Running a race is a sport that can help you lose weight or maintain your body’s weight. One of the best ways to encourage you to run more is to join races. Participating in a race will help invoke your competitive side, along with the way, encouraging you to improve your running time. To help you conquer your race, make sure to prepare your body physically and mentally. It is important to choose the right kind of food while you are training for your event and right before the contest.

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Day Before The Race

You need to hit your ideal hydration level before your race. To know your hydration level, divide your weight in pounds by two to determine the amount of water you need to drink daily. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking at least 70 ounces of water daily. If you plan to hit races that are longer than 10K, you must take in extra electrolytes. Sports Nutritionist Mitzi Dulan, shares, “You lose minerals, potassium, sodium and magnesium when you sweat. You should drink electrolytes to avoid dehydration.”

The rule of the thumb is, the longer you run, the more carbohydrates you need. For races that can last 90 minutes or longer, you should increase your carbohydrate intake up to 60 – 70 percent of your total calories days before the event. Still, you should be careful with the type of carbs. Avoid food that is high in fat and fiber, which can lead to gastrointestinal distress while you run.

Race Day

What you eat on the rest day will help you conquer your race. Drink eight to 16 ounces of liquid upon waking up; you can drink either water or sports drink or a combination of both. In some cases, coffee can also help, since caffeine is known to help improve performance. At least one to two hours before the race, enjoy a light 180 – 300 calorie meal which should include three to one ration of carbs to protein. Your protein choice can be a smoothie with milk, protein powder, and frozen fruit.

Drink at least 16 ounces of liquid at least 15 minutes before the start of the race. If you are running less than 60 minutes, drink water. However, if you are going longer, go for a sports drink. According to experts, carbohydrates in sports drinks helps delay fatigue and gives you a boost of energy.

While running continue to drink water, aim for at least four to six ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. If you are running longer, drink liquid with electrolytes in combination with water. You can also try portable energy gels while running to give you a boost.

Once you finish the race, enjoy a snack or a drink which contains at least 20 grams of protein and high in carbohydrates. This is the best way to jumpstart your muscle’s recovery and repair, as well as, help rehydrate your muscles right away. The rest of the day after your race, rehydrate by drinking water as usual. Try to check your urine; it should be light yellow which indicates you are not dehydrated.

Have you ever participated in a race? Do you follow these tips as you are preparing for your race?