Hi runners, I hope you are feeling happy and healthy. You are a mere one week away from the Steamboat Marathon, Half and 10K and I hope that training is going well. Let’s get down to the what, where, and when of your race day nutrition. The first rule of race day nutrition is nothing new on race day, so I hope you are playing with a few of these strategies and you have a few weeks to try some things out.
As I mentioned in our last communication, you should add ample fiber to your meals, as well as a nice mix of carbs, protein, and beneficial fats. This will not be the case on race day. As much as we love fiber, it could cause an extra pit stop or two when eaten before a hard effort. The breakfast I eat on a regular basis differs from the breakfast I eat on race day or before a training run. Keep your meal simple before a run or race and focus on easily digestible carbohydrates and some protein and fat that works for you. If there is one thing that rings true in nutrition it is that there is no one-size-fits-all. On a normal day, I eat eggs with kale and or spinach with some other veggies, avocado, and a slice of gluten free bread. On a race day, I’d leave out the veggies and minimize the avocado. In a smoothie, I usually combine ample chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, fruit, protein powder, and almond milk. On race day, I would omit the flax and chia and add a banana to keep it simple. Did you know bananas are known to be good binders and help with diarrhea? So, they may help some people with any pre-race jitters or stomach issues. A few more ideas in addition to the above, you might include one cup of oatmeal with fruit or two slices of toast with a nut butter of your choice. Also try and start drinking water when you wake up, as opposed to chugging last minute, and aim for 16-24 ounces before your race. Drinking earlier may help with elimination before you start. Make sure to eat your breakfast about one to two hours before the 7:30 a.m. start.
Cara A Marrs, RDN
Cara is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, race director, and an avid runner and skier