Mud Hero obstacle course races are days full of fun, friends, exercise and challenges. Part of the idea behind them is to push yourself to your physical limits. It’s fun, but it’s also a challenge, so it is very important to prepare yourself for these events.
One aspect, obviously, is exercise and training in advance (take a look at our article here for how to train for your first Mud Hero event), but another, perhaps even more important aspect, is your diet. On today's #TransformationTuesday post sponsored by our good friends at GoodLife Fitness, we discuss the sorts of diets you should employ leading up to, before, during and after your Mud Hero obstacle course race.
Whether you are training or about to start your Mud Hero event, hydration is key to your success. Regularly fueling yourself with liquids is a must.
Developing the habit of drinking whenever you consume food (i.e., meal or snack) is a good way to ensure you are hydrating yourself well. Water is typically the best fluid at all times, but if you are training or racing for longer than 90 minutes, then electrolyte and carbohydrate infused beverages become helpful to replenish your energy levels during these activities.
If you’re an entry-level participant, then a diet focusing on lean proteins, nutrient-rich carbs and healthy fats (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocado) is the way to optimize your diet while you train. Pair these items with at least 7 servings a day of vegetables and fruits, and you’ll set yourself up for race day.
If you’re an elite-level participant, then the above works great, but add more focus on carbohydrates, as you will want more energy for your more intense training regimen.
Before the Race
We recommend eating a carbohydrate-rich meal 2-3 hours before your Mud Hero obstacle course race. The carbs will ensure your energy levels are at their peak in time for the race. That said, only eat foods that your body is used to: do not suddenly jolt your body with tons of carbs, or your body may not be ready to tolerate them. It is important to practise your diet during training.
During the Race
If your race is not going to last more than an hour, food during the event is unnecessary. Water is always good to continue to sip on, but not in excess during the event – prepare yourself in advance with hydration, so that you are drinking less water during the event.
On the other hand, if your race is going to be in excess of an hour and a half (and more at the elite level), then you should aim to intake 30-60 grams of carbohydrates an hour during the race. Often, these will be in the form of energy bars and electrolyte beverages.
Be warry that any food you are carrying with you could be lost or damaged during the race, so be sure to seal them well, and plan a backup in the case they are lost on the obstacle course.
After the Race
You should plan to eat almost immediately after the race. A recovery snack, heavy on carbs and protein, is your first need. A full meal should then be consumed not long after (within an hour or two). Liquids are also very important, as you will especially need to rehydrate your body. We have lots of beverages available for you after your run in our Festival Zone - just make sure to have a big drink of water before consuming any alcohol to allow your body to reset itself.
Providing your now drained body with nutrients and fuel is very important for your recovery. You need to refuel and repair your muscles, and rehydrate your body to get the most out of the race.
If you are responsible with your diet while training, before, during and after the Mud Hero obstacle course race, then you’ll have an easier time with the event, get more out of it, and have a whole lotta fun!