Picture Credit score: Lester Cacho
The beginning of your race is eight hours away, you’ll be able to’t sleep and it has nothing to do with pre-race nerves maintaining you up at evening. That is the fact of race morning when there’s an night begin time concerned. Evening races are simply out-numbered by their early morning counterparts, and whereas the one apparent distinction is getting began on the reverse finish of the day, racing at evening presents a singular set of challenges—the largest of which, for many runners, includes vitamin. “How (and what) ought to I eat on race day to optimize my efficiency with out upsetting my abdomen?” is a query many evening racers ponder within the days previous to dashing by means of the darkness.
Use these three ideas and step as much as the beginning line able to run quick.
1. Work Backward
Everybody’s dietary preferences and tolerances are completely different, however planning your meals by working backward from the sound of the starter’s horn is an effective means to make sure that you retain your abdomen completely happy on race day.
Two hours earlier than the race:
Eat a lightweight snack (200-300 energy tops) consisting principally of simply digestible carbohydrates to high off your gasoline tank. A slice of toast with almond butter and a banana, or an equal different relying in your particular person wants, ought to do the trick. In case you’re nonetheless feeling hungry, carry some power chews or gels with you to nibble on earlier than the gun goes off.
4 hours earlier than the race:
This ought to be your second largest meal of the day. In case you’re sometimes a night runner, eat a scaled down model of your commonplace lunch, akin to half a sandwich, some pretzels and possibly a chunk of fruit. There is no such thing as a must go all out right here. At most, you’ll want not more than 500 or so energy 4 hours earlier than the race begins to high off your glycogen shops. Eat a meal that’s simply digestible (be sure to’ve experimented with this in coaching), low in fiber and made up of principally carbohydrates. Learn: Leafy greens are seemingly a no-no.
Six hours earlier than the race:
It is best to nonetheless be feeling pretty full from breakfast, so a lightweight snack akin to fruit, almonds, pretzels or jerky ought to be greater than sufficient to carry you over till lunch.
Eight hours earlier than the race:
It’s essential to eat a good-sized breakfast about Eight hours earlier than the beginning—particularly for an extended race akin to a half or full marathon—and taper off your consumption with every feeding as you get nearer to go time. This gives you loads of time to digest your meals and nonetheless be capable to use a few of that power throughout the race. A pair small pancakes or a waffle with two slices of bacon and a scrambled egg or two has labored nicely for me prior to now. Protein and fats are OK to incorporate together with your breakfast, however keep away from meals which can be overly greasy and sluggish to digest.
2. Drink All through The Day
Preserve a water bottle at arm’s size all through the day and sip from it commonly—however set the tone very first thing within the morning on race day. In her e-book Sports activities Diet for Endurance Athletes, nutritionist Monique Ryan recommends consuming 16 ounces of fluid previous to mattress the evening earlier than a race. So, for a race with a night begin time, cowl your bases and goal to drink 16 ounces of water within the hour or so after getting off the bed within the morning. Within the 2-Three hours earlier than the starter’s gun goes off, Ryan says to goal for 16-24 ounces of fluid within the type of water, sports activities drink or juice. This may be certain that you’ve topped off your tank previous to the occasion whereas giving your kidneys loads of time to course of fluids.
What about espresso? In case you sometimes have a cup or two with breakfast, by all means get pleasure from your common morning cup of joe. However should you’re not accustomed to afternoon caffeine consumption, particularly earlier than working, keep away from it within the 2-Four hours earlier than the race.
And alcohol? It ought to appear apparent, however save that chilly frosty one for celebrating after you’ve crossed the end line!
3. Keep away from Bored And/Or Nervous Consuming
Whenever you’ve received 8-10 hours from the time you get off the bed within the morning till the time you begin the race, it may be simple to fall into the lure of bored and/or nervous consuming. Keep away from the temptation to snack uncontrollably all through the day by sticking to your pre-planned meal schedule (see above), which may—and will—embrace some snacking between meals. Laying in your lodge room mattress and sharpening off a big bag of Swedish fish or consuming too many M&Ms, nonetheless, has pre- or mid-race catastrophe written throughout it.
Bear in mind, pre-race nerves will get you nowhere. Quite than sitting too idly, worrying and consuming the day away, attempt to take your thoughts off the race and maintain it occupied with a e-book, a senseless film or another non-running associated exercise. Get up and go for a relaxing 5-10 minute shakeout jog, take a stroll after lunch, meditate earlier than heading over to the beginning line or do no matter it’s that you must do to offset any pent-up pre-race power nervousness—simply don’t find yourself overeating since you’re bored or nervous!