BEFORE THE RACE:
- Don’t overload on carbs the day before the race
It’s too late to fill up your energy reserves, you won’t have time to store it all. Remember instead to increase your carb intake at lunch and evening meals over the days running up to the event. In other words: ONE (large if you want) portion is enough, no need to go back for 3 servings!
- Don’t forget to eat some vegetables!
In the week running up to the race, eat cooked or raw vegetables. (However, not too many raw veg the day before if you have a sensitive stomach or tend to get very nervous before a race.)
- Slightly reduce your protein intake
so as to prioritise carb intake, and to reduce the acidity (in the kidneys) of your meals. Eat smaller portions than usual. (By “protein” here we mean meat, fish, eggs, shellfish, etc.)
- Treat yourself, but in moderation
In small quantities: alcohol, cheese, fried foods, pastries, etc. You can enjoy these, in moderation, as part of a meal but they must not constitute the base of your meal!
DURING THE RACE:
- Always try out your products BEFOREHAND
In a “test” competition (in competition rather than in training so as to truly replicate the conditions) before using them in actual competition.
- Drink regularly
Every 10-15min, right from the start! We start to sweat quickly so it is essential to replenish your body in the same way: quickly, with both water and minerals. It’s a personal choice whether you drink only water or also other drinks, depending on your tastes and needs.
- Eat regularly
but in small quantities (so as not to overload your stomach and to be more efficiently digested), every 30-40 minutes starting 30minutes to 1 hour in.
AFTER THE RACE:
- Have a snack shortly after finishing
To speed up recovery, it is best to replenish your sugar levels as quickly as possible after intense activities, so if your stomach allows it, have a snack and a sugary drink at the final refreshment point to recharge your batteries!
- Treat yourself, balance is key
Treat yourself to a tasty dessert or an alcoholic drink (beer, red wine, etc.) or a large serving but don’t overindulge (e.g. bottle of wine + large starter + heavy main dish + massive dessert)! (Choose one!)
The following tips were written by Juliette BENEDICTO, a certified dietician and a member of the French national trail running team. On Thursday, February 14, Juliette tragically died in a ski-mountaineering accident. Our thoughts are with her family and her children.
For a customized nutrition program, you should have no problem finding a certified dietician in your area who would be happy to work one-on-one with you.