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What you need to eat before the AJC Peachtree Road Race (and how many calories you'll burn)

You’ve been training for weeks and the time is almost here for the AJC Peachtree Road Race 2017  on Tuesday, July 4.

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Here's what you need to know about the calories you’ll burn during the race and what you need to eat during these final days of preparation:

Calories you’ll burn

You can expect to burn approximately 600 to 800 calories during a 10K run. However, keep in mind that this number may vary, and is dependent on an individual’s body size and running speed.

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In general, smaller people burn fewer calories than larger people.

According to Harvard Medical School, a 125-pound person running at 5 miles per hour for 30 minutes burns approximately 240 calories, while a 185-pound person running for the same amount of time at the same speed burns about 355.

Nevertheless, the faster you run the more calories you’ll burn.

What you should eat

Like the amount of calories you’ll burn, the amount you need to eat depends on your body size. A smaller athlete may only need 1,600 calories per day, while a larger runner may need as many as 5,000.

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As obvious as it may seem, during the days leading up to the race focus on eating clean. Lean toward whole grains, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats.

Examples of clean meals include: quinoa with broccoli, olive oil and chicken or brown rice, asparagus and kale, and black beans with tofu.

Pasta is a common go-to the night before a big race. While it is beneficial to increase your carb intake the night before a race, don’t overdo it.

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Sam Hua, holistic health coach and CEO of Happy Food, told Active.com that runners should fill one third to one half of their plate with complex carbs like pasta, grains or brown rice the night before the race. The rest should be filled with protein and vegetables.

He also emphasized the importance of breakfast the day of the race. Plan to eat your pre-race meal 60 to 90 minutes before the race, and focus on complex carbs with a bit of protein.

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Examples include: whole grain toast and almost butter, a bagel and peanut butter, oatmeal and a banana, or granola and fruit.

Remember to stay hydrated before, during and after the race. Keep in mind that too much water can lead to cramping and bloating.

Follow these nutrition rules and you should have a successful performance.

Good luck and happy running.

Return to AJC.com/peachtree for all things AJC Peachtree Road Race.

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