Race-ready tips for marathon day

Fuel your body to finish strong

Are you running the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon or Marathon? If so, congratulations! You’ve made it. This week, focus on fueling your body with the right foods and staying hydrated. Follow this simple meal plan the night before and day of your big race.

Day before the race
  • Give your body the nutrients it needs to run a strong race while providing ample time for adequate digestion.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast that includes carbohydrates, proteins and lean fats. Example: Egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on whole wheat bread, pita or bagel.
  • Snack throughout the day on clean, easily digestible carbs that are low in fiber and fat. Examples: Bananas, applesauce, grapes
  • Dinner should consist of a carbohydrate-rich meal with a lean protein such as chicken. Example: Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and grilled chicken breast.
  • Hydrate throughout the day.
Race day
    • The race starts early in the morning, so you need to eat smart to protect against race-day stomach issues. Don’t go crazy with carbs. You need some, but “carb-loading” before a race isn’t necessary. Too many carbs can leave you feeling bloated and may cause an undesirable potty break during the race.
    • Eat a carbohydrate-rich meal one to four hours before the race, such as toast, bagel or English muffin with jam or jelly. You may prefer cereal, fruit, low-fat yogurt or a sports bar before your race.
    • Avoid high-fiber and high-fat foods on race day, as they may cause abdominal cramping.
    • Drink plenty of water leading up to race day so you are hydrated. Drink 8 to 15 ounces of a sports drink on race morning 60 minutes prior to your start time.
    • Don’t try any new foods, sport bars or gels on race day. Your race-day meal should consist of foods you frequently eat, so you know how your body will react.

See you at the race!


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