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Race Day Nutrition

Gazelle Nutrition Lab / Blog  / Race Day Nutrition

Race Day Nutrition

Putting nutrition into practice on the trails.

Endurance athletes typically put in months of training to prepare for their events. Many spend hours alone or with a coach working out a schedule that targets different heart rate zones, mileage and strength workouts. Some will even monitor their sleep schedule and improve their day-to-day diet. Despite athletes investing all of this time and effort, it may surprise many readers that recent studies have found that most athletes do not meet their recommended nutrition needs during a race. Research has found that only 50% of triathletes, 30% of cyclists, and 15% of marathon runners consume the recommended 60-90 g/h of carbohydrates during exercise lasting more than 2.5 hours. Give yourself the race you worked for by following these tips to meet your nutrition needs on race day.

Eat well leading up to the race . . .

Figure out what nutrition works for you on course by practicing BEFORE race day . . .

Eat well on course (30 every 30) . . .


Focus on meeting your nutrition needs on race day to boost your performance. Aim to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal 2-4 hours before the start, follow with a pre-race snack, and eat around 60 g of carbs an hour on course. Don’t forget about regular hydration throughout the day. Drink to thirst. A winning combination for many endurance athletes is to choose both water and sports drinks. This race day, buck the trend, and give your body the fuel it needs to achieve your competition goals.

Read more about optimizing race performance by checking out our race week nutrition tips here.

Nutrition planning is integral to achieving your optimal athletic performance. Gazelle Nutrition delivers nutrition counselling for both recreational and high-performance athletes. In addition, the Gazelle Blog is a free resource for healthy recipes and health tips. To book a nutrition appointment click here.

Ashley Leone

Ashley is a Sports Dietitian and Owner of Gazelle Nutrition Lab. Ashley provides nutrition advice and plans to athletes and everyday active people alike. Her goal is to help fuel your inner athlete and put good sense back into eating. Ashley is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable nutrition specialist with over 20 years of experience.

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