Nutritional Running Tips
Our friends at SafeRace give us an insight into how you can manage your nutritional needs when training for Run Reigate Half Marathon, 10k or 5k race – providing nutritional running tips for your race training.
Less than a month to go until race day, how exciting! We hope that you are looking forward to another fantastic Run Reigate. Something that can catch runners out is their nutrition and hydration. So it’s really important to think about what you eat and drink to fuel yourself before, during and after the race, so here are our nutritional tips to get you prepared.
Before the race
As part of your training for Run Reigate, be sure to stay hydrated during your longer training runs. This is also a good chance to try energy gels or other sources of simple carbs to give you an easy boost. In the run up to race day, we suggest that you drink a bit more than normal to make sure that you give your body the best prep possible. But just the boring non-alcoholic drinks I’m afraid – hold off on your favourite gin for another couple of weeks….
On the big day, we would recommend staying well hydrated before you start. Sorry for the toilet talk, but you want your last wee before you run to be a pale yellow. It’s a little game that you can play with your kidneys: is your wee paler than a minion?!
Many runners will develop a carb-loading strategy in the run-up to the event. There are mixed opinions about the benefits of this. Whatever you choose to do – don’t deplete your energy stores by under-eating, and ensure you eat well the night before and on the morning of the race.
Porridge and bananas is a common pre-race breakfast to get you race-ready, but pick whatever is your preference. Just maybe not the full english.
During the race
Once you get going, listen to your body: if you feel thirsty then make use of the drinks stations. If you don’t feel thirsty then don’t force yourself to drink – you’re doing just fine. Overloading your body with fluid is far more dangerous than not drinking enough.
Plan to have some isotonic drink (such as Lucozade Sport) as well as water, as this helps replace all the electrolytes in your the salt that you lose when you sweat. If it is a hot day, this is especially important – water alone isn’t enough to refuel your body. We would suggest taking and using the drinks, gels or other boosts that you have been training with, as your body is accustomed to these.
Cramp, feeling dizzy or tingling in your fingers and toes are signs that your body may be suffering from a lack of fluid, electrolytes or sugar. Slow down, have a drink and try a gel or sugary snack. If you have cramp, it’s often recommended to keep walking rather than your limbs stiffening if you stop. Marshals and medical teams are on hand to offer help if you need it.
At the finish
Yay, you’ve made it! Well done. You’ll be offered water, bananas and other goodies – enjoy these as soon as you are able. We’d recommend that you drink a complete bottle of water or isotonic drink within 30 minutes of finishing to help combat any ill effects. Continue drinking little and often throughout the rest of the day to help your body recover from the race.
It’s also really important to try and eat some food, particularly salty snacks such as crisps or nuts, to help boost your sodium levels back towards normal. When you get home, enjoy some naughty treats or your favourite meal – you’ve earned it!
If you are feeling unwell, can’t keep your food or drink down or need any advice then please do speak to one of our fantastic medical or safety teams during the event.
Saferace would like to wish everyone taking part in this year’s event good luck!