Mark Wolff - 2 August 2022
Power your Race (with these ultimate pre-race meal tips)
What is a pre-race meal? A pre-race meal is a meal that should be consumed a couple of hours prior to your event. Why should you consume a pre-race meal? Because you need to set up your energy system for your race. If you don’t set it up properly, you’re already starting the race on your back foot.
What should a pre-race meal consist of? Low fibre, low fat, a nominal amount of protein, and rich in carbohydrates. What are examples of that? White bread with peanut butter and honey and banana, that’s a simple example. A white rice pudding. A lot of people come to me and say, “I like oats.” If it works for you, great, but the only problem that I have with oats is it’s quite high in fibre and high fibre foods run the risk of causing GI distress.
How close to your event you should eat
How long before the race should you be consuming your pre-race meal? I mentioned a couple of hours, but I would say a minimum of two to two and a half hours beforehand. The amount of calories you consume is conducive to how long before you consume the meal and also your weight. I would say on average you’re probably looking around 250-450 calories for an individual, if you’re consuming two to two and a half hours beforehand.
The further you consume from the race, the more calories you are able to consume because the body has to break down those nutrients and process them and it does require some time. As you get closer to the race, your meal will have to get smaller and smaller because, you don’t want to overload the digestive system and then have to deal with that while you are running.
Get the hydration balance right
Another thing I want to mention is that you must also hydrate prior to the race. So, make sure you are hydrating. Don’t overdo it, you don’t want to be running up and down to the loo (toilet) all the time. You really do need to make sure that you hydrate properly. I would just, post your pre-race meal is sip on some form of a fluid intermittently and just make sure that you’re taking in a nominal amount. You’ve probably already pre-hydrated, hopefully you have. You can just top it up with a little bit more fluid before the start of the race.
Hopefully all these tips that we’ve been giving you will take you to race day and set you up for the most awesome event. I wish you all the best of luck.
If you missed the previous episodes in our Ultra Marathon Fuelling Series...
Episode 1 ↠ A BIG mistake people make close to Comrades Marathon
Episode 2 ↠ How to know what (if any) fuel to take for your session
Episode 3 ↠ Carbs per hour required to fuel your Ultra Marathon
Episode 4 ↠ Don't forget to feed! Maximise performance by splitting calorie intake
Episode 5 ↠ Nail your next event with these hydration musts!
Episode 6 ↠ 4 Steps to Recover like a Pro
Episode 7 ↠ Wake up at the last minute (and fail your race)!
Episode 8 ↠ How to avoid catastrophic taper weight gain
Episode 9 ↠ Carbo-loading may destroy your race (but we’re here to help!)
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