Rood Rampage is JUST around the corner and we CANNOT WAIT! We hope you’re excited for the event too – it’s going to be our biggest and best yet. Now you’ve worked hard and bagged all the training, we thought it might be useful to share some thoughts and advice on how to eat in the week and, more importantly, the last day or two ahead of a big event to get you on the startline full of beans and ready to rock!

Week Before the Race: Building a Solid Foundation

1. Carbohydrate Loading: Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for high-intensity activities. During the week leading up to your OCR, focus on increasing your carbohydrate intake to maximise your glycogen stores. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose, and having ample reserves can prevent fatigue during the race.

  • Day 7 to Day 4: Maintain a balanced diet with a slight increase in carbohydrates. Incorporate whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Aim for a macronutrient distribution of approximately 55-60% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein, and 20-30% fats.
  • Day 3 to Day 1: Increase carbohydrate intake to about 70% of your total calories. Focus on easily digestible carbs like rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. Avoid high-fiber foods that can cause digestive discomfort.

2. Hydration: Proper hydration is crucial, not just on race day, but throughout the week leading up to it. Aim to drink at least 2-3 liters of water daily. Include electrolyte-rich fluids, especially if you’re training in hot conditions, to maintain the balance of sodium, potassium, and other essential minerals.

3. Protein and Recovery: Protein is vital for muscle repair and recovery, particularly if you are still engaging in light training or workouts. Include lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu, and legumes in your diet.

4. Healthy Fats: Fats are a secondary energy source and are essential for overall health. Include healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Avoid excessive consumption of fatty foods that are hard to digest.

5. Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals play a critical role in energy production and muscle function. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting a range of micronutrients. Focus on foods rich in iron (spinach, red meat), calcium (dairy, leafy greens), and magnesium (nuts, whole grains).

Final 48 Hours: Fine-Tuning the Plan

The last 48 hours before your OCR are crucial for topping off your energy stores and ensuring your body is primed for performance.

1. Carbohydrate Loading Continues: Continue to emphasize carbohydrate intake, but be mindful of the type of carbs you consume. Opt for simple, easily digestible carbohydrates to avoid gastrointestinal distress. Examples include white bread, plain pasta, white rice, bananas, and low-fiber cereals.

2. Pre-Race Dinner: The night before the race, have a carbohydrate-rich dinner with moderate protein and low fat. An example meal could be grilled chicken with white rice and steamed vegetables. Avoid new or spicy foods that could upset your stomach.

3. Hydration: Maintain optimal hydration by drinking water consistently throughout the day. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol as they can lead to dehydration. Incorporate electrolyte drinks if you’ve been sweating heavily during the week.

4. Breakfast on Race Day: Consume a light, high-carbohydrate breakfast about 3-4 hours before the race. Good options include oatmeal with honey and banana, a bagel with peanut butter, or a smoothie with fruit and yogurt. Avoid high-fiber foods and heavy, greasy meals that can cause discomfort.

5. Snacks Before the Race: About 30-60 minutes before the race, have a small, easily digestible snack like a banana, an energy bar, or a handful of pretzels. This will provide a quick source of energy and help maintain your blood sugar levels.

6. Supplements and Energy Gels: If you plan to use energy gels or sports drinks during the race, test them in training to ensure they don’t cause any digestive issues. Consuming them about 15 minutes before the start can provide an additional energy boost.

Special Considerations

  1. Individual Preferences and Tolerances: Every athlete’s body responds differently to various foods and dietary strategies. It’s important to stick to familiar foods and routines that you’ve tested during training
  2. Avoiding GI Distress: Reduce fibre intake 24-48 hours before the race to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort. Avoid high-fat and high-protein meals that are hard to digest
  3. Adjusting for Race Conditions: Consider the weather and terrain of your OCR. In hot and humid conditions, prioritize hydration and electrolytes. In cold conditions, focus on warm, easily digestible foods
  4. Psychological Preparation: Mental preparation is as important as physical preparation (which we’ve written about here). Use the final 48 hours to relax, visualise success and get plenty of rest. Avoid stress and ensure you get a good night’s sleep before race day.

Sample Meal Plan: Final 48 Hours

Day Before the Race:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with honey and banana, orange juice
  • Snack: Low-fat yogurt with granola
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich on white bread, apple, water
  • Snack: Pretzels and a small handful of almonds
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, white rice, steamed carrots, water
  • Evening Snack: Rice cakes with a small amount of almond butter

Race Day:

  • Breakfast: Bagel with peanut butter and a banana, water
  • Pre-Race Snack: Energy bar or a banana 30-60 minutes before the start


Optimising your nutrition in the week leading up to an Obstacle Course Race, and especially in the final 48 hours, can significantly impact your performance. Focus on carbohydrate loading, maintaining hydration, and consuming familiar, easily digestible foods. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your body is well-fueled, hydrated, and ready to tackle the challenges of the race. Good luck!

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