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Saturday, August 7, 2010

So, what should you eat the day before City to Surf?

So, you have been training for weeks and are mentally ready for the 13 or so kms you are planning to walk or run with 70 000 other excited people tomorrow and now you are wondering what should you eat today to get the best out of your run?

If you had plans of a big carb load with pizza, soft drink and ice cream tonight, think again. A run of that distance does not require significantly more calories than you would usually eat, although you will benefit from a carb rich meal such as pasta or noodles this evening.

In fact, the extra chocolate bars distributed before the race and sports drinks at aid stations often contain more calories than you are likely to burn in the run itself.

Eat light, quickly digested meals every 3-4 hours today - a large wrap or sandwich, sushi or crackers with topping and aim to drink plenty of water. For the more serious recreational athletes who are hoping for a PB tomorrow, load up tonight with plain pasta, some extra bread and low fat ice cream and an extra 500-1000mls of OJ for a great mini carb load.

Tomorrow morning, make sure you have had a small snack before the run. Even if you can only manage something small such as 1/2 muesli or energy bar, Up & Go or slice of toast with peanut butter, a light snack will give you a little carbohydrate prior to the event which will allow you to access your fuel stores during the event. Of course, the morning of the event drink plenty of water and add some Hydralyte to your water bottle if you are prone to cramping.

Such good preparation will mean that few individuals will NEED sports drink during the event so stick with water and save yourself the extra calories.

Most importantly, once you have finished the event, try not to see it as an excuse to binge on poor quality food. Allow yourself once carb rich meal such as a burger, wrap or thin pizza before getting straight back on track with your new training regime and balanced eating plan.