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Tips for Approaching Race Day

posted by
Cain Leathers

Tips to approach race day as seen in Cain's weekly rundown on 11/14/2022

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1. Eat a Carbohydrate-rich Dinner

One of the most crucial components to race day success is your pre-race dinner. To ensure you have enough carbohydrates stored for race day, aim for meals that include foods like pasta, bread, rice, or potatoes. Carbohydrates fuel the engine on the big day so filling up the tank will help reduce fatigue come race time.


2. Have Dinner Several Hours Before Bedtime

Try to have dinner earlier in the evening the night before the race. Plan to go to sleep at 9pm? Have dinner at 6pm. Planning ahead can also help to avoid rushing the meal and allow your body time to digest the meal and relax prior to falling asleep. This can add to the quality of the sleep you get too!


3. Carbohydrates for Breakfast

You had a carbohydrate-rich dinner? Great! Now time to have fuel up on carbs during your breakfast as well. Foods like toast, cereal, bagels or oatmeal are the way to go, but it’s also important to stick to foods you’re used to and have practiced in training. Running the race at 8am? Wake up at 5am for breakfast to allow time for the food to digest and help avoid an upset stomach during the race.


4. Hydrate!

Hydration is the key to success with running! Keep a water bottle with you up until the start of the race, and drink little sips often throughout the morning. It’s easy to forget about hydrating when there are so many race details to think of race morning, but try to make this one top on your priority list!

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5. Fuel During the Race

Our bodies are like cars, they can’t run on empty! When you drive a car and the gas gets low, you refuel it so the car can continue driving more miles. This is the same with our bodies. Our carbohydrate reserves deplete during the race, therefore you should aim to consume carbohydrates during the marathon to avoid fatigue. Gels are the most common way to accommodate this. Take one every 45 minutes during the race. If gels aren’t for you, think about consuming 30-60g of carbohydrates per hour. Faster runners may need to replenish more often!


Follow each gel with water or a sports drink to help your body absorb it quicker. Avoid drinking large quantities of water at one time during the race to steer clear of stomach discomfort.


6. Recover Post-Race

Congratulations! You finished! But the planning doesn’t stop here. Recovering from a race starts as soon as you cross the finish line. Eat a meal rich in, yes you guessed it, carbohydrates! This time you should pair it with protein. Protein helps your muscles repair and adapt. You should aim for 20-30g of protein (about the size of your palm).

Above all else enjoy your day. Celebrate!

Be incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved!

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Tips to approach race day as seen in Cain's weekly rundown on 11/14/2022