Nutrition Tips for Race Week
As race day is getting closer and closer, your nutrition should be getting more and more important. So what should you be doing and what should you not be doing in the 7 days leading up to a race? Check out these tips to find out!
- Carbo-load: The stereotypical tip that runner’s always get, but nevertheless an important one. During your training, make sure to consumer quality carbohydrates to ensure your glycogen (energy) stores are properly filled up by race day. Carbohydrate rich foods include: cereal, bread, pasta, and starchy vegetables. Isotonic sports drinks are also useful.
- Don’t overdo it: While carbo-loading is important, don’t go over the top and all of the sudden start consuming more calories than your body is used to. Since the race is only seven days away, your training should be very light which means you won’t have many opportunities to burn off any excess calories or weight.
- Don’t forget about protein: Protein is essential in muscle repair and growth, therefore making it very important in the days leading up to the race to ensure you are fully recovered on race day. Eating an equal sized portion of protein with your carbohydrate-based food twice a day will ensure you get enough. For example, a can of tuna on a baked potato or a piece of chicken, fish, or meat with rice or pasta would be a great carbohydrate and protein rich meal.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: With a week or so to go before the race, you need to start hydrating. This does not begin on race day, but multiple days before. Try to constantly sip on water throughout the day. Carrying a water bottle with you helps with this. Also, avoid excess alcohol as that dehydrates you.
- The grazing strategy: With 24 hours to go before the race, your main focus should be on resting, recovering and eating healthily, but not eating too much. Try a “grazing strategy”, where you consume many small meals throughout the day instead of a few big meals.
- Time to digest: On race day, only eat 3-4 hours before your race to ensure your body has enough time to digest that food and does not cause an stomach issues. Good options include: toast, a PB&J sandwich, cereal, or a bagel.
- 20 minutes before: Keep sipping on water all the way up until 20 minutes before the race. Take little sips and in the hour or two leading up to the race don’t drink too much water to avoid that “waterlogged” feeling, but keep sipping to make sure your throat and mouth aren’t dry. Avoid drinking coffee, pop, tea, or anything of that nature in the hours before the race as that could cause stomach issues.
- Race! Get out there and have fun.
RealBuzz team. RealBuzz. https://www.realbuzz.com/articles-interests/running/article/nutrition-for-runners-in-race-week-and-on-race-day/
Photo credit: Walk Jog Run: blog.walkjogrun.com