Getting ready to run Bridge to Brisbane? Or any running race of about 5-10km? Here are three nutritional considerations for running. We show you what foods to choose and show you how to fuel up adequately both pre and post-race.
Carbohydrates are what will fuel you for your run. Given the run is 5km or 10km you don’t need to worry about carbohydrate loading in the days prior though. Have a good carbohydrate breakfast, but make sure it is something you have had before a run previously (either a race or training). That way, you know it sits in your stomach well and therefore won’t cause you upset during the race. Some ideas of pre-race breakfasts are:
- Cereal + low-fat milk
- Fruit e.g. banana
- Toast + honey or jam
- Fruit + low-fat yoghurt
If you do struggle to eat on the morning of a race then try sipping on a sports drink (it will give you some sugar carbohydrate to provide your body with some fuel), or you could have a sports gel (if you have tried one before in a race or training and know it sits well in your stomach).
Hydration is so important to perform to your potential. You don’t want to have really pushed yourself in training, but then not hydrate properly and not run at your best on race day. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water in the weeks leading up to the race. Popping some electrolytes in your water (e.g. Hydralyte) can also help you to hydrate better.
3. Post-race meal
Your post-race meal is so important for your recovery. Make sure you get a good quality meal with some lean protein and carbohydrates to refuel your body. It’s often nice to go out for a celebratory lunch after so a meal like a grilled chicken burger with lots of salad is a good option. If you’re heading home after the race making a big salad sandwich with some protein such as chicken, ham or egg is a good option too. For those people who struggle eating after a run, a milky drink (e.g. Sustagen, Up & Go, milk-based coffee) can be a good recovery option as well. This provides you with some protein and carbohydrates to kick-start your recovery before you get your meal in.