Personal Account: Why what you eat on the days/weeks before is just as important as the morning of competition

What you eat in the days and weeks leading up to your competition is absolutely essential to your success. Whether you are running a marathon, a triathlon or just wanting to get the most out of your trips to the gym or the swimming pool. 

I am not currently training for anything in particular, I just go to the gym for enjoyment and keeping fit as well as playing squash and doing the Park Run on a Saturday morning.

Last weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday and as a result of the various festivities the only training i was able to do was a game of squash on the Wednesday evening. As well as this, I had drank a bit of alcohol and had a few unhealthy treats to celebrate my birthday. 

Looking Fresh: Early in the run

Looking Fresh: Early in the run

I was planning on running a new PB at the park run on the Saturday morning to get back into training following the recent birthday blow out. My current PB is 26:16 and my plan was to get under 25 minutes as I wouldn't have my dog with me to slow me down (need to start at the back and it is difficult to run past people with a big lead and him stopping for the toilet half way round). 

I was very motivated, I set my alarm for about 2 and a half hours before the run started to give me plenty of time to have a good breakfast and let it digest before running. I got up, had breakfast, set my app up to give me pacing notes so I knew how i was getting on and got down to the park in plenty of time to warm up as it was a very cold morning.

I got off to a good start, keeping perfectly to the pacing I was needing to achieve my sub 5 minute goal for the first 2km. Following this I started feeling unusual fatigue and for the first time ever, I had to walk a little section of the steep hill on the course to let me get my breath back. I then had to scrap my plans of a PB as I knew this wasn't possible anymore.

Fatigued: Near the end of the run

Fatigued: Near the end of the run

I eventually finished the run in 27:05, which is 49 seconds slower than my PB which got me thinking about how much the weekend before had affected my fitness and energy and made me want to give my account of this to let you know how important your diet is on the lead up to training and competition.  

Fortunately, it was just the weekly Park Run I was doing and not a big event that I had been training for a long time for. I just need to go back and get my PB next time :D

If this is something you can relate to or you need assistance to optimise your diet for performance and learn to understand what you need to be eating and when you should be eating it . Get in touch and find out how I can help you improve. 

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