CopyRight: Torfi Leifsson

Three days before a race – what to do?

The diet the last few days leading into a race day, can make a huge difference whether runners will finish the race with a feeling of physical well being and experience a sense of victory when crossing the finish line. This feeling is important to experience irrespective of whether a runner just finished a sub-three hours marathon or just completed a 10K run for the first time.

As with the whole week before a race, these last two or three days are characterized by proper nutrition, including water consumption, reasonable rest, sufficient sleep and a very light training program. Also, mental preparation that includes positivity and anticipation is important. Each and every runner has to find out what fits best the last few days before a race and, here, experience plays an important role. The experienced gained with participation in races is monumental in terms of preparation including training, nutrition and rest. For the novice runner, experience can be gained with trainings sessions mimicking race like conditions. Such training sessions, in which all elements of a race are practiced, including nutrition program, need to be a part of an exercise plan for every runner, especially the novice.

Carbohydrate loading (carbo-loading) is characterized by loading the muscles and liver with carbohydrates in order to have as much carbohydrate as possible available during a competitive race. Carbohydrate loading is, for most runners, done for two to four days before a race and includes focusing on carbohydrates in the diet but also includes resting appropriately.

Want to know more? More specific information about the week before and after an important race? Click here.

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