Congratulations! Your countless miles, your beat up feet, your sweaty sacrifices of missing out socially will all pay off race day. But don’t let that hard work get sabotaged by these common pre-race nutrition mistakes. Beware of the below pitfalls before getting to the start line.
Don’t try new foods or beverages. Introducing new ingredients into your system the day before your race is not the best idea and can lead to bad reactions or allergies. Save your samples from your bib pick up for after the race to avoid risky business.
Be cautious of over hydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water the day before the race, but don’t overdo it! By drinking too much water you can run the risk of diluting your electrolytes-that are imperative for muscle contractions. This can lead to cramping and muscle weakness. Say good bye to your PR (personal best) if you are fighting a nasty cramp on the course!
Beware of too much pasta. Bumping your glycogen before the race is common practice with a big pasta dinner but by feeding your system more than it can handle can lead to indigestion, a rough night of sleep and running to the porta potties on the race course. You know what works for your body. You have been training for many weeks now, think back to your great runs and what you ate and emulate that for your pre-race dinner. The key is moderation.
Don’t forget to eat! Don’t let pre-race jitters get your stomach in knots to the point where you avoid eating all together. Try something easily digested with carbohydrates and protein. Eating 2-3 hours before your race and sipping water up until 30 minutes before the gun goes off will leave you feeling nourished and ready. Yes, 2-3 hours before the race-we know it’s early. This will give your body time to wake up and be ready for a winning experience on the race course!