Fine Tune Health for Race Prep - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 107

Published on:

4th Aug 2022

Great North Run Nutrition Milestones: Fine Tune Before Race Day

Great North Run Nutrition Milestones: Fine Tune Before Race Day

This is episode 4 in our Great North Run Nutrition Milestones Series we’ll be helping you with:

·      Run Training Milestones – some suggestions for your run training plan at this point in your preparations

·      Nutrition Milestones – nutrition to give yourself the best shot at being fit and healthy in the lead up to the race and adapting your fueling for distance

·      Rest and Recovery Rituals – how magnesium baths, oils, lotions can support your overall magnesium status easing tight muscles and cramps

·      Injury Healing and Recovery Tips – we’ll be giving an overview on how to prevent muscle cramps

·      Mind Set MOJO – What is your race plan? We’ll be covering travel preparations and the starter area of the Great North Run

·      We’ll end with some GNR Fun and Factoids



RUN TRAINING MILESTONES: reaching 18k long runs in training, planning in 10k races, and experiencing different weather conditions and scheduling a practice run around the same time as race day.


NUTRITION MILESTONES: Nutrition to give yourself the best shot at being fit and healthy in the lead up to the race. Minimise alcohol, junk and processed food and manage stress. Focus on healthy fresh food, eat a rainbow of vegetables and fruit every week.  Focus on food sources of Vitamin C, B Vitamins and Magnesium.

VIT C foods include dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers.

  • Citrus Fruits: Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, lime
  • Berries: Black Currant, Strawberries
  • Tropical Fruits: Kiwifruit, Papaya, pineapple, Mango, Guava, cantaloupe melon
  • Green leafy/Cruciferous vegetables; Broccoli, kale, parsley, brussels sprouts, spinach, watercress
  • Red and green peppers, tomatoes
  • Offal - liver  

B Vitamins are found in wholegrains, legumes, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, eggs and in some dairy, green vegetables and in bananas, avocado and citrus fruits

  • Whole grains (brown rice, barley, millet)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils)
  • ​Seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds)
  • Dark, leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale)
  • Meat (red meat, poultry, fish)
  • Eggs and dairy products (milk, cheese)

 Foods rich in MAGNESIUM are:

·      GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES e.g. spinach, kale and swiss chard. Nuts and seeds e.g. Almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds.

·      SEA VEGETABLES – e.g. kelp, Nori. You can buy these as flakes to sprinkle over salads and fish dishes. You can also purchase seaweed wafers as a snack pack. Itsu and Clearspring are popular brands.

·      WHOLEGRAINS e.g. oats and buckwheat are also good sources.

·      DARK CHOCOLATE is a rich source of Magnesium ,with 28g (1oz) containing 64mg of Mg…approx. 16% of the RDI. Just remember to ensure you choose dark chocolate containing at least 70% cacao.

We also talk about getting good quality sleep and how to support yourself nutritionally if you get a cold.


Adapting your plate balance and carbohydrate intake for long endurance runs.


REST AND RECOVERY RITUALS: we chat about using magnesium baths, oils and lotions and how using magnesium transdermally can be supportive to rest and recovery.


INJURY HEALING AND RECOVERY TIPS: we stay on the theme of muscle cramps – why do they occur, what we can do to alleviate them, and how to deal with them during a training run or race.


MINDSET MOJO: Thinking ahead to your race plan and practical preparations for race day.


GREAT NORTH RUN FUN AND FACTOIDS – some trivia and your finishers goodie bag.



1.    TRAINING MILESTONES In the last 4 weeks before race day be consistent with your training plan focusing on your long run (which should be at 18km distance). Aim to schedule at least one of your long runs for the same time that the race is scheduled and try running in different weather conditions – so you’re ready for anything on race day! 

2.    NUTRITION MILESTONES – in addition to practising pre, during and post fuelling, focus on fine tuning your foundational everyday nutrition to support your immune system and energy levels. Your aim is to give yourself the best shot at being fit and healthy in the lead up to the race and avoid any last minute infections or illnesses. Also on long run days adapt your post run plate balance to a larger portion of carbohydrates – up to half a plate. 

3.    REST AND RECOVERY RITUALS – add a magnesium salt bath to your post run recovery and try magnesium oil spray to target particularly tight muscles.

4.    INJURY and Healing TIPS - to prevent and manage muscle cramps include optimal magnesium status with magnesium rich foods and supplements, be aware of how your sweat rate may affect magnesium status and if you get a cramp during a run … pause and stretch the affected muscle for 3-60 seconds and then resume your run. Next weeks episode will give you more information. 

5.    MINDSET MOJO – start to think ahead to race day, visualise your race plan from travel practicalities to how you plan to run each stage of the race. 

We hope that’s been a helpful episode today, next time we’ll be talking about tapering your training and Race Day Nutrition and Preparation. That’ll be episode 109 on 18th August – 3 weeks until race day! Until then enjoy your running!


Better You Magnesium Products

5 Steps Food Planning For Runners FREE E book

Related Topics:

Alcohol and Running is it ok

High Stress Poor Performance

Focus on Magnesium

Endurance Running and Immune System


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

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Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen 


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About the Podcast

She Runs Eats Performs
for mid-life female runners of all abilities
Are you confused about the science around nutrition for runners? Listen in to learn about the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and WHEN of eating to fuel your running performance.

We are here to help you translate sports nutritional science, into easy to apply tips and plans, helping you enjoy peak running performance. We focus on the FEMALE FACTORS every mid-life woman needs to know to be a healthy runner.

About your host

Profile picture for Aileen Smith

Aileen Smith

Nutritionists, Educators, Podcasters, Runners and Friends

We have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living. She Runs Eats Performs for female runners of all abilities who are looking for simple ways to improve their running performance and their health with nutrition and lifestyle.
We enjoy sharing our nutritional expertise, reviewing the latest sports science and most of all helping you to take easy action so you can enjoy your running life to the full.
We are here to help you achieve great health and good shape whilst staying injury-free with easy-to-understand sports nutritional concepts and easy-to-implement tips and plans.

Aileen and Karen are BANT and CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapists.