What to eat during a race

What you pack for fuel during your race depends on the mileage and your comfort level.  Most runners do no pack gels for races less than 6 miles.  If it’s only going to be an hour run, most runners have enough energy stored up from the night before and do not require additional energy.   You should start experimenting which snacks work for you during your runs.

Short Races ( less than 6 miles)

  • Water.  This might not be necessary since most race courses have water stations at every mile marker.

Longer Races ( over 6 miles)

  • Water (might not be necessary).  Some race courses have water stations at every mile marker.
  • You might need to drink in some carbs with a sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade.  Be sure to have some water to drink it with because they are filled with sugar and make you more thirsty afterwards.
  • Some runners bring small snacks such as jelly beans, gummy bears, pretzels or candy.  Make sure your snacks are small and easy to digest.
  • Usually around mile 18 races hand out gel packs.  Take a couple and this will rejuvinate your muscles and give you added much needed energy to your body.  Gels make you really thirsty too, so make sure to have some water with it.
  • Runners may also bring a power bar to nibble on while running.

Either way, don’t eat too much during your run.  Your body already has most of the energy required if you ate properly the night before.   If this race is a marathon then you probably need to carry maximum two gels.

Related Running Tips:

  1. What to eat before a race
  2. Pre-Race Checklist
  3. What to eat for post race recovery
  4. How to run a perfect race
  5. Running with Power Gels
  6. Keep Hydrated During Races
  7. Racevine Review

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