What to Eat Before and on Race Day
What the heck should I eat?
This thought has crossed my mind several times.
Whether it be standing in front of the breakfast buffet in the hotel lobby or on the bus, on the way toward a track meet.
With almost 6 years of track and cross-country experience under my belt I’ve learned a few things about what kind of food to eat, and more importantly avoid helping you have the best race possible.
Tip 1: ThrowYourself a Pre-Race Pasta Party
As any good runner knows, pasta is the holy grail when it comes to pre-race dinner
Delicious and filling, Pasta helps give you some serious carbs, which will help give you plenty of energy later on. Once I started running for Pinecrest I was introduced to the amazing tradition of Pinecrest pasta parties. Especially during cross-country season, these parties were a chance to hang out with your teammates while eating hot pasta, crisp salad and garlic bread.
Tip 2: PeanutButter Power
Who doesn’t love Peanut butter? (unless your allergic, of course)
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack before bed or something to eat in the morning for breakfast. Peanut butter on toast or bagels is an always a good idea. A little PB&JIs also a great lunch if your race isn’t till late in the day. I myself have eaten my fair share of peanut butter slathered toast usually paired with some hot chamomile tea. A lot of times my races would be in the morning and I’d usually be too nervous to eat a lot, but My mom always made sure I had a few bites of peanut butter because like pasta, peanut butter gives you energy and is filling without being to heavy. *Bonus Tip* while peanut butter and toast and peanut butter and bananas are great combos before your races, I have learned the hard way that apples with peanut butter right before a race is NOT a good idea. Apples have fiber which takes a lot to break down and if you eat to soon before you run you will definitely be feeling a few cramps during your race.
Tip: 3: HYDRATE
The importance of being properly hydrated can not overstated. And as someone who is not good at being properly hydrated I can tell you it does make a difference in whether you run well or not. I am the type of person who prefers to chug a bottle an hour before instead of doing the correct thing and sipping continually. My family has learned through experience how important it is to be hydrated, during track season we would go to all day track meets where we would wait for hours in the blistering hot sun where just drinking the water wasn’t enough if you weren’t really well hydrated before getting there, the sun would scorch you and we left many a track meets tired, sweaty and with bad headaches which left us reaching for Tylenol.My tip would be to hydrate the night before and to not only drink water, but something with electrolytes like Gatorade, Powerade, or an Alder personal favorite Tail Wind.