48 hours before your marathon can be a time of nerves, excitement and anticipation, which means it can be easy to forget about the nutrition you’ll need to get you through. So, we’ve created this handy checklist for you to print out, share with friends and, most importantly, follow in the run up to your race.
1. Fill up at the right time
Your biggest main meal should be two nights before the race, not the night before. If you are racing on Sunday, Friday night is when you’ll be working in that bit of extra pasta, rice and potato. This allows your final 24 hours to be a bit lighter, avoiding that heavy bloated feeling when you run.
2. Follow your routine
The final 24 hours should be a case of repeating what has worked for you in the past. It’s not the time to try a load of new foods. Stick with your routine.
3. Get in the grams
The final few days into the race is a numbers game. Aim for 10 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight. Many runners find this difficult to achieve and this is where we recommend using products such as HIGH5 Energy Drink and HIGH5 Energy Bar every 3-4 hours in the final 48 hours. These pack a real carb punch but won’t leave you feeling too full or bloated.
4. Cut down on protein and fibre
In the final 48 hours before your race, have less protein and fibre and try to make your meals more carbohydrate based. A big steak is unlikely to provide the best fuel on race day and very high fibre meals leave the risk of digestive discomfort during the race
5. Small but often
Aim to spread your fuel intake rather than relying on 2-3 huge main meals. In the final two days, graze slowly throughout the day trying to get high quality carbs in every three hours or so. Your body will find it much easier to digest and store that way.
6. Don’t go carb crazy
Avoid the temptation to overload on pasta the night before the race as that can leave you feeling stuffed and bloated on race day. A simple pasta dish or risotto dish, early on in the evening before your race, is ideal.
7. Stay hydrated
Aim for 2-3 litres of fluids each day in race week and consider adding HIGH5 ZERO tablets to get the essential electrolytes you will need during the race. Also try to avoid caffeine in the 48 hours before as this can help maximize the effects of any caffeine you take on board on race day.
8. Have a good breakfast
Nerves can make runners lose sight of what we know works pre-race. You need a good energy-filled breakfast 2-3 hours before the race. There are a number of options for a 'good' breakfast. Porridge, peanut butter toast and pancakes are popular choices that give you carbs without being too heavy. We also recommend 500-750ml of HIGH5 Energy Drink with your breakfast.