Nutrition Prior to the Race
Whether you are running a 5-K or a marathon, you need to know how to adjust your training. Most runners have a plan for that. But what about your diet? Proper fueling before a race is equally as important.
One Week to Go
For marathon training, start the tapering now.
For shorter races (5-K to 10-K), start the tapering 4 to 5 days before. Cut back slightly on calorie intake as you back off on mileage these few days before the race. Carbohydrate intake is not as crucial in these shorter races. Still maintain carbohydrate intake at about 60 percent of your total calories.
At this point, your body should be responding to the training taper and extra carbohydrates by loading the muscles with more glycogen than usual. You may gain a little weight.
During these final days before a race, try to be consistent in your diet. Hydrate as
much as possible (drink water). Drink plenty of liquids throughout each day. Sports
drinks at this time is a good way to get both fluids and carbohydrates.
Get enough rest, eat moderately and drink plenty of fluids. Eat frequently and stay with familiar foods. Now is not the time to experiment!
The meal should be between 750 to 1,100 calories, high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein, bland rather than spicy.
Try to eat 2 to 3 hours before race time. Bagels, raisins, bananas, sports drinks, pasta and rice are great prerace foods. Of course, every runner has his/her own special snack. You may want a sports drink or a nutritional supplement drink. Plan to eat the foods provided at the post-race area.
Good Luck and Good Running
© Women in Motion -September 1.2000