Nutrition part 5 – Pre-race nutrition
Guest blogger Nicole Walsh, Holistic Nutritionist
Ready, Steady, GO!
Over the few blog posts I have spoken about what to add and remove from your diet to help improve your diet in general but also your endurance for training and race day. The big day is now around the corner and what you eat the day before the race and the day of the race is of equal importance to your overall performance.
Don’t overload on carbohydrates, or you’ll risk feeling stuffed and sluggish in the morning. Eat as much as you normally would, substituting a few extra carbs for your usual protein or salad/veg if you want. Try loading 50 to 75 percent of your plate with complex carbs like pasta, potatoes or quinoa. Then fill in 25 percent with lean protein like chicken, turkey, fish, or eggs. Some healthy fat— such as olive oil on your pasta – and salad or steamed veggies should round off the meal. However keep the portion salad or veg small as this meal should be lower in fibre than usual.
On race day, for breakfast, keep it light and stick to what has worked for you in the past before training runs. This isn’t the time to be experimenting with new foods. Depending on what you’ve eaten during training, take your pick from breakfast ideas like porridge with a banana, a bagel with peanut butter, toast with jam. Also aim to take in 16 to 24 ounces of fluid. And finally it’s also an idea to decrease your usual caffeine dose by about 50% percent to avoid any pit stops along the way!
What you take in during the race depends entirely on race conditions. If it’s hot you may need fluid. Go by thirst.
Respect your body especially if you’re new to the race distance. You will need to refuel properly to aid muscle recovery. Try to drink something within 30 minutes of finishing. A recovery drink like a protein shake with added carbohydrates (such as oatmeal) is a good place to start.
Best of luck to all of you running for such a wonderful cause.
Eat well, be well, run well!