Fueling up for the Wings for Life World Run or any running event can be challenging, even for elite marathoners! It requires practice and awareness to fine tune specific needs and tolerances. Check out these tips below on how to fuel up for the Wings for Life World Run from registered dietitian, Carla Duenas. Carla is a passionate promoter of wellness, avid endurance athlete and coach of many run clubs in South Florida!
BEFORE RACE DAY
If you plan on running 90 minutes or less, focus on a carb-based dinner prior to the race.
If you plan on running more than 90 minutes, start to increase carbohydrate intake throughout your day during the 2 to 3 days leading up to race day
Examples of carbohydrate foods:
Include 2-3 servings of carbohydrates as snacks such as fruits, crackers, popcorn, and yogurt with fruit or fruit smoothies. Dinner before race day should not be a feast as this can cause bloating, indigestion and discomfort the next morning. In this case, low fiber is preferred to speed up digestion, maximize carbohydrate intake and reduce the risk of promoting bowel movements at inappropriate times.
Breakfast on race day morning should be about 3 hours before heading out, with familiar foods. Before heading out, take a small carbohydrate-based snack with you, such as a small fruit or pieces of fruit, granola bar or a sports drink. Depending on your start time, you may be waiting a few hours to start running and the last thing on your mind should be feeling hungry again.
DURING THE RACE
It’s important to keep consuming carbohydrates to prevent a drop in energy. These sources of carbs can include gels, chews, blocks or food — any of these will work if they were tolerated during training. If you are consuming gels, make sure to drink water immediately afterward as the high sugar concentration can cause cramping and bloating if not diluted. Do not try anything new, not even a new brand, as they have different ingredients and people tolerate different types or amounts of the sugars used. Stick to your game plan.
AFTER THE RACE
Enjoy the celebratory after party with family and friends, you deserve it! If you were able to stay ahead of the Catcher Car for more than 90 minutes at moderate/high intensity, set your alarm every 2 to 3 hours to consume different sources of carbohydrates, paired with protein and healthy fats as well. This will avoid a headache and help to recover much faster!