What should I eat the day before the race? What about breakfast? How many hours before should I have it?
These are just a couple of questions that expert runners or fresh ones have asked me at least once.
The race preparation includes different aspects, and nutrition is one of those.
An inadequate alimentation between trainings and before the race can compromise your permormance. As well as a F1 car without an adequate fuel could never do the pole position, a runner with little energies risks to not be in the perfect shape during the competition!
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE
1Eat more carbs (pasta, rice, bread…). I suggest increasing the amount even a week before the race.
2An athlete should use salt in each of his dishes, but the day before add a bit more of it. You are going to sweat a lot, better not to go in hyponataemia (lack of sodium in the blood).
3A week before, drink more that you are used to. Bring with you a bottle of water and put it somewhere you can see it well, to not forget it.
4Be super safe! Eat something you are sure to digest easily. If you are not at home, chose a nice restaurant and pic the simplest dishes from the menu.
5Have breakfast 3-4 hours before the race start. What to eat is personal. I am used to drink tea sweetened with honey and to eat 3 rusks with marmalade. In case the start is close to noon, I am used to have a big breakfast that includes rice and Parmigiano cheese, and later rusks with marmalade.
6If the days before the race you are going to do a long travel, wear compressive socks by the way. They will reduce the muscles heaviness sensation.
7It is up to you running or not the day before! I prefer running 20/30’ the day before and rest two days before. You just need to find your way.
8Set all you need for the race the evening before: it helps introduce the mind into competitive mood. In addiction you will not feel in a hurry the morning after.
9Reduce fruits/vegetables amount, to not have unwelcomed surprises during the race!
10Don’t drink alcohol
11Don’t eat dairy, creamy, or fatty products.
12Don’t walk a lot, especially with inappropriate shoes (low drop, unusual, uncomfortable, new…).
13Don’t get mad if you can’t sleep the night before. Even if you don’t feel excited of anxious, it could happen. You must think that you have slept enough the days before and it is not just one night that will compromise your performance. Remember that the power of mind is essential, especially in running, so be positive!