Before a Race
- Start hydrating days before the race. Nothing crazy, just be aware of your water consumption.
- Have a big supper, lots of carbs for supper the night before your race.
- Eat a simple high carb breakfast 2 hours before your race. Oatmeal, cereal, and toast are great options. Bring a banana or simple card to snack on 1 hour to 45 minutes before the race. Keep that energy up! You can be waiting around for quite some time before you start.
Races Up to 8K
When you undertake a race 8 km of less there will be sufficient stores in your body for fuel if you walk the whole course. Races do have water stations. Check the race map before the race to see where these stations will be set up so you know where they are if you are concerned.
Races 8K to 15K
You need to consider time more so than distance. If the course is challenging and you believe you will be out there for more than 1 hour, you will want to bring food and water.
Camelbacks are great and hug close to the body for carrying water. They often have pockets for food as well.
Some great fuel options are Cliff Bars, Cliff Bloks, or Stingers, Jelly Belly’s, or a simple PB&J Sandwich. Whatever you eat you will want to practice eating before you race. See how your guts handle the fuel while exercising. Your body processes food differently exercising than it does at rest.
For longer distances cramping may be an issue:
Bring mustard packs and salt pills. Mustard packs will take away a sever cramp in 1 to 3 min, and the salt pill will keep the cramp away. I usually take salt pill 1 hour into the race, and continue to do so every hour or hour and a half. If you have had one you know this can be a debilitating and scary pain so best to keep it at bay.
This also brings up hydration other than water:
Electrolyte drinks or bring tablets like Nuun to put into water at the 1st station or second. Again, you will want to try this out on a practice run before using them in a race.
Eat the snack you packed. It will be a high protein snack to help in recovery.
Drink a bottle of water. All of it. You will be dehydrated from the effort.