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Question
Posted by: Runner | 2008/01/22

25km race preparation

I am doing my first 25km race on the weekend. I have run 20km's before, but just as a social run. Is there any preparation that I should do on the morning of the race. For example, should I eat breakfast and what, and what would be the best way to keep hydrated (ie: water or energy drinks or coke)).

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Runner

The best thing to do is nothing different. Don't change anything from your routine, just keep to what has always worked for you. So for example, when you've done your 20km run, you will have eaten something a certain time before - try to repeat that on race day. normally, you do need to eat something before the run, but the trick is to eat long enough before that you don't have stomach problems during the race. So usually, about 60 to 90 minutes, a light meal is sufficient. Here, it's really important that you don't change your normal diet. In otherwords, don't suddenly eat toast and jam and a banana if you never have these foods - they'll cause problems. So the best is to have a smaller than usual breakfast, that's all.

Once on the run, the race will provide coke and water, and sometimes, Powerade, to drink. My advice here is to take whatever your body is telling you to take, but try to get some Coke or Powerade in every couple kilometers. When you drink Coke, make sure you have some water with it (the sweetness of Coke can cause problems with your stomach). But don't worry too much about these things - your race will take something between 2 and 2 and a half hours, I'd guess, and so that's short enough that your 'margin for error' is relatively large. If you do a marathon or an ultra, then it does become more important to plan. But too much planning can be bad in this case. So my advice - listen to your body, drink only when you are thirsty, and just make sure that every 15 or so minutes, you take a sip or two of a sugary drink, be it coke or powerade.

Good luck on the race!
Ross

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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