Nutrition Tips from the Experts
On race day, only take nutrition items that you have used in the past or in training. You don’t want to play the guessing game with how things will settle in your stomach. The best way to get comfortable with taking nutrition on the race course is to practice in training, especially on long runs.
Do your research. Find out what gels will be provided on course for the race you are training for. For example, Monumental Marathon has Carb Boom on course. I still recommend to carry all the gels, chews, bloks, etc that you plan to use on race day, and use the gels that are handed out as a last resort.
Race Day Breakfast
It is critical to get some food in on race morning before heading to the course. Marathon races generally start on the earlier side, so this shouldn’t be a big meal, but rather something light that will settle well in the stomach. Great things to consume are bagels, oatmeal, bananas, or an energy bar. Also, be sure to continue hydrating until race time.
During the race, stick to your nutrition plan! You may feel very good at 10 miles and want to skip taking a gel or water, but DON’T do that. Chances are you will not feel as good at 20 miles, so get all the nutrition in during the earlier stages to give yourself a chance to feel good longer. Once you get depleted, it is very hard to bring energy back up.
After the race, it is critical to get some fluids and food in within 45-60mins of finishing the race to restore glycogen storage. Water, Gatorade, energy bars and bananas are great things to consume during this window. Then you can go enjoy your favorite post race snack or drink.