Whether you are an experienced 10 km runner or you are running the Vancouver Sun Run for the first time, here are some nutrition reminders for these final weeks of preparation:
- Before training runs, practice eating the foods that you plan to eat before the Sun Run. Everyone is different. There is no “one-size-fits-all” advice when it comes to eating before a 10 km race. Use your training runs to fine-tune what works best for you. It’s important not to try eating anything new on race day.
- Find out if you are drinking enough every day. You want to be well-hydrated when you step up to the Sun Run starting line. Check out "Fluid: A Constant Need" and "Not Sure What to Drink Before, During and After Activity?" If you want to drink during the Sun Run, don't forget to practice this during your training runs.
- Focus on eating well-balanced, regular meals over the next few weeks. By now, you probably have a pattern of eating that has been working for you. If you want to be sure that you are eating for energy, check out "Eating for Energy: Use Canada’s Food Guide."
- Plan your race day food and fluid logistics. Here are some ideas for eating at competition time. If you get anxious and unable to eat much on Sun Run morning, have a back-up plan. Perhaps a liquid meal such as a smoothie would be a good idea. And be sure to have a good supper and evening snack the night before the Sun Run. Whatever your race day plan may be, remember to practice it during the next couple training weeks.
- Organize a post-run celebratory meal with your fellow runners and fans! Even if you found the run to be challenging, rest assured that you don’t need to eat anything special after it to recover – unless you plan to do another strenuous physical activity that same day.
Do you have a tried and true ritual for eating before the Sun Run? Leave a comment below with your favourite pre-run meal or snack ideas.
By Lynne Sawchuk, MPE, RD