Everyone says that jellybeans are good for marathons.  So I tried at the recent Taupo Half marathon and had a terrible stomach ache, what am I supposed to eat?

A sports nutrition plan should be prepared by a qualified nutritionist or sports nutritionist who should take into account what fuel your body seems to prefer burning, your training schedule, any allergies or sensitivities and other factors that may affect your performance.

In general though, here's the rule of thumb.  Practice your event day nutrition WELL BEFORE the event.  This will give you time to work out what will give you the most energy and what foods will sit best in your tummy.

Event day nutrition typically starts with the meal the night before.  While one person may be able to eat a whole pizza and feel great the next day, another may feel horribly ill - but without practicing first, you'll never know.  Similarly with event day, I've had clients who prefer to run on an empty stomach, while others hit the wall too quickly and require a good long sustaining breakfast.

Hydration is the same, practice your fluid intake and any fluid you have to carry with you on a bike or a running pack before the event so you're used to the weight you have to carry around.

In a nutshell, there are a few optimal foods that will help with your event performance, but if you don't have a plan, practice different nutrition combinations before the big day, and then when the big day arrives DO NOT change what you've practiced.  Even if Lance Armstrong comes along on the day and says, "This will give you lots of energy" don't change your nutrition.  

Once you've completed your event, assess how you felt and make tweaks in future practice sessions.

5 Aug 10

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