Here we are!

There are only two days left for the Jesolo Moonlight Halfmarathon. In our column we have seen a bit of all the important aspects to prepare for the race, now let's make a final recap to get well prepared!

The days before? In the past, the "dissociated diet" was very fashionable, it seemed to be the ideal solution, but we discovered instead that it could very often lead to disorders such as dysentery and even psychological imbalance in the marathon runner. It involved alternating two phases, the first phase characterized by an unloading of carbohydrates before the commitment, and then in the following days eating only carbohydrates without distinguishing between simple and complex. In the first phase the runner trained hard to consume all the glycogen possible, in the days following the discharge instead he trained little. If all went well, the runner could have managed to gain 2'-3 'on the final time, but the risk was too high and this practice was abandoned.

The advice therefore is to eat in a very normal way, not neglecting all three macronutrients. As for the protein part, white meats and fish are to be preferred, because while guaranteeing a good protein intake, they contain a lower quantity of fats even if these are not completely demonized since a good supply of essential fatty acids can guarantee us a " energy bonus ". In addition to all this, let's not forget the part relating to vegetables and fruit to ensure an adequate supply of mineral salts and vitamins, making sure to select those types with an adequate fiber content to reduce gastric distension.

The breakfast will be the one you had before leaving for the very long training, however it must be the normal breakfast that you always have, if you eat very early, you can plan to add a bar or maltodextrin (20-30 g) to dissolve in water. Your normal breakfast must contain a protein component such as bresaola, raw ham, ricotta or natural salmon or tuna.

It is not necessary to start with an excessive load of supplements, remember that you are not going to war. Many runners have achieved excellent results using EASILY transportable energy bars (see nuts, fruit bar or energetika) to be pinned to the bib or in the pocket of the shorts every 10-12-15 km. The frequency of intake is very subjective and should have been proven in training. Good results are also obtained with gel maltodextrin solutions such as the very famous CARBOSPRINT BCAA or Carbosprint Ultrarace.
Therefore, for those facing a race over a distance of 21km, the integration strategy should develop on the three distinct moments of sporting activity:

BEFORE: given that a fairly long test is being faced and in which it is not always easy to replenish fluids and mineral salts during activity, it is recommended to start the test in conditions of weak hyper-hydration to prevent dehydration. Taking a Pre-Race, about 30 minutes before the start of the half in 250cc of water (I'M PRO pre), among other things, also provides sequential carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral salts capable of delaying the onset of cramps or energy cramps. A valid alternative in the pre-run can be the energy bars.

DURING: If possible, it would be advisable to continue treating hydration every 3-5 km to maintain a good hydro-saline balance, especially in the hot months. Taking a "carbohydrate refill" in the middle of the race helps to prevent energy drops in the final and regenerates energy supplies for the decisive part of the race.

AFTER: To allow optimal recovery, it is useful to take supplements containing mixtures of amino acids, carbohydrates and micro-nutrients (such as I'm-PRO) aimed at eliminating exercise catabolites and which set the conditions for optimal muscle regrowth within 30 -40 minutes from the end of the race.

Drinking too much can also be counterproductive and can cause cramps due to the decreased sodium concentration and the typical disorders of the phenomenon called hyponatremia. So the advice is not to drink at the first refueling, but start from the second, alternating one refueling with water to one with a supplement. Remember to drink calmly, sipping and letting the liquid flow slowly into your stomach. Should it be very hot, drink more supplements and less water.

Have a good race!
Dr. Andrea Zonza