Pre-Race Fuel?

Hi guys!  How’s your Monday?

Nothing too exciting going on in the Totten house tonight……..    

I worked all day then came home and reheated leftover veggie lasagna for Mike and myself. 😀  Oh yeah, btw I didn’t make it on the no sugar, no grains challenge.  I lasted a week and then caved into the grains….  and then the sugar…  but it’s OK, at least I tried, right?

On my commute home from work I started thinking about my upcoming race on Thanksgiving and how it was also my first road race.  It was 4 years ago and I had just started dating Mike and he somehow convinced me to sign up for the race (I’m guessing all he did was mention the free Harpoon beer afterwards?) 

The morning of the race I woke up late, hungover, and didn’t give much thought about my breakfast.  I headed to Davis Square and quickly stopped at Starbuck’s for a bagel with cream cheese and a latte.  This was less than an hour before the race.  Long story short, the race sucked.  Not only did I overdose on caffeine/energy chews but I also didn’t eat properly.  Since then I’ve learned what my stomach can handle and more importantly, when it can handle it. 

Last weekend: I had an energy bar and was ready to runnnn!

I know some of you are new to racing and still trying to figure this out for yourself.  For me, I have to eat about 2 1/2 hours before a race and stick with something simple, such as an energy bar or an english muffin. 

If it’s a longer race like a half marathon then I’ll add a banana to the mix.  And yup, it can be a pain in the butt setting my alarm for 5:30am on a Saturday when the race doesn’t start until 8 but I know that if I eat too close to the race then I’ll have stomach issues and painful cramps.  On the morning of a race I wake up early, grab an energy bar and a glass of water, and head back to bed to relax.  Mike on the other hand has a stomach made of steel and doesn’t have to worry about when he eats…..    So it’s different for everyone.

Want some idea’s of what to eat before a race? 

You should stick with a meal/snack that’s high in carbs (about 75%) and low in fiber (fiber can cause GI problems = crappy run).  Here’s a couple great options:

  • Oatmeal or cereal
  • Banana
  • Toast or a bagel with butter or jam (or peanut butter if your stomach can handle it)
  • Whole wheat waffles
  • Breakfast shake
  • Energy bar

*If you’re still unsure of what and when to eat you should check out this article from!

**Here’s another informative article that lists the “Five Prerace Nutrition Mistakes” and how to keep them from ruining your big day.

Media: The Right Stuff?

What do you eat before a race? 

Is it the same meal before every race?

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