Your final week nutrition guide for the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run


What do I eat to perform at my best? Should I carb load? How much water should I drink?

Whether you’re a breakfast person or not, eating the right meal before you take on the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run can make all the difference.

Try and eat 1 – 2 hours before you start, and keep it light.

Choose something high in carbs and easily digestible. Anything is truly better than nothing, even if it’s a piece of toast.

Don’t try anything new! Your breakfast should be similar to the kind of meals you’ve been eating leading up to the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run.  As you’ve been training and preparing, you’d start to know what works (or doesn’t work) for your system.

A few simple pre-run meal ideas include:

  • Toast with peanut butter
  • Bagel and a banana
  • Cinnamon porridge with fruit

Avoid anything heavy or high in fat. This could leave you feeling full, sluggish and nauseous during your run as your body wastes energy digesting.

Do I need to carb load?

The short answer is no. Carb loading (increasing your intake of carbohydrate foods while cutting back on protein and fat in the days before an event) is geared for events 90 minutes or longer.  For endurance athletes, carb loading can provide additional energy needed for longer events such as triathlons. You’re unlikely to need this kind of dietary intervention for a 5 or 10km run/walk, and it could actually make you feel sluggish on the day!

How about hydration?

Don’t drink too much water on event morning! This could lead to feeling sick and needing a bathroom stop at the wrong time.

A better approach is to focus on your hydration levels in the days leading up to the run. Drink small amounts frequently every day.

Avoiding alcohol will also help avoid dehydration and you’ll get more out of your training at the same time.

What about recovery?

After the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run it’s time to refuel and support muscle repair. Timing is important here. Try to eat within the first hour after your race. A combination of protein and complex carbohydrates (think wholegrain) will give your body everything it needs:

  • Baked beans on wholegrain bread
  • Bowl of fruit salad with 200g of yoghurt
  • Tuna and egg sandwich

In the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run Event Village there will be food trucks galore with plenty of healthy options to refuel.

The best recovery drink?

Water without a doubt. For a 5 or 10km run in September, water is all your body will need to rehydrate.

If you are looking for something that offers nutrients for muscle repair, try chocolate milk. It has the perfect balance of protein and carbs, and is rich in electrolytes and nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium. Plus it doesn’t have the hefty price tag of protein supplements.


Thanks to Alethea Jerebine, YMCA Health Promotion Officer and Nutritionist, for developing this article.

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