Are you participating in the Peachtree Road Race or another event? Training is critical to comfortably finish the race with minimal risk of injury. However fuel, e.g. nutrition, is a vital piece of training. Now is the time to stock up on energy, not calories, and hydrate to optimize your event. Fueling effectively pre race and re-fueling post race can have a profound impact on comfort, performance, and avoiding heat related problems.
Pre-Race Fuel Up
- Often, the pre-event meal is best tolerated 2 nights before an event to aid digestion and decrease GI disturbances.
- Choose plenty of bread, rice, pasta, fruits, yogurt, potatoes, vegetables and juice with meals. Choose lower fiber options race day (& possibly the day before). Fill 2/3 of your plate with these high energy/fuel choices
- The typical American diet contains plenty of protein-focus on plenty of optimal carbohydrates (carbs)
- Choose lean protein such as lean beef, turkey, seafood, nuts, milk, yogurt, soy or eggs.
- Pasta, rice or potato as the center of your meal with lean protein and veggies as “sides”
- Sandwiches with turkey, chicken, roast beef vs. mayo based salads
- Single burger vs. deluxe burger, 2 if one isn’t enough
- Grilled chicken sandwiches or salads vs. fried chicken
- Grilled and baked vs. fried> protein and sides
- Thick crust pizza with veggies, Canadian bacon, chicken, etc. vs. sausage, pepperoni, meat lovers.
- Choose fresh fruits, yogurt, fresh veggies as sides instead of fried or fat laden sides.
Race Day Top Off!
- Top off your “tank” with breakfast to boost your glycogen=energy
- Use liquid meal replacements such as Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ensure, or Similar IF you feel overly nervous race day.
- Choose low fiber foods to aid digestion and decrease GI disturbances before & during the race
- Choose a little protein
- Choose familiar foods and fluids
- Examples, depending on time to race start:
- Breakfast sandwich on bread or english muffin or small bagel or wrap
- Cheerios, banana or raisins and low-fat milk
- Grits and egg with 1-2 slices toast & jelly
- Baby carrots in hummus
- Grapes and string cheese
- Banana dipped in P.B.
- Homemade smoothie
- Cereal bar, fruit, and yogurt
- Large juice or sports beverage with all if this is an endurance race
The Day Before the Race
1 cup juice
1 ½ c bran flakes
1 c fresh berries
1 c skim/1% milk
2 slices toast
1 TBSP jelly
2 slices whole wheat bread
3 oz turkey breast
8 oz white grape juice
8 oz low-fat yogurt
8 oz skim/1% milk
6 fruit Newtons
3 cups spaghetti
1 cup tomato sauce
2 oz lean ground turkey/beef/meat substitute
2 slices Italian bread without butter
Energy and Hydration During the Race
- Weigh yourself before the race
- Choose a combination of water, sports drink, diluted juices
- Water alone can lead to hyponatremia in a race lasting over an hour- which is very dangerous- choose some sports drinks or skip every other station
- Drink 16 – 20 oz 2 hours before race
- Drink 6 – 10 oz 10- 20 minutes before race start
- Drink 5 – 10 oz every 15 – 20 minutes during the race
- Choose sports drink at least every other stop to add electrolytes and carbs
- If you’re slow-you may only need every other “water” station
- Weigh yourself after the race
- Drink 24 oz of fluid for every pound lost- this is not “real” weight loss, but low hydration
- As little as 2 percent loss of Body weight (3 pounds for 150 pound athlete) diminishes performance> for some that’s the difference of winning or not placing
- Check your urine
- Lemonade color is good hydration
- Apple juice color is dehydration
- Utilize familiar drinks, gels, and bars to aid energy and hydration & avoid GI distress
- Combine jelly beans, candy corn, M & M’s or chocolate covered espresso beans (instead of gels!)
- Fruit / fig Newton’s, Raisins or dried fruit (instead of gels!)
Congratulations! Now Replenish!
The first 30 min.
Eat a snack such as a
- banana and peanut butter
- chocolate or other flavored milk
- homemade fruit smoothie with skim milk (or fat free soy milk) and fruits
- fruit and yogurt or a bagel with jelly
- Continue to re-hydrate
Within 2 hours of finish
- Eat a high-carb meal with some protein such as: PB&J sandwich
- Large mixed veggie salad with dried fruit and nuts or beans + Snack/Granola bar + Fluids
- Grilled chicken + Pretzels + Sports drink
- Turkey sandwich with lettuce & tomato + Banana + skim or 1% Milk
- Drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost in sweat
- Continue to re-hydrate