Before you begin training for a big race or if you’re looking to get more into running for fun, it’s important to learn how to properly fuel your body. You may already have healthy eating habits like eating fruits and vegetables and limiting added sugars, but nutrition during race training is a bit different. Here are four tips to help you get started!

Eat before a long run

Think of your body as a car. A car needs fuel before it can move, and so does your body. Running without any food in your stomach will cause you to feel fatigued quicker. A general rule of thumb to follow is to eat a light meal 2-3 hours before a long run or a snack within 1 hour of your run. Try to incorporate some carbohydrates before a run as they provide the energy your body needs. Some great foods to eat before a workout are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Protein foods, like nut butters and low fat dairy, are also good to include in your meal/snack before a run. Try this Baked Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal or Green Matcha Smoothie Bowl from our Meal Ideas site before your next run!

Always hydrate

No matter what the temperature is outside, make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout your run and the rest of your day. Most people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis, and this can have a negative impact on your running success. An easy way to indicate if you’re properly hydrated is to look at the color of your urine (pale yellow means you’re hydrated!).

Eat healthy fats during recovery

After a long run, you might feel super hungry. Eating healthy unsaturated fats is a great way to help curb hunger levels. Yes, fat! Unsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds and fatty fish. This delicious Grilled Salmon Harvest Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette would make a great post-run meal!

Be mindful with your snacks

Choosing healthy snacks will help keep your hunger at bay, and your body will thank you! Keep lots of these snacks around so you skip the bag of chips. Here are some balanced snacks you can prepare ahead of time:

Berry Almond Energy Bites

Homemade Chips & Hummus

Hawaiian Crunch Wrap

Interested in trying the recipes in this post? Here is a complete grocery list of everything you’ll need!

Have a question about nutrition? Our Mealtime Mentors would love to help! Reach out at AskFestivalDietitians.com or find them on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice. Health information changes frequently as research constantly evolves. You should not rely on any information gathered here as a substitute for consultation with medical professionals. Information may not be reproduced without permission from Festival Foods. We strongly encourage guests to review the ingredient lists of suggested products before purchasing to ensure they meet individual dietary needs. All products not available at all Festival locations.