It’s one of the most iconic races you can run when it comes to organised fun runs in Australia. So much so you can’t have a complete set of race medals until you have one from this one! But in saying that Sydney’s City 2 Surf is also a course you need to respect, 14km of rolling hills that all make it worth while once you hit beautiful Bondi Beach. Therefore while hopefully your training will physically get you to the finish line your race nutrition is the icing on the cake and may just be the difference between a run that sees you struggle through each km and feeling great and enjoying the journey!
1. Carb it up the night before: I like to keep things pretty simple the night before a race. No spicy Indian or 5 course banquet… But something you’re used to, for me it’s an obligatory bowl of pasta with a basic tomato based sauce and a glass of juice. In short; high in carbs and low in fat and fibre to ensure you’ve stoked the fire ready to burn through 14km.
2. Hydrate well in the lead up: while the weather is still cool and you may not sweat too much starting the race well hydrated is key. Not only are you more likely to perform at your best but it will also help reduce fatigue setting in keeping you switched on and in the right mind to achieve your goal. Therefore ensure your keeping up the fluids the day before with water, sports drinks, and or juices, the later two also contain carbs which can help too if you find you struggle with appetite prior to a race.
3. Don’t forget your pre-race fuel: while it will probably be an early start for most try to top up your fuel stores about 1-2hours before you run. Toast with honey, jam on crumpets, banana and a sports drink, smoothie, or even a bowl of cereal and milk. What ever your preference again go high carbs and low fat and fibre and include beverages to ensure you line up in a hydrated state.
4. Stick to what you know: many have unfortunately learnt this lesson the hard way… Don’t eat or try anything new that you have already practiced in training. It’s definitely not a good idea to eat new foods or try different brands prior to a race or the day before for that matter. You want to eliminate any variables and control the things you can when it comes to races and the beauty about nutrition us that you can (well most of the time!). Definitely stick to what you know works for you.
5. Follow your race nutrition plan: Hopefully you have already been practicing your race nutrition during training runs so you know what foods or beverages you’ll take in along the 14km course. And while many will finish within 90min and may not need a lot during that time other than drinks throughout its best to be prepared. If you use a pace band (a wrist band with your timing goals for key km marks) mark on it where the drink stations will be and when you will eat if you plan to have a carb gel or snack. What ever your race plan stick to it as best you can, and if you don’t have a plan set one!
Oh and don’t forget to rehydrate with water or a sports drink before you celebrate with other beverages!
Looking for a yum recovery brekkie, try this one… A runner’s recovery