By Xact Nutrition


What should you eat and drink one to three days before your race?

Think about building up your glycogen reserves and give your body a rest. Meals should be mostly carbs, pasta, rice and potatoes, plus a variety of veggies, fruit and a little protein to make sure you’re in top-notch shape when race day rolls round. Whole grains, e.g. brown wholemeal bread, pasta and rice have more nutrients than do white. Hydrate often but don’t overdo it; add a glass of water or electrolyte mix to your regular daily routine, this is particularly useful if race day is going to be a hot day. If you are serious about your race then NO alcohol. Plus, get a couple of good night’s rest and stretch regularly, this is a time to relax after all the training.

The day before, pre-race dinner
Stick with the carb plan! This is the energy source endurance athletes need to perform their best and you can build your body’s reserves or glycogen. At big races, often you are away from home the night before so pasta is an easy option to find in restaurants or prepare beforehand. Go easy on the fats, proteins and fibre (yep, white pasta is OK on this occasion if too much fibre doesn’t agree with you). Don’t stress about a poor night’s sleep, you already had two good night’s rest beforehand, right? ☺. And once again, still NO alcohol.

The big day – Breakfast
Carbs continued! Don’t over indulge, you’ll carry what you eat. Foods like bagels and porridge provide sustenance and bananas are easy to digest. If you drink coffee then go ahead and have your morning cuppa. Caffeine has some great benefits to stimulate the body. Keep it simple and aim to have eaten at least two hours  prior to the race to be sure your stomach has settled and the food digested.

Right before your race
If it has been over three hours since breafast then you may want a quick snack around 30 minutes before the race. An XACT Energy bar is a quick and easy way to top up your blood sugar levels before a race, plus they can easily be eaten between check-in and the start line.

During the race
Aim to take an energy gel or chew like XACT ENERGY Fruit Bars every 45 minutes from the start of the race. The number of Fruit Bars or gels you eat depends on how long it will take you to run your race. This could be between 1-3 XACT Energy bars or gels depending on how long it will take you to finish. If you keep eating them regularly, you should be able to avoid the dreaded bonk.

XACT ENERGY Fruit Bars are on the First Half course at the 12.5 km station, located on the seawall approximately halfway between Lions Gate Bridge and Brockton Point – look for the XACT logo on the First Half course map. The station will be stocked with Orange, Strawberry or Apricot flavour XACT Energy Fruit bars. Each bar is made from natural fruit pulp, is allergen friendly and provides 100 Calories from 25g of Carbohydrate. The bars are soft, very easy to chew and have a melt in your mouth texture. A mouthful of water from the water station can also help them go down even more easily.

Pro tips

If you are planning to push hard at the race, increase your fuel consumption frequency to every 30 minutes. This allows you to stay fuelled while pushing harder.

Mix up your energy Fruit Bars. Have fun and take a variety of flavours to keep your taste buds on their toes. XACT ENERGY Fruit Bars come in six flavours: Strawberry, Apricot, Orange, Maple, E-Beet and Blackcurrant – with a little natural caffeine. All flavours will also be on sale at Forerunners during the 2022 First Half Package Pickup.

Pack an extra bar or gel. They are light and compact and should you ever need it, you’ll be glad you brought it. Worst case is that you save it for the marathon in May.

Scoffing a whole gel or energy bar in one go while on the run can sometimes be tough on the stomach, taking two or three small bites of an Energy Fruit Bar will do the same job and be easier for your system to manage.

After – The Finish!
Congratulations on finishing your race! It’s time to reward your body so plan to eat a small snack within 30 minutes of finishing to get your energy back and start recovery. Aim for a mix of carbs and protein. XACT PROTEIN wafers will be offered in the 2022 First Half finish area and they contain 15 grams of protein which is a great way to get your recovery started. Try to drink 500-1000ml fluid to help rehydrate. Once you have something to eat and drink, now you’re ready for that celebratory beer! Find out more about XACT bars served at the First Half at xactnutrition.com