Running a destination race is a fantastic excuse to travel. I can hardly recall the last time I organized a vacation that didn't involve signing a race waiver. Running is the best form of sightseeing. Besides being far more environmentally friendly than a bus and safer than riding a bike in traffic, running also leaves you with enough of a calorie deficit (and appetite) to make you feel good about exploring new cuisines.
Race-day nutrition is a key component of success, but establishing a solid pre-race routine can be difficult in a new city or foreign country. Whether you're running for the experience or gunning for a new PR, a sound nutrition strategy is essential. Follow these five tips to avoid common mistakes and make your next run-cation a trip to remember.
Bring Water While You're Out and About
Your itinerary for the day before a destination race is probably much different than what it would be for a local race. Don't get too distracted exploring your destination and forget about hydration and nutrition. Proper hydration the day before your race is crucial.
Carry water with you and monitor your intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends adult women and men aim for 2.2 to 3 liters (74 to 101 ounces) per day, respectively. Janice Dada MPH, RD, CSSD encourages runners to "eat small amounts throughout the day, constantly sip on a water bottle and avoid alcohol, which can interfere with glycogen metabolism in the liver."
If you're traveling to a particularly hot climate, you'll need even more water, and you should add electrolytes to make up for the amount you'll sweat. Be sure to stick to bottled waters and drinks if there's any doubt about the safety of the tap water at your destination.