Those who know the Trail Running discipline know that in preparation it is better not to leave anything to chance …
The participants in this type of events run on mountain trails, up and down valleys and mountains, for considerable distances and with steep slopes! But let’s try to understand how these races take place and how to best tackle a Trail Running course?
Events of this type can vary from a few tens of kilometers to over 300 … in truth there is no “standard” distance and each athlete chooses the length he prefers.
Usually an event offers more races of different distances and height differences.
People decide to join one or the other “lazy” according to their abilities.
Clearly, as you can imagine, the commitment varies greatly …!
To ensure maximum safety, the organizing committee sets “mails”: prerequisites that every person who wants to register must have. At the time of registration, these parameters are carefully checked and, if successful, the athlete can finalize his participation in the competition.
Food in trail running
How can you support a job like this?
At the base of it all there are two predominant factors: training and nutrition. The first is perhaps what in the collective imagination brings to mind the feeling of tiredness. Actually going out, sweating and running (even for many kilometers), for those who do it habitually, is a pleasure. The aspect that certainly deserves more attention is that relating to food.
Food intended both as quantity and (to a greater extent) as the quality of what you eat!
The concept is: “that I eat little or a lot, if what I ingest is poor in nutrients or not suitable for what I will do, I will certainly pay the consequences”.
You therefore understand that in the field of nutrition, the first element must be the choice of the “raw material”.
As in any intersection, each of us is free to walk the road he wants; however, he must be very careful to focus on real needs without leaving room for easy and counter-productive temptations.
Those who are planning an intense effort will have to move towards the most natural products possible and with good nutritional values: this translates into high digestibility and ease of assimilation.
The simple “thing” to eat is therefore very, very important! Have you ever tried an uphill walk after a hearty lunch?
In that case, you will surely have experienced a feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
Here it is: from time to time we can also give ourselves special occasions … but if this practice is prolonged for a long time, it certainly does not help to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
Even just thinking about taking part in a race like the Valtellina Wine Trail, a drop of 42 km and 1700 m, which involves the body at high levels for hours, should induce our will to maintain a healthy and correct diet!
Like training, nothing is improvised and if the “food plan” is not followed consistently, you risk getting exactly the opposite effect.
For those who are starting to approach this sport it is good to know that a sportsman’s diet involves a higher percentage of carbohydrates, followed by proteins and finally fats (the “good” ones are good!).
But let’s go a little more about the concrete …
It is good to take carbohydrates for breakfast and dinner. Lunch instead is based on proteins: healthy and of quality! Fruits and vegetables can be consumed at will after the main meals!
I know that it is not always easy to respect the rules: the hectic life and the commitments of every kind constantly undermine our commitment. But we absolutely must not be discouraged … in fact!
Just organize yourself properly: for example, prepare the next day’s lunch the next day or plan for “fast” food consumption.
But always pay attention to the quality of what you eat!
An example of “fast” food that I usually eat at lunchtime when I don’t have too much time is bresaola: personally, after trying it, I’m perfectly at ease with Rigamonti’s PGI. Ideal for those who do sports because it combines taste, high digestibility, high biological value, vitamins and salts!
Think about it: after “discovering” it has become my “secret ingredient” during the races … but next time I’ll talk to you better than this …
How should I eat before a race?
It is never easy to tackle this problem as it greatly affects the subjective component; in fact, a book on nutrition could be written for a competition (so much so that there are many on the market).
So let’s try to simplify the concept with this sentence: “the human body works like the motor
and a car: without petrol it does not go ahead. In addition, you must also use the right fuel! ”
Two or three days before an important effort it is good to increase the quantities of carbohydrates to allow optimal storage of glycogen (we refuel); ensuring the body a constant supply of water, especially in hot weather is just as important!
Remember that the “how” to eat must go hand in hand with the effort required by the effort: to understand each other it makes no sense to eat 2 ounces of pasta at 7 am to go to the playground …
Always use foods with a low glycemic index (the right fuel): you will have more energy available over time!
On the morning of the event, at least three hours before the start, a substantial meal is recommended (it must not be heavy); a carbohydrate base will be fine. It will be a great “starter” to get you started on the right foot!
Please don’t invent anything! If you really have to experiment with new foods, do it before the race; training also serves this …!
To sum up, remember this general principle: “start with full stocks but do it with an empty stomach”.
You will see that if you have done everything in the best way you will be able to tackle these challenging routes while having fun and savoring the beauty of the day so much that you will no longer be able to do without it.