Nutrition tips for preparing for 15K race

Published on Saturday, 8 February 2014 23:44 - Written by Megan Riaz Special Contributor

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The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare – Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon Winner


This week we will discuss an important but often overlooked element of running — nutrition. I cannot stress enough the importance of nutrition when running long distances.

Right now, if you are training for the 15K, you are probably up to at least 6 or 7 miles for your long run. If you are running 10 minutes per mile or slower, that means you are out running for longer than an hour, and you need to make sure you are consuming food as fuel to help you sustain your energy for that length of exercise.

If you don’t eat before you run, you are already at a disadvantage and will be working harder to make it to your goal distance. Instead of starting out with an energy level of 100 percent, you are starting at about 40 to 50 percent — and that will continue to decline.

The best time to eat is about 30 minutes to an hour before you run. I typically eat something like a bagel with peanut butter, a banana or oatmeal (if I’m running in the morning). Complex carbohydrates are great.

You also need to put nutrition into your body during the run. That doesn’t mean carry a bagel with you. It means bringing things such as energy gels/shots and Gatorade (or other sports drinks). Think about this — you are burning somewhere around 600 to 700 calories per hour. Depending on how far you are going, try to take an energy shot (I prefer Clif Shot Bloks) around the first hour, an hour and a half and then at two hours (if running that long). This will make a huge difference in your endurance and your ability to keep going.

We are excited to offer our runners a special opportunity when it comes to nutrition — right now at Juls restaurant, you can order the FRESH 15 special. There are two options — a wok-seared spicy salmon noodle bowl, as well as a mixed green salad with grilled chicken and chimichurri sauce. Both are loaded with veggies and delicious. These are great options with lean protein and rich in vitamins.

And, of course, it’s always important to drink lots of water and limit fried foods.

We have less than a month until the inaugural FRESH 15. We are so excited and can guarantee you this will be something you do not want to miss. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for major announcements. If you have any questions you would like to see answered in this column, email them to me at

Until next time, keep running.