Signed up for a marathon but have no idea how to prepare? The good news is, there's still time to optimise your nutrition. Sports Nutritionist Dr Scott Robinson from The Edge HPL gave us his pre-race nutrition tips to fuel your best performance. Here's what he said...
Whether you're targeting a sub-3:00 race time or you're simply looking to make it across the finish line, your final week nutrition will be key in helping fuel your best performance!
THE WEEK BEFORE
Throughout race week, put in some extra effort and seek out high-quality foods that are minimally processed e.g. Teff Cookies.
THREE DAYS BEFORE
The three days prior to the marathon is the key time to: 1) 'load up' your carbohydrate (energy) stores; and (2) pay close attention to your hydration.
CARB / ENERGY LOADING
Have a larger than normal serving of easily-digested carbohydrates with each and every meal (e.g., white rice, white pasta, white bread) and accompany with a high-quality source of lean protein (such as white fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, tempeh). White sources of carbohydrates, and lean sources of protein, are more easily digested by the body and as such shouldn't leave you feeling too bloated after eating a bit more than normal!
Try to include 2-3 carbohydrate-based snacks throughout the day like Teff Cookies, fresh fruit salad with yoghurt, or homemade flapjacks.
Include a glass of water and/or fresh fruit juice with each meal and try to hydrate at regular intervals up to an hour before your run.
RACE DAY BREAKFAST
Make sure you eat breakfast! Pick something light and rich in simple carbohydrates like oatmeal or a bagel. Chew slowly to help your body start digestion.
WHAT TO AVOID
Try to eat foods that are easily digested by the body. Reduce your intake of dietary fats - especially foods that are high in trans and saturated fats such as pastries and fried foods (these tend to slow the rate of carbohydrate loading and could cause stomach upset).
With your meals, if you want to include veggies it's best to opt for lighter salad items, like cucumber and tomatoes, rather than bulky veggies, like carrots and broccoli.
Refuel with high-quality foods, like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, that will help you restore your energy. And remember- always keep a Teff Cookie on hand for emergency snacking. 🍪