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Clifford suggests a carbohydrate based food with some protein. Good carbohydrate sources with protein include yogurt and fruit and lowfat granola or oatmeal with skim milk and bananas. Avoid hard to digest fatty meals such as bacon and fried eggs.

“It is important to experiment during training to determine the type and quantity of food that works best for your body as each athlete tolerates pre exercise food differently,” Clifford said.

Depending on the intensity of the race, it’s important to eat a snack or meal within 15 to 60 minutes after competing. Good post race snacks should include carbohydrates and protein. Skim or 1 percent chocolate milk, bananas or bagels are good choices.

When it comes to everyday nutrition, eating balanced meals with food from all food groups will help you achieve a healthy balance.

“Focus on whole grains, complex carbohydrates,
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fruits, vegetables and lean meats rather than sweets and treats,” Clifford said.

Along with hydrating and eating right, it’s important to get enough rest.

“Eight hours of sleep prior to a race should be enough,” Clifford said. “Make sure you aren’t tired the week before, especially if you are trying to achieve a fast time.”
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