I’ve seen the question on some of the running pages I belong to: To eat or not to eat before a race? I’ve seen everything from don’t eat anything/only drink water to eat lots of carbs & protein. It made me think about my pre-race eating routine.

My eating routine goes something like this:
1. carb-load the night before (because I like pasta)
2. a little protein/carb before the race (for energy but not upset stomach)
3. whatever I want after the race & protein (because I like breakfast)

Not the most scientific method (see Disclaimer below) but definitely the one for me.

One of my favorite things about doing 5ks is getting to carb-load the night before. Yes, I am aware that carb-loading is necessary for long-distance runners and not necessarily for 5k’ers, but I read it somewhere and knew that immediately carb-loading was for me. A justified reason to eat pasta? Yes, please!

The morning of the race, about 1 hour before, I eat a piece of toast with peanut butter. I don’t drink anything but a little coffee. I stay as bland as possible. Some races in the winter offer hot chocolate pre-race to stay warm. No thanks. I want nothing in my stomach that may not respond well to being jiggled and I’m very anti porte-potty.

During the race, only water, and not too much of it (see “jiggling” reference above); only enough to hydrate.

Afterwards, I drink lots of water with the required banana (and cookies if they have them.) Within an hour of the race, I eat some protein which is a good excuse to stop at iHop or Waffle House for breakfast.

As you can see, this is not a scientific diet (again, see Disclaimer below), but it’s gotten me this far and it’s fun. Everybody’s different. Do what’s best for you. Be healthy. Be safe. Have fun.

Happy Running!


Disclaimer: I am not a medical or nutrition professional and am only giving my personal opinion, not medical or nutrition advice. Consult your healthcare professional for medical/nutrition advice. (I hope that’s sufficient to keep me out of court!)