Race Day Success: Nutritional Strategies for Runners - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 10

Published on:

11th Jun 2020

Race Day Success: Nutritional Strategies

Race Day Success - Nutritional Strategies for Runners

To get the best out of your nutrition and running performance, you should have a specific food plan starting 6-7 days before a race. Using a modified carbohydrate super compensation strategy will support you in optimising muscle glycogen storage in the week prior to a race.

On race day you’ll need to consider what to eat and most crucially the timing of pre-race food and how to manage food and ergogenic aids during a race. The final phase of your nutritional plan take place after the finish line. We look at what to eat immediately after a race, and for the 6-8 hours afterwards to ensure you are replenishing glycogen stores and promoting muscle protein synthesis.

This strategy and plan must be practiced and refined in training so please don’t wait until just before your race to try this. Practice! Practice! Practice! We don't cover hydration in this episode but please remember this is key to success as well as what you eat.

Show Notes


An introduction to race day success and busting the myths around pasta parties and some insights into the pros and cons of carbohydrate super compensation as a strategy to optimise muscle glycogen storage.


Strategies to optimise liver glycogen storage pre-race i.e. timing of food on race day.


The potential for rebound or reactive or transient hypoglycaemia, how to recognise the symptoms and what to do to manage it.


Addressing practical issues around eating and getting to the start line fully satiated and carbohydrate replete.


Tips on managing food and energy intake during a race.


Managing food and energy intake during a race – what to eat and when.


What to eat after the finish line to promote recovery and enhance muscle protein synthesis.


The Key Takeaways from this episode:

  • Tapering of exercise and nutrition is important in the week leading up to a race
  • Reducing CHO intake to 50% of total macronutrient intake for the first 3 days then increasing to 70% for last 3 days is thought to be optimal for supporting performance on race day
  • Have a substantial pre-race meal 3-5hrs before the start then a quick release CHO snack within the hour before the race begins
  • Choose natural products wherever possible to fuel your run
  • Train the digestive system to receive food immediately following the race.
  • Regular protein and CHO combined meals/snacks up to 6hrs after the race will help enhance glycogen repletion plus Muscle Protein Synthesis, muscle recovery and reduce risk of DOMs and injury

Related Episodes:

Nutrient Timing for Running Performance

Hydration and Running Performance


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 met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

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

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you're ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

As a THANK YOU to you as one of our valued listeners, we have a special offer for you use COUPON CODE POD to get 33% discount off the full price which brings the price to £199.

If you’d like help from Karen and Aileen to design a personalised sports nutrition plan for your running - please contact them at hello@runnershealthhub.com

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Show artwork for She Runs Eats Performs

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.