Thursday and Q and A- Race Day Nutrition

I decided to take the day off from activity today.  After getting out of bed and having sore legs still; it was probably the best decision for me! I guess the extra class (Wed AM) is doing something!  I am not complaining though, I will get used to it ( I hope…)

Miles and I ran a few errands this morning – he thinks errands is a person or place.  It’s a hard word for me to explain to a 3.5 year old!

I was asked a question on race day energy/nutrition and the days leading up to competition.  I am not a nutritionist or anything like that.  I have done my own research in the past, picked up tips from others and used trial and error; this is what works for me.  I don’t recommend trying anything new right before your race.  You should practice using different aids and methods while you are still training to make sure it works for you. 

Before my long endurance training sessions/races ( endurance usually means anything at least 90 minutes long) I try to eat at least 1.5 hours before the actual event.  I used to be strictly at 2 hours before the event, but through trial and error ( ie: sleeping in!) I found that it did not make that big of a difference for me.

Pre Paleo breakfast : 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup blueberries and 1-2 slices of deli turkey

Paleo breakfast:  2 almond pancakes w/almond butter  and 1-2 scrambled eggs with onions and spinach OR green smoothie ( coconut or almond milk, spinach, fruit and flax seeds and 1 almond pancake OR 1 scrambled egg)

Usually before my long run or race I use 1/2 to 1 full serving of Spark at least 1 hour prior to the event for energy.  I also sometimes use Advocare’s o2 Gold and/or Catalyst 

15 minutes before the event I use an energy gel.  Hammer Nutrition, GU or Power Bar.  I am not too picky these days and I seem to digest these brands without any issues.  I wash it down with about 8 oz. of water.  You can also drink 6-8oz. of a sports drink instead of the gel.

During the race I utilize every aid station.  I flip-flop between energy sources.  At 1 aid station I will use the sports drink provided and the next I will use either the energy gel provided or my own.  I usually use my own…I open it while running and ingest it 1-2 minutes before I hit the aid station and then just grab a water to wash it down.

After the event– you should really try to get in some nutrition 30 minutes after the fact.  I have been so much better with this while following the Paleo plan!

I attended an endurance nutrition seminar last year and here is the info. I was given:

~refuel within 30 minutes consistently for best performance results

~30-60 g of complex carbs

~ 7.5-15 g of protein (4:1 ratio – carbs:protein)

~ an easy combo would be whey protein + milk + a gel

My recovery drink of choice is usually a green smoothie (what else??)- almond milk, whey, spinach and fruit.  I am not sure how close this is to the 4:1 ratio, but in the past it was hard for me to choke anything down after a hard training/race session.   So, I say this is better than nothing!

Carb loading—  I have heard that it is best to carb load 3-4 days before the endurance event.  If the race is on Saturday your load should start Wednesday/Thursday.  I am sure there is some ratio for this, but I just increase my carbs slightly; nothing too crazy.  I have also read not to do anything special in regards to carb loading because for the week prior to the race you should be limiting your exercise.  Here is an article I found that might help with the carb loading questions.   All of your usual carb intake will stick with you because you are not using them to fuel your exercise sessions because they should be less now…not for everyone though!

That rule does not apply to the group exercise instructor. I say that because I teach a lot of classes in a week so it is almost impossible for me to take it easy the week before a race.  I really just try to stick to my regular eating ways minus boxes of Hot Tamales.  I save those for after the race!

I hope I answered the questions presented.

On tap for Friday:  Spin!

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4 thoughts on “Thursday and Q and A- Race Day Nutrition

    • Thanks Tina! It took me a while to figure out what was right for me, but so far so GREAT!
      Some people fuel with hard candy too….I tried it, but was not a fan. Or maybe I was delirious as it was during mile 22 of a marathon! 😉

      Other ways to fuel that I have not tried: those little packets of honey and pickle juice. 🙂

  1. Thanks, Marcia — perfect timing for 5/3 to try a few of your tips before race day! Looking forward to my long run this weekend to experiment. Great points about the carb loading too!!!

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