Pre-Race Fueling

Pre-Race Fueling

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    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.

    Jeanne-Marié Louw
    Jeanne-Marié is a registered dietician who recently completed her International Olympic Committee diploma in Sports Nutrition. She has extensive and international experience in nutrition for diabetes and has a passionate interest in sports nutrition. She is an avid trail runner herself and enjoys other sports including squash and swimming. She lives the active, healthy life she preaches about and a JUST DO IT motto when challenged. One day I am running the DODO Trail Trail Running is relaxing and an escape from the city buzz into nature. It adds “challenge” to my running. Its all about the hard work and then the reward of a beautiful view at the end. Trail runners share a zest for life. I JUST LOVE IT!

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