Live Love Run with J&A Racing
We’ve partnered up with our presenting sponsor, Bon Secours, to bring you training trips to help you stay healthy while you training for your next race. A few things should be done to help make sure you are fully prepared for your race! One of them is fueling for your next race.
What Should I Eat in the Days Before the Race?
For most recreational runners, actual “carbohydrate loading” over a week is not usually necessary. However, consuming a carbohydrate rich diet during the preceding 3-4 days before the race, will increase energy availability and may enhance endurance and performance during the race. It is best to spread out this “extra” carb intake over a few days rather than just consuming a large amount the night before. This helps build up stored energy (called glycogen) in the muscles and liver gradually without the risk of bloating and gastrointestinal distress the morning of the race. Some easy ways to do this include:
-Adding an extra serving of fruit to your morning oatmeal
-Enjoy a whole grain roll with your lunchtime salad
-Double your brown rice or quinoa serving at dinner
What Should I Eat Right Before the Race?
When possible, try to eat 3 to 4 hours before the event. Aim for a low-fat (and not too high fiber) meal with about 150 grams of carbohydrate and 30 grams of lean protein. Examples include:
-A bagel with scrambled egg whites and a side of plain low -fat yogurt with added fruit.
-Two slices of toast with peanut butter and a banana
If eating 3 to 4 hours before the race is not possible, try to at least eat a small snack 1-2 hours before.
What Should I Eat During the Race?
Extra carbohydrate during the race is not usually necessary for a race lasting less than 1-1.5 hours . For longer race events-you should add 30-60 gms of easily digested carbohydrate per hour. This is most easily consumed through energy gels (Honey Stinger gels) or Nuun Endurance. Be sure to try some during your training. Race day is not the time to try something new!
What Should I Eat After the Race?
Recovery nutrition is just as important as your eating before the race. This is especially true if you plan to continue to train or run other events in the days following the race. The best time to consume food for recovery is within an hour of completing the event. A recovery snack should contain both carbohydrates to replace glycogen (stored energy) in muscles, fluid to maintain hydration and some protein to aid in the repair of muscle tissue and encourage glycogen storage. A quick example would be a sports drink along with a protein bar or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A celebratory alcoholic drink or two is usually fine at this point but remember to first hydrate with water and have that recovery snack!