Race day is upon us. By this point in your training, you have completed your longest training run, and are tapering down to give your muscles a chance to repair before race day. Nutritionally speaking, I hope you are confident in your plan. Throughout training, you have been able to test your body out, and look for ways to perform better. This blog was written to focus your attention on the key areas of nutrition during training. I hope it gave you meal and training ideas, and enhanced your understanding of the runner’s diet.
At this point in training you are ready. We have discussed fueling for sport, along with the role of carbs, fat and protein in the body. Pre-, intra- and post-workout meal are already planned and practiced, and hydration status with attention to electrolyte needs is routine. Last week we discussed carb-loading, which I hope you found useful for these next few days leading up to the race. This is your chance to fill up your muscles with energy and fluid before the race.
If you have followed this blog over the last 11 weeks, paid attention to the key points, and tried to apply the recommendations into your training, you are ready for this race. There is no doubt in my mind. That said, I have no new topics to introduce this week, but I will leaves you with my 10 tips for Race Day:
- Plan your breakfast meal the night before. I might even make it so my morning had as few steps as possible.
- Pack your snacks the night before in packaging that makes sense for your race.
- Plan ahead when you are going to eat/feed during the run. What and where should be tentatively set based on training, predicated pace, and glycogen load.
- Decrease carried load by giving snacks to family/supporters at selected mile markers.
- Take note of the water stations on the map to schedule fluid intake. Which stations will you use sports drink?
- Take note of the weather and make sure you are dressing and refueling accordingly. Remember heat increasing our own body heat, which means more calories burned and more sweat lost. Increase feedings, fluids and sodium.
- During the run make sure to appreciate your surroundings. This is what you have been training for! Stop end gaming and enjoy the moment.
- Remain confident in your training. Trust your body’s ability to push harder and farther.
- Run through the finish line. Cross that line knowing you left nothing on the course.
- Enjoy your post-workout meal with attention to needed hydration, electrolyte replenishment, recovery needs and of course taste!
I hope this blog has been helpful for you during training. Whether a first time run or an experienced athlete, the material discussed here applies to your race, and when used appropriately, will have a tremendous impact on performance. Thank you for reading. All of us associated with PG Marathon Ready appreciate your participation and look forward to your feedback once you’ve crossed the finish line!
Andrew Wade, RDN, LDN