While a lot of other factors are greatly considered for trail runs, nutrition is often overlooked. What you eat both before and during an event, greatly influence the quality of your workout and how you feel while enjoying the outdoors.
The ideal pre-run meal should be eaten 2 to 3 hours before the start of the race and should consist of mostly carbohydrates (150 to 300 g of carbohydrate). It should be low in fat and moderate in fiber to make digestion easier and reduce the risk of gut problems.
If a race is early morning and a large meal is not practical, opt for a lighter snack or meal replacement drink.
Meal ideas (3-4 hours before exercise)
Low fiber breakfast cereal with low fat milk
Bread roll with cheese/low fat meat filling
Fruit salad with fruit yogurt
Toast with peanut butter and banana
Snack ideas (1-2 hours before exercise)
Liquid meal replacement e.g. Ensure
Fruit smoothie made with fruit and yogurt/milk
Sports bars (check labels for carbohydrate content)
Remember to always start a race well hydrated by consuming enough fluids the day and evening before the race, especially if the conditions are hot and humid.
It is important to try out all nutrition strategies on training runs to see what works best for you.