The long run is the key to a successful marathon training plan. Even if you have no specific event on the horizon, it's a great way to keep your body and mind in shape for a few hours a day.
Failure to recharge properly after that can beat your body for six and you will spend the next few days moving as your muscles recover. To make sure that does not happen to you, follow this advice from sports dietitian and OOFOS ambassador Alexandra Cook.
What do you have to eat to refuel after a long time?
It's not just about focusing on one Nutrient balance is key. If you follow the three Rs – rehydrate, refuel, rebuild ̵
Rehydrate with water and / or an electrolyte drink. You need to take fluid at a speed that you can not put straight into your mouth: once you have finished running, drink 500ml, then drink a little and often until your urine is clear or you have reached your pre-weight.
Boost carbohydrates, but that does not just mean shoveling as many noodles as possible! Make sure you eat a balanced meal and meet all major groups within an hour of completing the workout. That means a serving of protein, carbohydrates and half a plate of vegetables or salad. Simple but effective!
If you have less than eight hours between training sessions or have completed a strenuous fasting session, you need to take three to four hours per kilogram of body weight per kilogram of body weight per kilogram of body weight to maximize glycogen synthesis. This will ensure that your glycogen stores are restored as much as possible for the next session. If you have 24 hours or more between sessions, your refueling strategy can be a bit more relaxed.
Build with protein. Protein is not essential for immediate post-session recovery, but plays an important role in long-term recovery and adaptation to training. Get used to eating about 20g of protein after a run, then take the rest of the day with each meal and snack.
How soon after your long run should you eat?
This really depends on when your next training session is. If you have less than eight hours to spare before your next session, you will need an instant after-run snack within 30 minutes of completion followed by a well-balanced meal in the next hour. The sooner you eat, the faster you will fill up on the depleted glycogen stores that are ready for your next session.
However, most of us have at least 24 hours left before our next run, so we have more time to replenish our fuel reserves. As long as you eat a balanced meal within 60 to 90 minutes of completing your run and continue to eat enough carbohydrate for the rest of the day according to your daily training needs, make sure you have recovered well for the next run.  Depending on the training load, a runner should have between 3 g and 12 g of carbs per kg of body weight per day. For example, if you are exercising for about an hour a day, you should aim for 5-7g of carbs per kg of body weight. For a 70kg runner this would be 350 to 490g of carbs per day. The higher the training volume, the higher the need for carbohydrates.
After short, hard runs such as interval sessions, do people need to think about what they should eat, or can they get what they need from their normal diet?
High intensity training can quickly deplete your glycogen stores. Therefore, after these types of sessions, runners must pay close attention to refueling strategies, as is the case with long runs. Again, the right strategy depends on your next training session. If you have 24 hours or more to recover before your next session, a post-workout meal will be needed within an hour of completing the workout to initiate the recovery process. If you start exercising sooner, you will have a high-carbohydrate and protein-rich snack right after your session, followed by high-carbon meals and snacks to make sure your glycogen reserves are replenished before your next run.