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.
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!)