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Race Day Nutrition Tips

You’re on the home stretch to Perth’s most iconic fun run, how exciting! You’ve put in hours of training in preparation for race day but how do you make sure you perform your best? You wouldn’t want a stitch or a cramp to ruin all your hard work, right?

We reached out to Advanced Sports Dietitian, David Bryant from Catalyst Dietitian and asked for his advice on what to eat and drink this week, and on race day, to make sure you get the most out of the day:

My number one piece of advice to every  participant is to ENJOY THE RACE,  not just the finish line. And a factor that will certainly assist in the enjoyment of the race is most definitely your NUTRITION.

This Week…

Hopefully by now you have done a trial run of your pre-race and race day nutrition. The general rule of thumb is to stick to your routine i.e. DON’T TRY ANYTHING NEW RACE DAY.

This week certainly is not a time to diet or eliminate entire food groups. In fact, your diet should not really change until the Friday before the race for most runners.

For the marathon and half marathoners, commence a Carbohydrate Load from Friday. Think carbohydrates with most meals and be sure to not overdo the fat and fibre portions, particularly on Saturday, to ensure your bowels are empty come race day (i.e. less risk of using the portaloos on course!).

For the other events, top up muscle glycogen stores on Saturday by ensuring most meals have a serve of carbohydrate and again reduce the total fibre and fat content too. It goes without saying to stay well hydrated in the lead up to race day but don’t overdo it either. As long as your wee is clear, you are in the clear!

Regardless of the event, graze across the Saturday rather than going out for one big mammoth pasta/pizza etc. dinner Saturday night and then having a poor sleep and feeling lethargic come race morning.

On Race Day…

On race morning, again stick to your routine. If you have been having a particular meal/food/drink before your key runs/long runs in the lead up to the Chevron City to Surf for Activ and it has gone well for you, then stick to this routine! Broadly speaking, a small serve of carbohydrates e.g. Vegemite/jam on toast and a tea/coffee will have your muscles primed and ready to tackle the scenic course.

During the run, aim to have small sips of fluid at most stations but nothing excessive. For the marathon and half marathoners, having some carbohydrate across the run such as lollies, bars, gels*, sports drink** etc.  will reduce the risk of your pace dropping towards the back end of the run. Again, don’t try this for the first time on race day!

Post race, soak up the atmosphere! Aim to have a small meal within an hour of crossing the finish line such as yoghurt, flavoured milk, fruit and nuts, sandwiches, wraps, muesli bars etc. which are all simple and easy to digest options.

I then recommend going out somewhere special for brunch or lunch and celebrating your CTS success!

For more tips from Dave, check out our blog on Not Your Average Nutrition Tips.

*Shotz Gels will be available at selected aid stations on the marathon course.

**Aqualyte Electrolyte will be available at every aid station on the half marathon and marathon courses.