Preparation is the key to an enjoyable race day experience, and when it comes to nutrition, preparation can make the difference between achieving your goals or not. Here’s 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’ll need during the race. Foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, bananas, jelly sweets and Lucozade Sport 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 - 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 Lucozade Sport, 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
- Pack your kit bag the night before – tick items off your check list so you know you’ve got everything.
- Take a drink and snack in your bag for after the race
- Enjoy yourself - and good luck!
Pace your race
Pacing yourself is crucial if you want to perform at your best. Running an even paced race will help avoid wasting precious energy stores early on in the race. Starting off too quickly means you’ll be using up too much energy during the first few miles and you may find you have run out of carbohydrate (the muscle’s preferred energy supply) before the finish line.
Pace bands are worn on your wrist and are an easy and effective way to help you run an even paced race. They show you how long it should take to complete each mile of the race, to help you finish within your target time. Integrating your race hydration and nutrition with your pacing strategy is vital.
Running an even paced race in combination with regular fluid and energy top ups can help delay fatigue. Regular sips of Lucozade Sport will top up your energy stores and also help prevent dehydration.
Lucozade Sport pace bands
Lucozade Sport has taken the hassle out of race pacing by providing free pace bands to all runners.
By using the pace band generator at www.lucozadesport.com/sports/running/marathon-training/ you will be able to create a pace band personalised to your desired time and distance. Simply select the pace band that matches the time you expect to finish in and wrap it around your wrist next to your watch.