Fuelling Up The Week Of Your 10K Race
Running a 10K race this weekend? Here’s how to handle fuelling and hydration (aka food and drink!) this week.
Are you running the Running4Women Windsor 10K this weekend? Or perhaps you’re doing another 10K somewhere else around the country. You’ll want to know how to eat and drink in the days leading up to the race.
You’ve done the training, now it’s time to taper. Don’t do anything crazy regarding food in this final week. Keep it simple with these race-week rules.
Should I Carb-Load?
There’s no need to overload with carbohydrates in the days before the race. For a 10K race you need enough energy to run at race pace, but there’s no sense in overeating. After all, excess calories get stored as body fat which will weigh you down. And a high volume of food could cause digestive issues, bloating or stomach upsets. Not what you need with days to go!
Listen To Your Body
Let your body tell you how much it needs. Eat 3-4 times a day (there’s no evidence that the 6-meal-a-day model is of any benefit). Eat when you’re a little hungry, and stop when you’re satisfied but before you’re full. Your body’s built-in hunger/satiety signals will help you get just enough energy in via food.
Your Ideal Meals
Get a portion of protein in at every meal. This could be eggs for breakfast, or protein powder in a smoothie (or stirred into porridge). Lunch and dinner can both include a portion of meat, poultry or fish. Oily fish and red meat 3 times per week is good for healthy fats and varied protein sources. Snacks could include real Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese for protein.
Eat carbs, but there’s no need to “load”. Don’t eat any extra carbs this week, there’s really no need. Just focus on a portion of quality carbs with all meals, as you usually would. Grains, beans and pulses, fruit, rice, oats, cous cous, potatoes, low-sugar cereal, breads like pitas and wraps, and root vegetables are all great sources of healthy carbs with fibre.
Just Enough Fat
Fat is less important than carbs before a race, but be sure to hit healthy targets with your regular servings of oily fish, 1/2 an avocado, a palmful of nuts, and full-fat dairy on occasion.
The Day-Before Dinner
For dinner the night before your race, eat normally (unless normal is a massive takeaway!) A home cooked meal with a portion of carbs, protein and some vegetables, with some fruit and Greek yoghurt for dessert would be great. Don’t eat anything you haven’t had before. Now is not the time to experiment.
Don’t Forget To Hydrate
Hydrate well in the week leading up to your 10K, with at least 2-3 litres of water every day.
Get to the start line fuelled, nourished and hydrated but not weighed down. And have a great race!