Nutrify Performance Nutrition for Women

Are You Race Week Ready?

Race week is an exciting and important period. Your preparation during this time can significantly impact your performance on race day. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts to keep you on track and ready to crush your race!

Do: Prioritize Sleep

Getting quality sleep is crucial in the week leading up to your race. Aim for 7-9 hours per night to ensure your body is well-rested and ready for the demands of race day.

Don’t: Overtrain to Taper Effectively

It’s tempting to squeeze in extra workouts to feel more prepared, but overtraining can lead to fatigue and increase risk of injury. Tapering helps your body recover, store energy and ultimately improve performance. Stick to your tapering plan to allow your muscles to recover and rebuild.

Do: Focus on Nutrition

Fueling your body with the right nutrients is key. Eat balanced meals rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats are excellent choices. In the days leading up to the race, start increasing your intake of Carbohydrates, which are particularly important for topping off glycogen (aka Carbohydrate) storage, an important energy source to fuel your race. A quick point on “Carb loading”: you may not need as much as you think you do if you are consistently eating enough Carbohydrates in your regular dietary intake. Investing in a nutrition assessment is key to understanding if you are eating enough carbohydrate for what you are doing.

Don’t: Try New Foods or Eat Too Much Fiber, Fat or Spicy Foods

Race week is not the time to experiment with new foods, and that includes samples from the race expo! Stick to familiar, easily digestible meals and snacks to avoid any GI issues on race day. The day before the race, steer clear of foods that are high in fiber, fat, or are particularly spicy. High-fiber foods, such as beans and certain vegetables, can lead to bloating and discomfort. Fatty foods take longer to digest and can cause GI distress. Spicy foods might irritate your stomach and should also be avoided.

Do: Stay Hydrated & Consider a Sodium Preload for Hot, Humid Races

Proper hydration is essential for optimal performance. Drink water consistently throughout the week, and consider adding a sports drink with electrolytes if you’re noticeably dehydrated. If you’re racing in hot conditions, preloading sodium can help maintain your electrolyte balance and prevent hyponatremia. Drinking some sports drink (or eating sodium rich foods like soup, broth or pretzels) the evening and drinking sports drink the morning before your race can be helpful to ensuring you start your race hydrated.

Don’t: Ignore Rest Days

Rest days are just as important as your training days. Use this time to relax, stretch, and mentally prepare for the race.

Do: Plan Your Logistics

Ensure all your race logistics are in place. Confirm your registration, pack your gear, and familiarize yourself with the race course & aid stations and visualize your race plan (including nutrition!). Having everything organized will reduce stress and help you stay focused on executing a fantastic race.

Don’t: Panic

It’s normal to feel a bit anxious and even lose some sleep before a race, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Trust your training, stay positive, and remember that nerves are just a sign that you care about your performance.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll set yourself up for a successful race day. Remember, the key to a great race week is balancing preparation with rest, proper nutrition and recovery. Need help dialing in your nutrition strategy in preparation for your next race? Reach out to schedule a complimentary information call to learn more.

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