NUTRITION DURING THE PREPARATION OF A 10KM RACE

Given that a 10 km event is relatively short and intense, it is not possible to eat during the activity. What's more, there is relatively no point (unlike hydration).However, it would be wise to prepare the body during the weeks preceding the competition by making certain adjustments to your diet. This is done in several stages.

FROM THE START OF YOUR PREPARATION TO D-8

You must be properly hydrated throughout the preparation period. The training sessions to prepare for a 10 km event often involve changes of pace and are physiologically demanding on the body.

·       Before a run, drink small quantities of water regularly in order to keep your body properly hydrated.

·       If you can, carry a bottle with you during your session: for short distances, add electrolytes to your water, such as the Aptonia® Electrolyte Tablets that will compensate for part of your losses in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For outings that exceed 1 hour, take an isotonic drink that you consume in slightly reduced doses in hot weather to avoid digestive problems.

·       After the physical activity, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to compensate for your fluid losses. Consuming a drink that is high in carbs and proteins as soon as possible after training is very effective. An example of such a drink would be the Aptonia® Recovery Drink that will compensate for losses, stimulate muscle anabolism (= muscle construction) and restore your glycogen reserves. Supplement this with some water with a high bicarbonate content throughout the rest of your day/evening because its alkalinising properties will restore your pH balance (when the physical activity tends to increase the acidity of your blood).

hydratation 10km

Finally, there is no need to make any major changes to your diet at this stage of your preparation, given that the most important thing is to eat a balanced diet between your sessions. Products to be avoided are those that have undergone too much processing like industrially prepared dishes with excessively high and unbalanced levels of certain nutrients or, simply, food that is too greasy, sweet and/or salty.

·     The ideal solution is to eat a meal 3 hours before a session, or even a snack 30 to 45 minutes beforehand. The Aptonia® Energy Cream can also provide the energy you need for the coming effort (while being easily digestible).

·     During your sessions to prepare for the 10 km event, it is not essential to eat anything, except if you go out for a longer session. Always leave with an energy gel or bar in your pocket to be taken halfway through the training session (except if you are doing a very intensive series of exercises) or if you should feel a sudden drop in energy levels.

·     When you get back, follow your usual recovery routine with your drink. You can supplement this by eating a protein rich bar. As always, you should try and eat this as soon as possible after your session. This will keep you within what is known as the "metabolic window", i.e. the time period (30 minutes maximum) during which your body is more responsive to recovering from its physical efforts.

THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE YOUR 10 KM EVENT 

Continue to follow your hydration plan. One of the challenges you face is to the properly hydrated on the day of the race. Whenever possible, drink 2 L per day between meals and finish, between D-4 and D-1, by adding maltodextrin to your drink.

          During the final week, the most noticeable changes will be to your diet. The aim is to increase your energy reserves (glycogen) without losing weight or tiring you out, for example. During the last few days of your preparation, when you are reducing the frequency and intensity of your training sessions, increase the proportion of carbs in your meals and reduce the level of fat and fibre in order to put less of a burden on your digestive system. What's more, choose food products that have an alkalinising effect to counteract the acidifying effect of physical exercise. Examples of these are bananas, chestnuts, potatoes, green vegetables or even water that is rich in bicarbonates. Do not confuse a product that has an alkalinising effect with an alkaline product, or a product that has an acidifying effect with an acid: Lemon, for example, has a highly acidic taste, yet it is a powerful alkalinising agent.

IN CONCLUSION

By adopting a healthy and suitable diet while drinking the appropriate quantity of fluids, your physical condition will be just right for starting your 10 km event. It will also optimise your capacity to recover and reduce any risk of injury to the muscles and tendons. Just like your training, your mental attitude and your equipment, you must devote a lot of attention to your diet so that you can perform as well as possible during your competition.

Etienne

Etienne

As a sports enthusiast since forever and a triathlete for five years, I'm at my best when doing long distances (marathons, Ironman® etc.). I'm quite proud to have finished as the first-place Frenchman during the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in September 2017 in the US. Besides working for Decathlon, I'm also a nutritionist. I work with numerous sports users to help them with their meal planning and nutrition. Physical activity and good nutrition? Two (very good) solutions to stay fit!

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