How to get your nutrition right on race day

Article originally published on Blackmores

With only a few weeks until the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, and whether you are doing the 10km or the marathon there are a few things to start thinking about before race morning.

Don’t let all your weeks and months of training go to waste by not being prepared for the actual day.

So you’re a fit or almost fit and ready to race, what do you need to remember nutritionally for the big day so as not to end up on the side of the road walking it home to the finish line in a world of hurt?

Even seasoned runners can forget some of the basics on race day so what are my top picks of things to remember?

1. Have a plan

Know your exact race nutrition plan. The marathon nutrition guide is an in-depth resource on all things sports nutrition for racing and training but you need to remember to create your own nutrition plan for your race.

Know what you are wanting to eat and drink and then trial this on a few long training runs to make sure your stomach and taste buds can handle it.

It is also important to train your digestive system to handle the volume of fluid, gels and food you are wanting to ingest as many people train on lower volumes of intake and then just assume their body will be fine on race day.

Your stomach works a little like a muscle and you can ‘train it’ to be better at food and fluid intake will in motion.

2. Be flexible

Along with knowing your food and fluid intake plan it is also important to know how to gauge if you need to take these amounts up or down on race day depending on how your body is feeling and the weather temperature for the day.

Hotter temperatures could mean you need a little bit more fluid per hour and cold temps could mean you need less. It is important to listen to your body on race day and adjust accordingly to the signals it is giving you.

3. Race course nutrition

Know what nutrition is available on the course and trial it before hand to make sure you feel ok using it.

During the race there will be IsoWhey® Sports Electrolyte Formula (not available for the Family Fun run and) and GU Energy Gel (available on for the marathon only). It’s important to always know what is supplied on race day as you don’t want to get caught out assuming there will be certain foods/sports products supplied and then not to have access to them.

4.Now is not the time to try new things!

During the last few days before the marathon or half marathon it is a good idea to decrease high fibre foods and foods that you don’t normally eat. The number one rule in sports nutrition is to not eat or drink anything that you haven’t had before as it could cause issues on race day with all the nervous playing havoc with your digestive system.

5. Race day breakfast

Last but not least make sure to give yourself enough time in the morning before race start to be relaxed, eat a good breakfast to top up your glycogen stores for race day, have your cup of coffee or tea if that’s what you normally do and top up your fluid levels.

For more in-depth information refer to the marathon nutrition guide.

Getting to the start line well fuelled and healthy is 50% of your race already in the bag, the rest is up to you and your feet and heart to get you to the gorgeous finish line overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Have fun, and enjoy the ‘ride’!