The Wings for Life World Run is a unique test for body and mind, a charitable challenge in which every competitor’s end point is different, defined by the moment the Catcher Car passes them.
But how long you last on the course - whether on foot or wheels - depends on your preparation: not just your physical training and the miles covered but the food and drink you take on board in training and the race itself.
In association with Mt Sinai Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Wings for Life World Run has come up with its very own nutrition guide to keep you best prepared for the race ahead.
In truth, it’s no different to what you should be eating: a healthy diet, albeit with the calorie intake adjusted depending on the distance and intensity of your training.
And, of course, every athlete is different but, as a rough guide, carbohydrates (rice, cereals, breads and pasta) should account for 45 to 60% of your dietary intake, fats (think dairy, nuts, oils and avocados) 20 to 25% of your calorie intake, and 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight with seafood, meat, eggs and nuts.
You can easily not drink enough in training or the run itself at 11am UTC on Sunday May 5, or similarly overdrink, and both can be dangerous. The Wings for Life World Run nutrition guide provides handy hints to help you avoid either issue.
With the event taking place all over the world, those in particularly hot and cold climates, be wary, it’s in those two weather extremes in which dehydration can be most prevalent. But the general thinking is drinking 180-350ml of fluid per 15 to 30 minutes of exercise.
About 24 hours beforehand, rely on carbohydrates such as wholegrain pasta, brown rice and potatoes. As for the last run before taking to the start line of the Wings for Life World Run, try toast with eggs, yoghurt and a glass of juice or else rice with steamed vegetables or maybe pasta with salad.
One hour before the race, it’s time to turn to a sports or energy drink, banana or energy bar, and during the race, again energy drinks and snacks, although small amounts at 15 to 30-minute intervals.