They may seem superhuman, but elite runners struggle with the same issues we have – like how to fuel their training, and how to stay strong during the late stages of a race. Fortunately for them, they’ve found solutions. And fortunately for us, they’re willing to share what works best.
Here’s a little look into how South African Olympian’s eat:
“The night before a race I don’t change my routine much. I either have pasta with tomato and cheese, or Margherita pizza. On race morning, for a half marathon, I just eat a banana. For the marathon I have a small bowl of oats, and take in some energy drinks during the race. After a race, I’ll have breakfast. I like scrambled eggs and bread. I’ve been a vegetarian since 2002.”
– LUSAPHO APRIL, 31, Eastern Cape, Marathon
“The secret is eating healthily in general, and being healthy. I’m not really one of these fitness freaks who goes all-vegetarian or all-organic. I don’t think it’s necessary to sacrifice all the pleasures of life for running.”
– RENÉ KALMER, 31, Johannesburg, Marathon
“When travelling to a race I pack in bananas. If I can have a strawberry milkshake, one or two bananas and a water, then I’m fine for the trip.”
– STEPHEN MOKOKA, 27, Pretoria, Marathon
“I drink to thirst and keep chilled water with me pretty much all the time. I also mix energy drinks after training. I keep my water bottle in a little cooler box, along with snacks such as dried fruit, almonds or walnuts. This keeps my energy levels up and prevents me from overeating at meal times.”
– TANITH MAXWELL, 36, Durban, Marathon
Now that you know how they eat, are you ready to find out a little more about their training secrets? Train like an Olympian with these tips from Usain Bolt, Paula Radcliffe and more of our favourite elite athletes.