Improve Your Performance


How to become faster as quickly as possible? This question arises frequently when you’re new to running in competitions. Thoughts like: ’My girlfriend was faster’, ‘I didn’t reach my time goal’, ‘I finished out of the top 100 in my age group’make you want to run faster. On the way to improving your performance, there are some basic rules to follow:

Race nutrition: What to eat during your event

For longer races you need to have a nutrition strategy

Race nutrition becomes important for endurance events lasting longer than 1 hour. Energy supply is important before your glycogen storage get depleted, which is also known as “hitting the wall”. Intensity and duration of the event dictate what you should eat or drink. Liquid race nutrition is preferred for short or intense races. A 1 – 3 day carbo-loading phase is only required for events lasting longer than 2 hours while 300-600ml of a sports drink 3 – 1 hour before race start can be beneficial for any duration. The most important point is to practice race nutrition in your training and never try anything new on race day.

A few examples of a race nutrition strategy:

Race duration Carbohydrates per hour

30-60 minutes Mouth rinse with a carbohydrate rich sports drink

1-2 hours Up to 30g

2-3 hours Up to 60g

>3 hours Up to 90g


Example product Carbohydrates g/portion

isoactiveIsoactive 29g per 500 ml

Carbo-Basic 38g per 500ml

Long Energy 35g per 500ml

longenergypulverLong Energy 75g per 500ml

longenergypulverPowergel Original 27g

ultraenergycomplexUltra Energy Complex 25g

ultraenergycomplexEnergy Gel 35g

sponsergelSponser Gel 70g

In regards to hydration, the general rule is to drink by thirst. Individual hydration needs are dependent on many factors including climatic (temperature and humidity); sweat rate and sodium loss; event duration and intensity. The general advice for events lasting longer than 1 hour is to aim for approximate 400-800ml of water per hour, regularly at 15 minutes intervals and to take small gulps. Hydration will need to be at the higher end in hot or humid conditions and lower end in cool conditions or lower intensity. Salty sweaters and runners prone to cramping need to check that their drinks contain sufficient electrolytes.

Example Marathon Nutrition:

  • 3 – 1 hour before race start: 300-600ml of a sports drink.
  • 5min before race start: 200ml of sports drink or energy gel plus 200ml of water.
  • During the race: energy gel and water or sports drink every 30 minutes.

Remember to practice in training!

Benefit from an Intensive Week of Training


The spring draws us Central Europeans to the warmth. This winter we hardly had to put a foot on snow, but the lack of light and the new goals of the season justify an early season training camp in a warm climate like Andalusia, Cyprus, Majorca or Gran Canaria. Others may like it even hotter and fly to the southern hemisphere.

Sonne, Meer und Wärme laden dazu ein, mehr zu trainieren
Sun, sea and warmth invite you to exercise more.

The eagerness and motivation to train is usually huge in a new destination. On holiday, the extra time affords us a large volume of training. A full training log and tanned skin provides additional motivation. But, hardly a day after the camp we have a tweak in the calf, a sore knee and the legs are sluggish. What we were doing a week earlier is now in the distance. The good feelings are gone and the reality can be sobering.

With our tips, you should launch your season and the training camp properly so you won’t suffer the above, and in turn, will benefit throughout the year.

The most important tips for the start of the running season:

  • Be certain to adequately recover between workouts.
  • Complete at least 2/3 of the training sessions below the aerobic threshold, and only 1/4 of the training in the field at or above the anaerobic threshold.
  • Determine your fitness level before a training camp or an intensification of your training with a VO2 performance test.
  • Be sure to have a sufficient fluid and energy supply.
  • Avoid sleep deprivation and psychological stress, and reduce the workout (or skip it altogether) in the case of an infection (colds, flu, gastrointestinal disorders).
  • Along with the increased endurance training, increase your strength and flexibility training.
  • Optimize your recovery with sauna, massage and hot-cold baths.
  • Follow the extensive training week with a significantly easier training week (eg 3 instead of 7 workouts).

running.COACH will easily help you calculate and plan the best mix of workouts for your intensified training week. For more tips on your training plan, check the “How it works”tab on the website.

This blog was written by Dr. med. Christoph Gräni, Cardiovascular Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Swiss cardiovascular center, Inselspital Bern and Valentin Belz.