Whether you’re about to run your first 10k or your 50th, you’re probably here to find out the best way to run your best race or hit that new personal best! Training, of course, is a huge part of your race day prep, but did you know that your pre-run nutrition can make a big difference to your performance too?
The food you eat before you begin your race is what will keep you fuelled up, so choosing the right food and portions is key.
How much do I need to eat before a 10k?
Although a 10k is one of the shorter races, it’s still important to think about what fuel you put in the tank! A heavy pre-race meal, especially one high in fat or protein, can make you feel sluggish and bloated; a carbohydrate-based meal with a little lean protein and some vegetables will fuel you more efficiently. Give yourself a head start by eating a carb-based meal the evening before race day, be careful not to overload yourself though – a baked potato or two should be plenty. On the day of your race try to eat 2 hours before you run and aim for a 25g portion of carbs.
What is the best food to eat before a 10k?
It’s a good idea to think about nutrition during training as well as before your 10k event. This will help you to find out how different foods affect your performance and avoid any surprises on race day! If you are running early in the day, some good breakfast options include porridge or a couple of slices of toast with jam. Try a chicken salad wrap or a small portion of pasta for a pre-10k lunch. Foods high in fat or protein take longer for your body to digest, so it’s best to limit these types of food to no more than 10g before your run.
If you have PBs to try and beat, consider a slow release pre-workout supplement which can help improve your endurance and keep you one step ahead of your game.
Don’t forget the water!
Keep hydrated and be sure to drink 500ml of water (a small bottle) a couple of hours before your race. Try to top up every 15 minutes during your run with 100 – 200ml more. You can also drink sports drinks that replace electrolytes and lost fluids during exercise, but for 10k your body is unlikely to need this extra fuel.