Great North Run Nutrition Milestones - Get Race Day Ready - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 109

Published on:

18th Aug 2022

Great North Run Nutrition Milestones - Get Race Day Ready

Great North Run Nutrition Milestones - Get Race Day Ready

This is our 5th and final episode in this 2022 Great North Run Nutrition Milestones Series. Today, we’ll start with:

·      Run Training Milestones – we are looking ahead to the week before the race. So, our focus is on how to taper your training

·      Nutrition Milestones – in this episode we’ll be looking at what your food plan should be in the week leading up to the race to optimise glycogen storage

·      Rest and Recovery Rituals – encouraging you to embrace tapering down and restorative rest

·      Injury Healing and Recovery Tips – we want you to stay safe and avoid last-minute injuries

·      Mind Set MOJO – getting in your zone – psychologically speaking and a reminder of practical concerns (what to put in your bag)

·      And we’ll end on some Great North Run Fun and Factoids we’re talking about what to expect in the finishers village and travelling homewards



Training Milestones - the final phase of your training should involve a 2-week tapering period where your training is lighter to help preserve energy and prevent injury. The aim is to keep your legs fresh and ready for race day. Ideally, finding a balance of allowing adequate recovery and maintaining fitness is key during the tapering phase. Join us for some tips on tapering.


Nutrition Milestones – we talk about nutritional strategies to optimise MUSCLE GLYCOGEN STORES during to the leading up to your race. On the day of the race your aim is to optimise LIVER GLYCOGEN STORES.

We discuss:

A modified version on carbohydrate supercompensation – as an alternative to carb loading. In this approach.

A runner would plan to eat 3 days at 50% Carbohydrate followed by 3 days at 70 and would run daily but reducing time/distance each day. 

In practical terms, for a half marathon runner this would equate to 3 days as 1/3 plate of carbohydrate at each meal followed by 3 days of ½ plate carbohydrate at each meal. Remember to maintain your protein intake i.e. ¼ plate, as you’ll need protein to support muscle recovery….and remember to continue eating a rainbow of vegetables to maintain nutrient density of your meal plan.


How to plan what time to eat on race day.


Final Race Day Nutrition Tips.


Rest and Recovery Rituals – keeping stress to a minimum to conserve energy.


What to pack in your bag to support you at the end of the race.


Injury Healing and Recovery Tips - “keep safe and prevent any last-minute injuries”.


Mindset Mojo – ditch any imposter syndrome thoughts. Promote a positive mindset by reflecting on your BIG WHY and how amazing you’re going to feel after the race … maybe as you cross the line … or as you celebrate with friends and family … or when telling your Great North Run stories afterwards.

We’ve talked a bit about using positive MANTRAS as you run … we hope you’ve found some which you are using in training … another idea is to choose ONE WORD which is your overarching theme to your race … it could be ACHIEVE or WINNER or STRONG … something that inspires you and you can draw on in the tough moments in the race if you have any!

You may wish to give a name to the negative voice in your head – you know the voice that says “ I’m tired … it hurts … I can’t! Doing this will help you separate the negative voice from yourself and your true goals and dreams.


Recap on your race plan – a refresher on our discussion from episode 107 when we talked about developing and visualising your race plan.


Great North Run Fun and Factoids – we talk about the fabulous Finishers Village and look back to 2014 when the Great North Run celebrated its Millionth Finisher, Tracey Crammond.


Key Take Aways for Race Day Success

1.    Plan your tapering training to start 14 days before the race.

2.    Your goal for tapering is to keep your legs loose and fresh whilst keeping energy levels high and your mind calm.

3.    In the week leading up to the race aim to optimise MUSCLE GLYCOGEN STORES by increasing carbohydrate intake by using a modified carbohydrate supercompensation approach.

4.    On the day of the race aim to optimise LIVER GLYCOGEN STORES

a.   Calculate when you should eat working backwards from your race start time

b.   Eat Carbohydrate rich pre-race meal approx. 2-3 hours before race

c.    Hydrate optimally before the race

d.   Eat a quick release CHO snack 30-60 minutes before the race

e.    Fuel with 30-60g quick release CHO foods per hour during race and keep hydrated

5.    Remember to eat a Quick Release CHO food within 30 minutes of end of race.

6.    Plan a post run snack or meal approx. 2 hours after race with CHO:PRO ay a ration of 4:1

7.    Plan all of your activities in the lead up to the race to be supportive of your race goals e.g. regular meals, minimal alcohol, optimal nutrition and hydration, relaxation and sleep,  a light social calendar and schedule in easy light activity for active recovery.

8.    Keep safe and prevent any last-minute injuries.

9.    Reflect on your BIG WHY, choose ONE WORD for your race plan and give a NAME and personality to the negative voice in your head.

10. Visualise your RACE plan at the various mile markers along the way.

11. ENJOY your celebrations at the finish line and forever more – YOU DID IT!

12. Start thinking about your next running goal!


A big thank you to everyone who has been listening with us as we have all prepared for this 2022 Great North Run. We’d LOVE to hear from you … how did you do on your big day? Please share your stories with us.

Although we are at the end of this Great North Run NUTRITIONAL MILESTONES SERIES … we do have E111 LISTENERS NUTRITION CLINIC episode scheduled for 1st September so do send in your questions and challenges and we’ll aim to answer them on that episode email us at  

Also, we have episode 112 talking about Recovery is out on 8th September, which may support you in your recovery post-race. If you’ve joined us just for the GNR series, thank you for joining us. GOOD LUCK in the race and we hope you’ll stay with us for future episodes.

Good luck Ladies … you’ve got this!!

Related Topics:

Listen to all the Great North Run Milestone Series


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

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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.