Whether you are taking part in a long distance run, cycle, walk or obstacle course, it is important to keep an eye on your nutrition and make sure that you are fuelled properly for your event. Fundraisers sometimes struggle halfway through their race because they haven’t eaten enough of what they need in order to keep them going.
“Carb loading” is more popular with long distance runners, and is when you refuel your body before a race by eating carb heavy meals. You can also keep yourself topped up throughout an event, with sports drinks and snacks.
It’s hard to know what and when to consume before your event to ensure you are giving your best performance, so we have gathered the best pre-race nutrition tips for you to help you out, and give you a good idea of what’s best for you.
- In the last few days before your event, make sure your diet is fresh and includes lots of lean protein and natural carbohydrates. Processed foods and fats, and some dairy, may cause you problems.
- An easy way to ensure you have enough glycogen (an energy source for the body) for the day of your event is to make sure you include high carbohydrates in every meal the week before. We’ve included some ideas for this below.
- Eat your last large meal two nights before your event. This is because the night before the race, you may feel nervous or excited, and this can affect how you digest food, making you feel uncomfortable in the morning.
- On the day of the race, eat your breakfast two to three hours before you start. This ensures you are full, satisfied, and have absorbed all the nutrients of the meal. It also means you won’t feel sick during your activity.
- Stick to what you are used to on race day. Don’t change from what your body is used to training on, as you do not know how your body will react. This is the same when using energy gels and drinks.
- Keep sipping water until thirty minutes before you start. This gives you time to use the bathroom, and feel properly hydrated without gulping down bottles and bottles and feeling bogged down by the water weight.
Ideas for what to eat:
- Pancakes with banana or blueberries
- Toast with peanut butter or honey
- Porridge with milk and fruit
- Turkey or chicken sandwich with wholegrain bread
- Jacket potato with tuna
- Pasta with chicken and vegetables
- Grilled fish and whole grain rice
Remember that you know your body best, so listen to it and learn what makes it happy