SportMedBC RunWalk Nutrition Tips – Pre-Race Eating

Pre-Race Eating (What Should I Eat and Drink Before The Vancouver Sun Run?) 

By Cristina Sutter, SportMedBC RunWalk Dietitian

With The Vancouver Sun Run just about here, we may wonder what we should eat before the race. A good rule of thumb is to stick with your usual foods and not to try anything new in the days before. You may recall from Week 10 – “Nutrition Tips Discomforts of Running,” to stay away from anything loaded with fat or fibre the day before the run. That means no hamburgers, muffins, chocolate bars, lasagna, chili or big salads on Saturday.
On Saturday, sip on 2-3 litres of water throughout the day to keep hydrated and stay away from alcohol for the entire week. Here is a sample meal plan for a middle-aged female on the Saturday before the Sun Run and the Sunday morning of the race. If you are young, active, or male, you will need to add a pasta salad and toast with nut butter to this meal plan.
Saturday Sample Meal Plan

  • 7am:   1-2 sprouted grain bread, 1-2 eggs
  • 10am: 1 fruit, 15 almonds
  • 12pm: Chicken sandwich with veggies and hummus
  • 3pm:   Fruit smoothie
  • 6pm:   Sweet potato, roasted chicken breast, spinach salad
  • 9pm:   Cereal and milk 

On Sunday morning – if you usually drink coffee – it may be helpful to have one regular coffee. Don’t overdo the coffee though – the caffeine in one regular cup of coffee is enough to help your endurance without causing you jitters or an upset stomach. If you do not drink coffee, definitely do not start now! 
Sunday Pre-Race Plan

  • 7am:          Oatmeal or 1 slice bread with a banana, 2 cups of water
  • 8:30am:     Small banana or granola bar (if you feel hungry), 1-2 cups water
  • 9am:          1 cup water every 20 minutes or at each water station during the race
  • 9:45am:     Bite of sports bar or 1 cup sports drink
  • After race:  Fruit, yogurt or ½ bagel and nut butter, 2-3 cups water
  • 12pm:        Reward your hard work with a delicious lunch!

Eat well and feel great! All the best on a challenging and exciting day!

Cristina Sutter is a Private Practice Sport Dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic in Vancouver. For more information, visit

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