Just like you train your body, you need to prepare your stomach for a big race. In the weeks leading up to the race, experiment with energy gels and chewable energy products that you can keep in your pockets. Check with the race organizers ahead of time to see what they’ll be offering at the fueling stations on race day, such as CLIF, PowerBar, and Hammer gels. Then try a few different products during your practice runs to see what works best for you. Avoid trying something new on race day since it might upset your stomach or cause cramps. By knowing ahead of time what you’ll consume during the race, you can relax and have fun. Use the simple plan below to help you fuel up on race day, and keep running strong for the full 13.1 miles.
BEFORE THE RACE Give yourself a pre-race burst of energy with an 8- or 16-ounce Gatorade.
DURING THE RACE Down some energy gel about every 30 minutes, and stop at the fueling stations to hydrate with water and sports drinks.
AFTER THE RACE Eat a balanced post-race meal with about 20 grams of protein and 80 grams of carbohydrates. For instance, try a bowl of pasta with chicken and marinara sauce or a glass of chocolate milk with a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
-- Danielle LaFata