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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Fueling for the Long Run

Mickey Mouse makes an appearance at Disney's Wine and Dine Half MarathonLast weekend was Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon and as the Official runDisney Nutritionist, I was there joining in on the action. Before the race I did a warm up run with a group runners and spoke with them about how to fuel during training and the race. Nutrition is one of my passions, and as a fellow marathoner it was really inspiring and fun interacting with the runners. The running community is the best; in fact it’s one of the big reasons why I got hooked on running in the beginning.

Here are some of the nutrition questions runners asked, and I thought I’d share them with you!

Question: What should you look for in a nutrition bar?

Answer: Nutrition bars are an easy way to get calories in after a workout. I love their convenience, and often have them as a morning or afternoon snack. When looking for a nutrition bar aim for 150-200 calories with 6 plus grams of protein and 20 plus grams of carbs. Most importantly, make sure it’s yummy!

Question: Are there any bars that you would recommend?

Answer: KIND, Pria, Gnu Flavor and Fiber, Clif Bar MoJo, LARABAR, Special K Protein, and Goodness Knows.

Question: Can I eat anything I want 24 hours before a race?

Answer: No! Eat foods that are higher in carbs like pasta, bagels, cereals, and fruit. And avoid foods that are high in fat, so say no to greasy pizza and fried foods. Don’t try anything spicy, unusual, or foods that have been known to upset your stomach.

Question: What foods should I eat for recover after a long run?

Answer: Carbs, protein, antioxidants, and Omega 3s are super important after a long run and during training. Carbs and protein replenish energy stores and maintain lean muscle mass. Antioxidants and Omega 3s help to reduce inflammation and decrease muscle soreness, improving recovery. Fruits and veggies are packed with antioxidants, so enjoy more fruit smoothies and salads during training. Omega 3s can be found in fatty fishes like salmon and halibut and little fishes like sardines and anchovies. Anchovies are loaded with omega 3s! They boost the flavor in sauces and are easy to sneak in; my kids don’t even notice.

Question: What are your thoughts on pros and cons of lower car or high protein pastas?

Answer: As a runner you need carbs in pasta, but the added bonus from pasta higher in protein can help to keep you full so you don’t gain weight during training. Whole grain pastas tend to be higher in protein, too.

Fuel for the long run by training smart and eating well to get you to your race pace and across the finish line! 

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Tags: Nutrition , Hydration

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.