Up to this point, you will have focussed mainly on the distance you have to run, but it is now time to start thinking about fuelling your body.
Sometimes in training you may have felt weak or low on energy. To prevent this happening on the day, make sure you eat and drink enough before, during and after your runs.
One week to go
It’s time to gradually increase the amount of carbohydrates you’re eating.
On race day, they will provide the fuel your muscles need and help you feel full of energy. Food such as rice, oats and potatoes are inexpensive and can be integrated easily into your diet.
It is also a good idea to figure out the best way to stay hydrated whilst running. Can you stomach sports drinks, or would it be best to stick with water?
The day before
As we discussed in last week’s blog, ‘Having a plan of attack’, the day before the race is not the time to try new food. Choose a diet that has worked for you in training, that you know will fuel your run.
This is also not the time to skip meals. Make sure you drink enough water and eat regularly throughout the day. Don’t have anything too heavy the night before – it will leave you feeling lethargic in the morning.
Just like the night before, avoid anything too heavy. A light and healthy breakfast will set you up perfectly for the race.
About two hours before the start, try eating a small bowl of porridge, toast or fruit and yogurt. Basically, whatever works for you in training.
During the 10K
Once you’ve crossed the start line, there’s no going back.
If you haven’t given your body the fuel it needs, you might find parts of the race tough going, but that doesn’t mean you need to panic.
If you’ve found your energy levels dip towards the end of longer training runs, consider taking supplies with you. A bottle of water, sports drink or energy gel will not be too difficult to carry and may help in the final stages.
A word of caution, energy gels don’t agree with everyone! Try one during your training runs first.
After the event
Once you cross the finish line, some of you may be hungry, whilst for others, the thought of food will turn your stomach.
No matter how you feel, it is important to eat something small to aid your recovery. Even sipping a sports drink will help to replenish the energy lost.
Even if you are hungry after the race, avoid eating a large meal straightaway. Your body needs time to recover and overindulging will not help.
Look out for next week’s blog, in which we will discuss the setup on the day.
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