Meal Prepping for Race Day – Trust Your Gut!

In a sense, training your stomach can be just as important as your running routine. 

After many weeks of hard work, the last few days of training are crucial, so being mindful of your meals and snacks is important for race-day success. 

Many runners start to increase their consumption of carbohydrates the week prior to race day. Each meal should include a source of lean protein and carbohydrates. 

Try to stay away from processed and fried foods or large amounts of dairy, which can cause digestive issues for some runners. 

Most runners try to get a decent amount of carbohydrates the night before or two nights before a race, especially if they are going to be running longer than 90 minutes. 

The extra carbohydrates are stored as glycogen, which will give you energy throughout the entire course. 

Eating your largest meal one or two nights prior to your event also allows you to digest your food so you don’t feel full or sluggish the morning of the race. 

Pasta is often a go-to meal for runners, but in my experience, you should stick to what your body is used to. If chicken and brown rice is something you commonly eat, then don’t reinvent the wheel. Stick to what your body knows. 

The morning before the race, you may want to eat a light snack. Ideally, this should be about two to three hours before your start time, which usually calls for an early morning. 

Again, this should be something you have tried before during your long training runs. Bananas, toast with nut butter, oatmeal or an energy bar are good options. These are bland foods that can be easily digested prior to the race. 

If you are running longer than a 10K (6.2 miles), I usually suggest bringing energy bars, gels or snacks that you can eat throughout the race. These extra calories can help you avoid hitting a wall over long distances. 

Be sure not to try anything new on race day. Experiment with what works for you throughout your training, and take those same snacks along with you on race day. 

All in all, have confidence in your training process, stick to your usual routine and trust your gut!



Published on: December 27, 2017