The 10k it is not an overly long distancee; you’ll most likely be racing for an hour or less, but that doesn’t negate the need for proper nutrition.
The 10k are fast and they will test your endurance, but to succeed you dont have to make these mistakes.
.- OVERLOADING BEFORE THE RACE
A lot of runners think they have to eat a lot of carbohydrates before a 10k race (carb-loading) .
Carbohydrate loading, commonly referred to as carb-loading or carbo-loading, is a strategy used by endurance athletes, to maximize the storage of glycogen (the way your body storages carbohydrates) in the muscles and liver.
That’s why many marathoners and triathlon participants have large pasta dinners the night before a race.
The theory is real simple, when you eat carbohydrates rich foods (like pasta, bread, etc.) these are converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles. The more glycogen in your muscles, more energy you will have on the race.
The problem is that carbohydrate loading is generally recommended for endurance events lasting longer than 90 minutes and a 10k will take you less than that.
Eating too many carbs before a 10k is a problem because:
.- A dinner full of carbohydrates, means that you go to sleep without being able to properly digest food. The result: a bad night of sleep and bad performance on race day.
.- A breakfast full of carbohydrates and the excitement of the race can generate symptoms of GI distress,
.- Being at the starting line, eating carbs (or drinking gels or sport drinks) its a real problem. It’s impossible to digest and absorb the carbs during the race, so they are almost useless.
.- EATING AND DRINKING TOO MUCH DURING THE RACE
In a 10k race it is very normal to see people consuming gels, eating food (bars, fruit, etc) and drinking a lot of water. This is another mistake you should avoid.
The main reason for this is the principle stated above, in a race of 10 k (as long as you run in less than 01:30) its almost impossible to deplete your glycogen stores so it is unnecessary to supply your body with a lot of carbs and fluids.
The risks of these behaviors are:
– Upset stomach.
– Unnecessary waste of time.
– Food consumption / gels that are not used.
The solution: Trust your training, you’ve probably run 10 km (or’ve been close to it) in several workouts without eating and drinking a lot. Do the same on race day.
Based on your experience, prepares your meal plan before and during the race, do not go to expect a miraculous element that allows you to run faster.
flickr photo by jammeh https://flickr.com/photos/jammeh/5677109665 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license