it matters if I’m dehydrated the day before, I always make sure I sip on fluid the day before a race…skulling the evening prior or the morning of seems a bit late for my body to utilise mid race
I prefer simple carbs the day before and less protein (ie go pasta rather than roast)
Skulling fluid during a race makes me feel seedy as it bounces around in my gut..
I try to sip fluid along the way, especially on uphill sections when I’m not bouncing around
Sipping some kind of electrolyte ie tailwind, SIS etc is really helpful, carry a separate bottle for this (soft flasks are awesome)
And/or you can have gels, or shot Bloks.. chat to our local running stores for their advice on this
Aim to have some kind of electrolyte/nutrition every 30-45 minutes if you are new to the sport