By Ian Scarrott (TriClub Head Coach)
Insta: @iantriathlete, FB: @triclubuk
PRE-TRAINING & RACING:
It is recommended that an athlete eats, to start with, 3 hours prior to a run. However, there is no real hard and fast rule of WHEN you should eat, or if you should eat at all (Galloway, 2007, p.133). The main rule of thumb is anything you do race day you should TEST IN TRAINING.
While some people may have a strong constitution, others may have a more sensitive stomach. Add in potential issues of intolerances, allergies, and personal preferences and we have a real mine field.
Ultimately it will be trial and error process. Therefore, play it safe to start and allow your digestive system time to be able to process the food. With regards to which food you will eat, start with blander foods that are less fibrous and less likely to get you jumping for the hedges (c’mon we’ve all been there right?!). Three suggested foods pre-run in training and racing:
- Oats with milk
- Buttery Toast
NB: I prefer oats (slow-release energy), water (hydration), sugar (quick-release-energy and adds flavour) and a pinch of salt (will help you stop cramping towards the end of the race if you have pushed it – although unlikely in a 10k).
DURING: STAY HYDRATED
It is worth knowing your sweat rate on different conditions. How do you figure this out I hear you cry?! I have included a link you can use via Training Peaks (Blow, 2018, https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/how-to-calculate-your-sweat-rate/).
I understand it is winter so for those of you completing a 10k in under the hour it is unlikely you are going to need a huge amount of water/electrolytes on the run. If you worry about dehydration then take a hand-held water bottle with you and once you have worked out your sweat rate in colder conditions fill up your bottle as required and try to take on the respective amount of fluids as a 1% drop in hydration can = a 10% drop in performance! Equally do not over hydrate as this can cause significant health problems including hyponatremia.