Top tips for getting your personal best this Bath Half

By Anita Jaynes on 22 February, 2017

With many local business people running the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday March 12,  as individuals and as teams, we asked Chippenham-based professionals their top tips ahead of race day.

Kat Burne from the Strength Studio and Sam from Active Potential Therapy joined forces earlier this year, providing a unique offering. The Strength Studio offers strength and conditioning training, through a range of disciplines and Active Potential Therapy specialises in sports therapy and sports massage.

Active Potential Therapy works with many athletes including GB triathlete Peter Blake who competed in Dubai last month and Chris Maxwell from Maxwell Coaching.

Sam said: “I chose to work with Kat as she’s a perfectionist. When working with clients she’s determined to make sure they get their moves right, cutting out the risk of injury. We see a lot of people who have trained the wrong way and we have to rehabilitate them. This partnership ensures I have a great place to refer clients for their recovery and future training, knowing they are in safe hands.”

In this first post, lead coach, Kat, looks at creating a nutrition plan that aids your training and performance when taking part in a half marathon.

The days leading up to Bath Half Marathon will be important in terms of rest and eating right to fuel your body for the day.

Having a wide variety of foods is the best way to enjoy your meals and feel good on your run.  And as with everything, don’t try anything new on race day. Make sure all the foods you take on board you have tried before. You don’t want any unnecessary surprises!

Carb loading

Carb loading can increase your energy levels by 20% but most people don’t know what carb loading really looks like. A big bowl of pasta the night before a race is not enough.

You really need to carb load 3-4 days before the race.

Days 3-4 you will need to eat around 8-12g carbohydrates per kilo of body weight. This needs to be low fat, healthier options such as rice, potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli.

Days 1-2, it is more advisable to eat more easy to digest food such as bagels, fruit, white bread, jam… anything low in fibre. you want to aim for 10-12g per kilo bodyweight.

The most important thing during a carb load phase is rest. That will allow your body to store the energy you are ingesting.

You are likely to find you are heavier on the scale during your carb load. This will only be for a couple of days and will not hamper your progress on the day.

Just remember, this is not excuse to to binge. You don’t want to be eating high amounts of fat during the carb load. Fat will slow the digestion of foods and just make you gain weight in a calorie surplus.


Water to keep you hydrated is very important. a 2% loss in hydration can make quite a difference in your performance. So aim to drink before you are thirsty.

Sports drinks come in a variety of different types:

Hypotonic for rapid rehydration, isotonic to maintain energy levels and hydration and hypertonic which are high energy but can be dehydrating.

You can make your own sports drinks: with a varying degree of squash, salt, water and sugar. Play around and see what works best for you and your tastes.

Do not eat too much fibre around training/race days. Fibre comes from grains, fruit and vegetables

Good nutrition means fuel, recovery and replenished energy stores.

Ideal training/race day nutrition 

Before the race:

  • A pint of water 2-3 hours before.
  • Top up your water during your warm up.
  • Eat a carb based meal 2-4 hours before – this needs to be trialled to find the optimum time for you.
  • Choose familiar foods.
  • A carb based snack – 40-60grams 30-60 mins before. Along with fluid.
  • This can be a sports drink/jelly babies/energy gel. – Find something that works.
  • Avoid high fat/high fibre before a run as this will be a slow release of energy and might sit heavily in your tummy.

During training/race day

  • During the race – aim to take on 30-60g of carbohydrates per hour. This could consist of
  • Gels
  • Jaffa Cakes
  • Jelly Babies
  • Dried Fruit
  • Carb mouth rinse. – These are fairly new but proving pretty good with professional endurance athletes.

After the race

You will want to replenish your carbs, protein, sodium and fluids. Aim to have a carbohydrate snack around 30 minutes post race. The amount will be 1g per kilo of bodyweight.

Repeat this two hours later.

Protein 15-25g within an hour of finishing the race. An ideal snack for this would be a protein shake. Milk could be a great one, chocolate milk would fit the above criteria. As long as you like it.

A pint of milk has 20g Protein, 30g Carbs and electrolytes contained within it.

To find out more about the Stength Studio visit: and for more about Active Potential Therapy go to:

Next week, read advice from Kieran Boland-Pedley from Active Potential Therapy, revealing his ‘Top 5 stretches for runners.’

Pictured above: Kat Burne from the Strength Studio.