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It’s race day soon, so it’s important you #getfuelled, #keepfuelled and #racesmart

Here’s a quick nutrition checklist to make sure you’re on track for Perth’s City to Surf next Sunday, August 30th. Compiled by Kirsten Pannekoek, 3rd year nutrition student and Simone Allen, Advanced Sports Dietitian, who’ll both be racing the 4km. We’ll see you out there!

Night before

  • Include extra (low fibre) carbs with dinner, this may be an extra cup on steamed rice or pasta or a smoothie with yoghurt and banana after dinner.
  • Marathon runners may benefit from extra low fibre carbohydrate throughout the whole pre race day. Ensure you have trialled this before and consult an Accredited Sports Dietitian for specific advice.

NOTE: Low fibre will be mentioned a lot. While fibre is normally beneficial as part of a healthy diet, pre race (and during), fibre is not your friend. It creates extra bulk, slows digestion and may create issues during the run, such as runners gut. So yes, we know white bread and nutrigrain aren’t nutritious and “full of sugar”, but that’s the whole point – carbs (fuel) without the bulk.

Pre Race

With an early start it’s important to still top up about 2 hours prior. Suggestions include

  • smoothie with milk, yoghurt and berries
  • white toast or crumpets with jam, honey or vegemite – or scrape of peanut butter, banana and honey
  • low fibre cereal such as Corn Flakes, Nutrigrain or Rice bubbles with milk and fruit
  • Liquid drink such as Sustagen Sport, Up & Go, Oats2go or Vitago #justgo


  • aim to have straw coloured urine upon waking
  • take a disposable plastic bottle with you  to keep hydrated as you travel to start line

Race Nutrition – 12km, 1/2 and full marathon – the pros and cons

Keeping fuel on hand during the race means you have easy and immediate access when you require it, rather than relying on aid stations, but there are pros and cons.


PROS: yum, easy way to top up with small amounts of carb. 6-7 lollies = 1 gel = 30g carbs.race day

CONS: May melt and become super sticky.

TIP: store in a zip lock bag.


PROS: convenient packages of 25-30g carbs, easy to store in race belt, fuel belt or tucked into bra/top/shorts.

CONS: upon opening can be messy and sticky, texture can be unappealing to some.

Gel flask

PROS: easy way to store single or numerous gel(s), ability to add water to dilute for easier consumption, no sticky hands.

CONS: While it can be easy to store in bra/shorts/pocket some athletes find it annoying.

Fuel belt

PROS: convenient way to hold additional fluids and fuel.

CONS: can be heavy and annoying if not fitted correctly.

Remember to practice your race nutrition as many times as possible, especially if you plan to use a belt or flask, to ensure you are comfortable. #trainthewayyourace


It can be tricky logistically to have a proper recovery that includes protein and carbs after City to Surf. If your support crew can keep a choc milk or Chobani yoghurt for you or you can include a long life tetrapak of Sustagen, Up & Go or Oats2go in your gear bar, it would be ideal for refuelling, repairing and rehydrating.

However you fuel, don’t forget to enjoy the race!

Best of luck from the @nutritionwrks team!IMG_0044