Preparation is the key to an enjoyable race day experience, and when it comes to race day nutrition, preparation can make the difference between achieving your goals or not. Here is what you need to know.
The week before the race
Increase your carbohydrate intake in the 1-7 days prior to race day, to ensure you are storing the energy in your muscles that you will need during the race. Foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, bananas, jelly sweets are all high in carbohydrate and low in fat.
The day before
To ensure that your body is properly hydrated in the lead up to race day you should drink plenty of fluids. A good indication of your hydration status is the colour of your urine. Dark urine indicates dehydration and that you need to drink more. If your urine is a pale straw colour, you are sufficiently hydrated and should aim to maintain this status right up to the beginning of the race.
The evening before the race try to eat high carbohydrate, low fat foods which you like and are accustomed to eating. Chicken and pasta in a tomato sauce or a baked potato with tuna and vegetables are both great examples.
Your Race Day breakfast is very important. Cereal, toast, porridge, fruit, and juice are all high in carbohydrates, but don’t try anything new on race day. Aim to have your breakfast 2 to 4 hours before the race begins and keep yourself hydrated by drinking little and often.
Regardless of the weather, it is important to drink throughout the race. Taking regular sips of water, avoiding consuming large quantities of fluid will help keep you hydrated and top up your energy stores without feeling uncomfortable in your stomach.
• Don’t try anything new on Race Day.
• Drink to thirst - when you are thirsty make sure you drink before and during the race.
• Drink little and often. Avoid consuming large volumes of fluid throughout the race.
• Take a drink and snack in your bag for after the race.
• Enjoy yourself - and good luck!
For more great advice on nutrition and running, visit www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com
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