Running to from John O’Groats to the Sahara Desert last year, I was eating enough calories for a 700kg crocodile. I did a fair bit of reading about nutrition for runners. Here are some things I learned. Please feel free to add some tips/comments, and let me know if you disagree:
1) Eat loads of carbohydrate the day before. Things like bread, rice, pasta, potato, etc.
2) Have a smallish meal 2 or 3 hours before the start – a couple bananas or pop tarts are my usual.
3) Eat small amounts often during a race – jelly babies or a gel every 30 mins.
4) Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel during a race – eat this rather than things with fat or protein.
5) DRINK TO THIRST. Drink if you are thirsty, don’t if you’re not.
6) Can get calories in a drink as well as food – 6% carbohydrate is about perfect.
7) Caffeine in the last hour or two of a race improves performance.
8) Eat plenty in the “golden hour” after you finish- you’ll recover better.
9) Take one immodium tablet at the start, it can prevent excess loo stops.
10) Make sure you are used to the food you will race with. Use it during training runs also.