Nutrition for 10 km

Nutrition for 10 km – before the race

Nutrition for 10 km is not a big challenge, but there are some simple “rules” that you should follow. It is important to eat and drink normally before a 10 km. Don’t make it too complicated. Remember that a 10 km does not load you body so much, and you are not going to run for so long time. Depending on your level, it is normal to run a 10 km between, 40 – 70 min, which is not a very high load.

What works best is a matter of individual physcal shape, habits and preferences, but for most people it is smart to have a light meal with many carbohydrates 2 – 3 hours before start. Make sure that your fluid balance is ok, but do not drink too much water. If you do so, it may lead to many visits to the toilet just before start. The body cannot store the water, and you risk to “wash out” important salts and minerals if you drink too much. 1/4 litre water per hour the last 3-4 hours before the race is suitable for most people.

During the race

If you run the 10 km below 60 minutes, you normally don’t have a need for intake of energy or fluid during the race. Exceptions from this are if it is extremely hot or if you are sweating a lot due to other reasons.If so, a glass or two of water after 5 km should be sufficient to cover the need.

After the race

10 kmIt is important to drink and to take some quick carbohydrates shortly after the race. Then the recovery will be quicker than if you wait with the intake. A banana or an energy bar will ensure the carbohydrates, and a couple of glasses of water will ensure that you get back the fluid balance. It is also smart to eat some proteins within an hour or so after finish, to start rebuilding the muscles. A portion of oatmeal with milk, or a roll with low fat meat on the top, are examples of good protein sources. I have myself good experience with intake of 1/2 litre of chocolate milk immediately after a race, or after similar training sessions.


Read more about training and preparations for 10 km, and nutrition for runners in general, here:

Author: Ingrid Kristiansen

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