London Marathon Milestone 5: Being Prepared for Race Day
This is the FIFTH and final episode in our London Marathon Milestone series, so race day is fast approaching. To ensure everyone is race day ready, we look at nutritional and lifestyle strategies to encourage adequate and quality sleep in the coming days (and nights!!). We also outline some food and nutrition strategies to ensure everyone is fuelled appropriately on race day and then finish with some TIPS on being physically and mentally prepared for the BIG event.
Outlining the importance of SLEEP for a marathon runner with an emphasis on “good sleep health”
Some nutritional TIPS for attaining optimal sleep including:
- STOP caffeine intake by midday
- Increase magnesium rich foods DAILY for example: dark green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds
- Increase daily protein intake for example: chicken, fish, eggs, tofu
Introducing some lifestyle TIPS for attaining optimal sleep including:
- Get to bed ONE HOUR earlier
- Aim to complete ALL tasks by 8pm
- Prepare the bedroom for sleep for example: tidy away anything lying around
- Introduce restorative yoga
Thinking about food and nutrition strategies for race day including:
- Night before the marathon – a healthy, balanced and colourful meal with optimal complex carbohydrate foods and adequate protein portion
- Morning of the marathon – a healthy and balanced breakfast between 2-4 hours before the race
- During the marathon – a quick release carbohydrate snack every 30-60 minutes throughout
Highlighting hydration and electrolyte supplementation
TIPS on being physically prepared on race day including:
- Use the “What if….?” Strategy. Think of a potential circumstance that could change on race day (e.g. the weather) then come up with a strategy to overcome the obstacle
- Set ABC goals
- Write a check list of EVERYTHING you will need on race day e.g. food, phone, bib number, safety pins, money
- Restorative sleep means having sufficient sleep for an appropriate duration that them leaves you feeling satisfied afterwards. This then allows for high efficiency and sustained alertness during waking hours
- There are many nutritional and lifestyle approaches you could implement to help support good sleep health including: no stimulants after midday, increase intake of Mg rich foods (including DGLV), switch off all screens at least an hour before bed, restorative yoga
- Think about the meal you will choose to eat the night before the race and ensure that it is balanced but with a good amount of complex carbohydrates to help maintain glycogen stores
- Race day food and hydration choices are equally important and remember that your choices will depend on how much time you have from waking until you start running
- Don’t forget to pack some food for after the race too…you don’t want to become over hungry as it could lead to detrimental physical and psychological symptoms
- Finally, to help ensure you don’t forget ANYTHING – produce a checklist and tick off each item as you prepare for race day
Listen to ALL the London Marathon 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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