1-3 days before the race:Think about building up your glycogen reserves and give your body a rest. Meals should be mostly carbs, (pasta, rice and potatoes) plus a variety of veggies, fruit and a little protein to make sure you’re in top-notch shape when race day rolls round.
Whole grains (e.g. brown wholemeal bread) pasta and rice have more nutrients than to white. Hydrate often but don’t overdo it; add a glass or 2 of water or electrolyte mix to your regular daily routine. If you are serious about your race then NO alcohol. Plus, get a couple of good night’s rest and stretch regularly.
The day before, pre-race dinner:Stick with the carb plan! This is the energy source endurance athletes need to perform their best. Often you are away from home so pasta is an easy option to find in restaurants or prepare beforehand. Go easy on the fats, proteins and fibre (yep, white pasta is OK on this occasion if too much fibre doesn’t agree with you). Don’t stress about a poor night’s sleep, you already had two good night’s rest beforehand, right? ☺. And once again, still NO alcohol.
The big day ! Breakfast:
Carbs continued! Don’t over indulge, you’ll carry what you eat. Foods like bagels and porridge provide sustenance and bananas are easy to digest. If you drink coffee then go ahead and have your morning cuppa. Caffeine has some great benefits to stimulate the body. Keep it simple and aim to have eaten at least 2 hrs prior to the race to be sure your stomach has settled and the food digested.
Right before your race :
If it has been over 3 hrs hours since breakfast then you may want a quick snack around 30 minutes before the race to bump up your blood sugar level at the start line. A XACT ENERGY fruit bar is perfect mobile snack to keep your energy reserves up and can be eaten easily between check-in and the start line.
During the race: half marathon and challenge events
Aim to take an energy gel or chew like XACT ENERGY fruit bar every 45 minutes from the start of the race. The number of gels you eat depends on how long it will take you to run your race. This could be between 1-3 chews or gels depending on how long it will take you to finish.
|30 mins before race||1 XACT ENERGY blackcurrant bar with electrolytes +/- caffeine or a Kronobar ENERGY|
|45 mins||1 XACT ENERGY fruit bar|
|1 hr 30 mins||
1 XACT ENERGY blackcurrant bar with electrolytes +/- caffeine or a Kronobar ENERGY
1 XACT ENERGY fruit bar
|2 hrs 30 mins||1 XACT ENERGY blackcurrant bar with electrolytes +/- caffeine or a Kronobar ENERGY|
1 XACT ENERGY fruit bar
Sweating is the main cause of electrolyte loss. The more hot and humid it is, the more you should aim to replace lost electrolytes. Your sports drinks and gels are the best source!
Help your bars and gels go down with a mouth full of water if you can. You should be aiming for at least 500-1000ml / hour fluid intake. More if it is hot.
Mix up your energy chews. Have fun and take a variety of flavours to keep your taste buds on their toes (XACT ENERGY comes in 4 flavours: strawberry, apricot, orange and maple).
Caffeine is great for stimulating your central nervous system and reducing perceived effort. XACT ENERGY Blackcurrant has 50 mg and will pick you up as you start to feel worn down.
Scoffing a whole gel or energy bar in one go while on the run can sometimes be tough on the stomach, taking two or three small bites of a XACT ENERGY fruit bar will do the same job and be easier for your system to manage.
Congratulations on finishing your race!! It’s time to reward your body so plan to eat a small snack within 30 minutes of finishing to get your energy back and start recovery. Aim for a mix of both carbs and protein. The XACT PROTEIN wafer (official marathon race recovery bar at the finish line) will have you covered. Before you head to the beer tent, try to drink 500-1000ml fluid to help rehydrate. Once you have something to eat and drink, now you’re ready for that celebratory beer!