1. Carb. Load.

One of the best things you can do for yourself in the days leading up to NYC is CARB LOAD. Carb loading will help so you don’t hit the dreaded “wall”, will help your muscles work their best till the finish, will help you hold onto more fluid for race day and can make you feel better overall so you can enjoy the race and finish with a smile on your face!

If you need more info on carb loading, check out my Carb Loading resource page with lots of info, including the carb load calculator and a link to my FREE carb load guide.

2. Eat 2X Pre-Race

With a late start race (Wave 1 starting at 9:10 am through Wave 5 starting at 11:30 am), you should eat twice before your race. Whatever your start time is, subtract 4 hours – and that should be your 1st eating time. Aim to eat half your body weight in carbs. (For example, 150# runner needs 75 gm carbs.) Your 2nd eating time should be 2 hours after that. For this one, aim for the same amount of carbs again.


Start time: 10:20 am

Runner’s weight: 150 lb

6:20 am: 1 bagel with 2 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 serving Skratch (75 g carb)

8:20 am: 6 full graham sheets (72 g carb)

3. Plan Your Hydration

Let’s not just wing it when it comes to hydration. The weather forecast, as of now, looks like a low of 49 and high of 61 degrees Fahrenheit. For those with a later start, or those running longer, the temp might start to feel a bit warm but totally manageable. (Ideal marathon temperatures are 45 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Know your race day plan! Make sure you are drinking enough fluid & getting enough electrolytes during the race – whether that is from a handheld or on-course fluids. We have lots of info on hydrating for races here and in this blog post How to Hydrate on Race Day.

Carb loading properly will help your body hold on to fluid for race day, but if you are a heavy/salty sweater, you may want to hyperhydrate the night before the race.

4. Fuel Early & Often

Your first serving of fuel should be at 10 minutes PRE-RACE! And roughly every 30 minutes or so throughout the race (hopefully, you will have had lots of practice fueling during your long runs to know what works best for you.) If you find that you can no longer stomach a gel towards the end of the race, you can swish & spit, as we have carb receptors in our mouths to signal the brain about fuel!

5. Celebrate! ... but also, get in your recovery nutrition

Getting through any race warrants a celebration! Have fun with your family or friends. Eat that celebratory meal. Drink that celebratory cocktail (alcoholic vs non-alcoholic is up to you).

Try to get in a source of protein & carbs within 30-60 minutes post race. Chocolate milk or a protein bar are easy to have a friend bring to you, have in your race bag or find after the finish line. Then, when you can, get a full meal in. Keep hydrating the rest of the day, so you don’t feel crummy and your muscles recover better.

Disclaimer: The content in our blog articles provides generalized nutrition guidance. The information above may not apply to everyone. For personalized recommendations, please reach out to your sports dietitian. Individuals who may chose to implement nutrition changes agree that Featherstone Nutrition is not responsible for any injury, damage or loss related to those changes or participation.