Pre-Race Rituals: Nutrition & Hydration

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My Christmas Run race outfit!

imgresGOTR 5k logo REV Black5This is the weekend of races. Nothing stressful though. Tomorrow a bunch of us are dressing up and running the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K. I’m going to try to run sub-7 minute miles in my HUGE Christmas tree outfit. We’ll see how it goes. I can’t really be disappointed if my branches hold me back ūüôā After the 10K we are skipping, singing and dancing through the 5K. Sunday is the¬†final Girls on the Run 5K in Playa del Rey. It is an untimed event.

I wanted¬†to share a quick pre-race rituals ¬†post (although I am not really following them today because this weekend’s runs are more for fun).¬†I started running cross-country when I was 11 years old, so I have¬†had lots of opportunities to learn what I can and cannot eat before a race.¬†In sixth grade I learned that Doritos 5 minutes before a race is a bad idea. I also discovered that being dehydrated before a race made my mouth dry and saliva thick, gross and hard to swallow. If you get this from nerves, chewing gum or sucking on a jolly rancher during the race helps tremendously. I have unfortunately learned that you CAN carbo-load too much. 2 huge servings of lasagna will actually hurt you. Likely mid-race.¬†Here is what I have learned through trial and error works for me the day before and morning of a race.

Day Before:

  • Drink more water than usual
  • Snack on pretzels¬†for longer races
  • Eliminate fibrous¬†vegetables (no big salads or roasted vegetables)
  • Stay away from really spicy foods
  • MAYBE one beer for some carbs, but generally no alcohol
  • Switch to drinking¬†nuun¬†in the evening
  • Bigger lunch than usual
  • Spaghetti¬†(white pasta) with ground turkey and marinara sauce for dinner (try to eat early and don’t overdo it)

Morning of the Race:

  • Small glass of water (too much will make my¬†stomach sloosh)
  • Sip on nuun until 30 minutes before the race
  • If I have more than 2 hours, half a cup of coffee with Silk French vanilla¬†creamer
  • TMI but try to go to the bathroom
  • Cinnamon raisin bagel (not whole wheat) with peanut butter and jelly. Mini-bagel with butter and jelly if it is a short race.¬†Just a banana¬†for¬†5K.

What are your pre-race nutrition & hydration rituals?

Click on this link to spread the power of running. Donate to Ellen and my Girls on the Run fundraiser to ensure girls across Los Angeles have access to this empowering program!

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