The 411 on pre and post race nutrition

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pre/post-race training and nutrition

What you eat prior to a hard run or a race can make or break your workout. Without sufficient energy, your body will feel weak, sluggish, and you certainly won’t be making any new PRs! Too much food, or the wrong types of foods, can result in a stomach ache or digestion problems. So what is the perfect combination? Read below to find out!

Here are some tips for pre-race nutrition:

The Day Before:

-24 hours before your race, try to have your intake consist of 70% carbohydrates

-In those 24 hours, try to avoid any new foods or drinks

-Stay hydrated!

-Avoid particularly high fiber foods, especially if you have a sensitive stomach

The Meal Before:

-The meal before your race should consist primarily (80%) of carbohydrates

-Adjust the amount of calories to how far out you are from the race. (i.e. don’t eat a 600 calories breakfast 45 minutes before you race, but a 100 calorie gel the day before isn’t enough either)

-Avoid foods high in fat, protein, or fiber for easy digestion

-If you don’t like to eat a meal prior to any early race, still consume some carbohydrates and enough calories in the form of a sports drink, gel, or chews.

After The Race

-Ratio of 1 gram of protein per 3 grams carbohydrate

-Consume 50-100 g carbohydrate within an hour of exercise

-A glass of milk is great for after a workout. It has a good mix of carbohydrate and protein.

My favorite pre-race breakfast meal consists of oatmeal, banana, and 8oz of orange juice. This meal has tons of carbohydrate to keep my energy fuel up during that race so I don't fatigue as quickly. Whatever you do, don’t try to eat one of the “right” running meals before a race if you haven’t tried them before. Test out breakfasts before a long run to make sure there are no problems that arise on race day!

Good luck racing!

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