It’s race day! Are you ready? Here is a checklist that can help you get organized to optimize your nutrition game plan:
Have a balanced breakfast with adequate carbohydrate 2-3 hours before. If your race is far away and you have time to kill before the race starts, pack a carbohydrate-rich snack like a fruit, granola bar, or half a sandwich. These foods should all have been tried and tested prior to race day to make sure the type and quantity of the food is well digested.
Have you drank enough water this morning to re-hydrate? Try to get 1-2 cups of liquid in a couple of hours before the race and just like our parents would say, make time to use the washroom before starting! Don’t overdo the quantity of water ingested right before race time as it may cause cramping or discomfort.
If required, do you have your sports gels or drinks ready and a place to keep them either in a pocket or a belt? Make sure these food items are easily accessible while you’re running.
Water bottles! Does your race offer water stations? If so, how far apart are they? How long is your race? See Julie’s article on hydration for more information. Bring an extra bottle with ice and leave it in the car for the ride home.
What is your plan after the race in terms of eating? Are you going to a restaurant once everyone finishes? Are you going straight home or stopping to do some errands? If you won’t be having a meal any time soon it is important to bring a balanced snack with you to refuel your energy stores and rehydrate (which will also help prevent feeling extremely hungry later on in the day!).
If your snack(s) need(s) to be kept cold, bring along an insulated lunch box to prevent food spoilage.
On your marks, get set, GO!