Whether you’re running a marathon or an adventure race series, when you’re getting close to the event you’ll need to start thinking about how you will train and fuel yourself - What you eat and drink can make or break your race
Our expert nutritionist, Lucy-Ann has put together an amazing 7-day sports nutrition plan designed to help you get the energy and nutrition you need to train well and perform brilliantly on the big day!
Five-seven days out: ease up on mileage
During your race training in the weeks prior to the race, your muscles never really have the chance to reload with glycogen. Glycogen is your body’s main storage of carbohydrates, which are not required at the time of consumption but later on, when blood sugar levels drop, they are used up to provide more glucose to maintain blood sugar levels. A human body can store up to 2000 calories of glucose as glycogen.
Although it may seem counter productive at first, in the week before the race you will need to back off on training for a few days so your muscles can start to gradually restock the glycogen levels, helping you build up your energy reserves for race day.
Three to four days out: Up the carbs.
Now it’s three to four days off your event, you’ll need to increase your carbohydrate intake slightly by around 10%. This, together with the reduction in training, will further increase your glycogen stores. Ensure you balance out your calorie intake from fat and protein so you avoid gaining weight from the extra carbohydrates in your diet.
One to two days out: Carb load.
48 hours of carb-loading begins here! The focus is on carbohydrates with each meal and snack. Both days now include a dessert option as well. Don't worry if bodyweight increases by 1-2kg at this time as the body stores water alongside the carbohydrate.
The big day - Eat, eat eat!
A pre-race meal supplies extra carbs to top off glycogen stores, which will help steady blood sugar levels during the race. Back off on fats and keep protein on the lower side—both nutrients take longer to digest.