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All set for race day? The TCS World 10K is happening in Bangalore this weekend. One very essential part of your training is keeping track of what to eat. Not just throughout your training but a few days before the race as well. Now you must be wondering why we are emphasizing so much on what to eat. This is because what you eat and how much is going to determine the level of energy your body is going to generate for the run.
We thought of making things easier, with an article that will help you prep for the run like a pro. If you are a veteran runner you will be well versed with the dos and don’ts of your pre-run meal prep. Those of you who are new to running and if this is your first ever 10k, keep reading to finish strong!
Let’s get started.
The first thing any nutritionist or dietician is going to tell you, when you ask them what to eat, is to load up on any source of carbs you set your eyes on. This will help increase the glycogen levels in your muscles, thus enabling them to produce the required energy on race day. Ideally, it is said that you should up your carb intake by 100 g, a couple of days before the marathon.
You don’t have to think about what to eat, but opt for easily digestible sources like sweet potatoes, pasta, baked potatoes, and brown rice to state a few. This will help you increase your carb intake at a gradual pace since your body is not used to such a heavy load of carbohydrates on a regular basis.
Don’t leave out the basics
As much as it is stressed upon that you need to carb-load, don’t miss out on your daily requirement of proteins, fats, and fibres. This helps in maintaining your nutritional balance, which is very important because you don’t want to be falling flat on your face on race day, as a result of fatigue or lethargy. We all know that carbohydrates are notorious in cases like this. To ensure that you have the proportion right you can consult a nutritionist or track what you eat on the HealthifyMe app so that you know exactly what to eat and pack your meals like a boss!
Have a well-balanced meal at least 6 – 8 hours before the race. Pack in those carbs with an extra serving of that pasta. That being said, keep snacking through the day. You can try having porridge for breakfast followed by a peanut butter sandwich as a midday snack, if you were wondering what to eat. Baked potatoes or a dish laden with sweet potatoes for lunch with some grilled chicken and veggies of course. You may also slip in a snack or two before dinner.
Breakfast IS the most important meal
It is finally race day! Depending on how long your body takes to digest food, it can vary from 45 minutes to 3 hours, it is essential that you have a small breakfast or snack. You can try having a banana or a chicken sandwich followed by a bowl of fruits. If you are not sure which to pick you can consult with a nutritionist and have your meal ready a day in advance.
What you should not do
This is the only thing you should ensure that you don’t do on race day. Do not have a meal high on proteins, fats, and fibre. Although it has been mentioned that you must load up on carbs, try opting for simple carbs and not complex carbs since the former are low in fibre and starch, thus making them easier to digest. These elements of nutrition in your meal will weigh down your digestive system leaving you at a loss of energy during the run. This will, in turn, affect your stamina and performance during the marathon. You don’t want to retire from the race because of something as trivial as stomach cramps and let all your hard work go to waste.
Now that you know what to eat and what not to eat before a race, it’s time to get geared up! One piece of advice that we will leave you with is, never experiment. Always resort to methods that have been tried and tested. Good luck for Sunday!
If you want to get fit enough to run a marathon, our experts can guide you towards achieving your goals.