Tara Gidus

Fueling for a Night Race

With the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon around the corner, many people are wondering how they should fuel for this nighttime race. Here is a guide of what you should do on the day of your nighttime race to keep you energized and feeling good by the time you reach that finish line!

  1. Hydrate pre-race. Drink lots of fluids all day and check your urine color to ensure that it is clear or barely yellow, which means that you are hydrated. To stay hydrated you should have 2-3 cups of fluids two hours before the race. It takes 45-90 minutes for fluids to pass through your body so drinking a lot two hours before the race will give you enough time to get rid of the excess before the race starts. Also, about 15 minutes before the race you should have 8 ounces of fluids to replenish before the starting gun.

  2. Race day is not the day to try new foods! Eat familiar foods with easy to digest carbs, low fiber, low fat and moderate protein to make sure that your stomach doesn’t get upset and that you are ready to go come race time. Avoid greasy and creamy or other high fat foods.  Three to four hours before the race is when you should eat your last meal, and one hour before the race have a snack consisting of fast digesting carbs like a banana or bread/bagel/dry cereal/pretzels.

  3. Hydration and fuel during the race. Drink ½-1 cup fluids every 15-20 minutes, which is the same as 4-8 big gulps. Have some fast digesting carbs during your run like a gel or sports drink, just be sure to stick with what worked for you during training.

  4. Recover after the race. Remember the 3 R’s for recovery: refuel with carbs, rebuild with protein and rehydrate with fluids. If you are going to have alcohol post-race, make sure you also eat some food to replenish and drink water to hydrate.  And lastly be sure to get a good night’s sleep after you finish celebrating your wonderful race achievement!

Questions or comments? Tweet me @DietDivaTara!

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.