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Steve Moneghetti: Nutrition

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Just three weeks out from the Gold Coast Airport Marathon race weekend, it’s probably not a bad time to start thinking about your nutrition leading up to your race.

With increased training comes a need for good nutrition to allow your body to benefit from the extra work you’ve been doing out on the road.

Try to get value from your eating by having foods rich in protein or that are complex carbohydrates.

Examples of complex carbohydrates are pasta, rice, potatoes, wholegrain bread, most fruits and vegetables.

Protein aids muscle repair and building and includes foods such as meat, fish, nuts and eggs.

I take a men’s multi vitamin and an iron supplement everyday to help support my diet and I encourage other men to do the same and females to follow a similar approach with a particular focus on iron and calcium.

The ladies should watch taking them together though as I’m told they may counter absorption.

The first 30 minutes after a workout is the optimum time for recovery so have gels, protein bars or electrolyte drinks on hand to assist this process.

During training I always start the day with a nutritious bowl of cereal and drink orange juice with it to help the absorption of iron by the body.

The night before race day I have pasta with a Napolitano sauce (I prefer not to have a meat or cream based sauce) and the added bonus is that the pasta absorbs water and aids my hydration.

Remember that whilst carbos are great sources of glycogen, which provides energy for you to exercise, if you are not burning calories then they will convert to fat and be stored by your body.

On race day I simply have three pieces of white toast with Vegemite or jam on them and a cup of black tea about two and a half to three hours before the race.

My golden rule is to use common sense and follow a well balanced diet and you will generally be nutritionally sound.

Get into the habit of reading food labels when shopping to ensure you are receiving the food sources you require.

And finally, channel all those TV cooking shows and do your own cooking as much as practical.

It allows much greater control of what you eat.

Steve Moneghetti is a four-time Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Australian Chef de Mission and Gold Coast Airport Marathon Ambassador.

This year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon race program will feature the full 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Suncorp Bank  5.7km Challenge and 4km and 2km Junior Dash races.

Entries for the 35th Gold Coast Airport Marathon are open.

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