I love this day… you have done the hard yards, now you get to sit back, relax and eat carbs!
Tip One: Hydrate
Our bodies are over 60% water, and most of us wake up dehydrated. To get hydrated we need to wake up the day before your race and start drinking water from the get-go. Drink 500ml on wake up. Then fill your drinkbottle and sip away all day. A good rule of thumb is .03ml/ kg of bodyweight. Sipping away all day means your bodies cells can slowly absorb the water, if we forget and then skull 1L at the end of the day, we are most likely going to wee it all out. Try and have a slightly larger drink around 3 or 4pm, and then not too much past 7pm so you are not awake going to the toilet.
If you hydrate the day before, this means you do not have to be up all night drinking water and going to the toilet, nor going to the toilet througout the race. On Race Day morning, you will simply need to top hydration levels up- and then keep them topped up during the day as you sweat.
Just Water? Drink just water the day before. But on Race Day make sure you are putting back the electrolytes you are losing. When we sweat- we loss sodium, potassium and magnesium- make sure you have some good electrolytes to add this back in and to prevent cramping.
No coffee or alcohol: (Oh I know Im a party pooper!) Coffee can have a mild diuretic effect, which compromises your efforts to stay hydrated. If you do have to have that morning coffee, make sure you are fully hydrated and have eaten some fats beforehand- this slows the down the adrenaline spike and prevents dehydration. Alcohol- no need to explain.
Top foods to eat the day before your race to top up electrolyte levels:
Banana for potassium, Magnesium spray or pill for Magnesium, Adding a good quality Salt to all your meals the day before for Sodium levels.
Tip Two: Eat a variety of Carbs, Proteins and Fats
Just like hydrating- we need to top up energy stores for the following day as well. Depending on how long your race is, and how much food you can eat on the race- we want to eat good quality food and nutrients the day before. Every cell in our body needs energy to function. The better the energy, the better it will function.
Prepare your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Try not to eat anything too abnormal – stick to the healthy foods you know your body likes. Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein all have a different role in our body- and are all essential for optimal energy. You can’t eat too much on the day before- when we eat too much, it simply gets stored as Gycogen in our muscles, or Fat in our bodies- and this is good! We want that stored energy for when our blood sugars are depleted during the race. Remember to chew your food well to aid digestion.
High energy foods the day before:
Porridge, Milk and Brown Sugar
Fruit Salad, Yoghurt and Granola
Eggs and Bacon on Toast
Banana and Peanut butter
Fruit and Nuts
Pasta with meat
Loaded Salad with rice, cous cous, quinoa
Steak, stirfry and Kumara Chips
Chicken, Broccoli and Rice
Tip 3: Stretch and Relax
This is a great day to enjoy your body! You have put in all the training (or not!), and there is nothing more you can do. Make sure you have prepared all your gear and know your Race Plan…then sit back, stretch and relax.
Doing some light stretches will help relieve tight muscles and get them loosened up for the next day. I like to use bands, foam roller or the spikey ball for my stretches and then lie on the Shakti Mat to increase blood flow, decrease tight muscles and increase relaxation.
I hope this helps the day before your race. Remember to share it with any friends or team mates doing the race with you!
Here are some past blogs of ours on Running and events that you also might be interested in: