carbohydrates are the key to energy, but it’s important to eat the right carbs at the right time.
‘Slow’ carbs (low GI, high fibre) should be the foundation of your diet. Jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, they’re easy to digest and deliver energy over a longer period. You’ll find ‘slow’ carbs in things like grains, fresh vegetables and fruit.
‘Fast’ carbs like white bread, pasta and rice are okay before you run a long distance (90 minutes and over), as they are digested faster to provide a quick energy hit. Post-run, they replenish your glycogen stores and aid recovery.
Just don’t overdo it! If you load up too much your body won’t have time to break them down and you’ll feel sluggish and bloated.
For more detailed overview of what to eat to support your HBF Run training, check out this article.
Alongside diet, hydration is key to keeping your energy levels high throughout your training regime.
Hydration requirements vary by age, body size, activity levels and weather conditions.
We hydrate by drinking fluids including water, milk and other drinks such as tea and coffee.
Adequate intake for most adults is over 2 litres daily.
Water is recommended as the preferred drink of choice, even in athletes! Electrolyte drinks may be considered during extreme weather conditions or events longer than 90 minutes.
We can also hydrate by consuming foods containing fluid such as fruit and vegetables, so don’t forget to get your 2 and 5!
You might have the perfect diet – but you can’t out-eat a lack of sleep!
Your body needs this down time to rest and repair. A lack of sleep can affect everything from your energy to your immune system, co-ordination, agility, endurance and appetite.
Many adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, so set yourself a reasonable bedtime, put down your phone and try to avoid stimulants, such as coffee or sugar, in the evening.
It might sound counter-intuitive but physical activity has been shown to increase energy levels, as outlined in a report by Harvard Medical School.
Although exercise burns energy, if you’re regularly active you’re likely to feel more energised over time.
This is down to a couple of factors. Firstly, when we exercise, our muscles form more mitochondria, which allows them to produce more energy. Secondly, physical activity changes our hormone levels and results in that clear-headed, powered-up feeling after a good workout.
So, if you’re feeling fatigued, instead of avoiding all movement (we know how tempting it is!) try simply taking your training regime down a notch.
A walk or gentle jog may give you the boost you need or, at the very least, help you get a good night’s sleep.
It’s important to fuel your body but it's just as important to stay away from behaviours and substances that can drain your reserves.
Smoking is an obvious vice to avoid and alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum, particularly if you have a running event coming up.
Stress can also sap your energy, as can over-stimulation from too much time on your devices, so give yourself a few hours of downtime each day.
Rest up, recharge and we’ll see you on event day!
Looking for more tips to support your training? Visit Blackmores Running hub for nutrition advice and recipes for your event day prep and recovery.
This content is provided by Blackmores, an official event partner of HBF Run for a Reason.