Virginia Ten Miler – Nutrition leading up to Race Day
There are many different schools of thought out there on how, when, and what you should fuel your body with when you are training for a race. Nutrition information is everywhere and with the significant increase in the running population over the last few years everyone is quick to tell you how you should eat leading up to race day. Everyone has a different nutritional need, therefore, not all training and race day approaches are created equal. Here I will give you a few general guidelines to follow while learning the best way to fuel your body.
First off, the most important thing to remember is that you should never try any new foods or approaches to nutrition on race day. Training is not only physically gearing your body up for race day, but also it gives you a chance to test your nutrition strategy for race day. Now, with about 1 month until the race and runs getting longer, is the perfect time to test out what you plan to do for fuel during the race.
The next thing to think about when considering your fueling sources is how your gut will respond to what you give it, that’s why you want to test all potential options during training so you don’t end up making an unexpected trip or trips to the porta john on race day.
The last and probably the most important part of training and race day is hydration. Remember we are still in the heat and humidity of summer around these parts and it is very easy to become dehydrated if you don’t pay attention to your needs. If you find that you have difficulty staying hydrated weigh yourself before and after your run, for each pound of weight lost you need to drink 16 ounces of water. When you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, so remember to drink often in the last of these hot summer days. What you eat and drink during your training has a big impact on how you will perform on race day. Remember to eat a healthy well balanced diet and remain hydrated throughout your training and you will see a positive impact in your performance on race day.
Betsy Bowman, PT, DPT
Lynchburg Physical Therapy