Spring races are around the corner! And so it's time to start asking yourself the questions that are easy to ignore... likee.... what do you eat for breakfast the morning of a race when you won't get to the starting line for 4 hours?!
When you think about running nutrition, especially on race day, you want to avoid malabsorption!
What is malabsorption? It is not absorbing the nutrition so that it, ahem, comes out the other end. Instead, you want your nutrition to sit well in our bellies so we don't have any GI issues. I am going to give you some tips on how to find the right nutrition for you for race day. BUT you have to practice it! That is key! You don't want to be starting this on race day. The more you practice eating and running with food in your belly, the better you are going to able to run with food in your belly.
So as we prepare for race day these are the things we need to be thinking about:
We need food that digests well
We need food that digests in a way that is not going to cause a lot of gas or bloating, or take a long time to digest
We want to think about food that is going to stabilize our blood sugar
Before your race, need a good amount of carbohydrates, a little bit of protein and a little bit of fiber (but not too much fiber). Here are a couple ideas of things to eat:
Oatmeal- it doesn't have too much fiber, has carbohydrates, maybe add a scoop of peanut butter or peanut butter powder to add protein
Toast- maybe put an egg on it for protein and make sure it has digestible carbohydrates (try to choose a bread that doesn't have too much fiber)
These are just some ideas, again you have to practice and try out foods before you run so that come race day you know what you need to eat before your race.
Okay now that you had breakfast... there's still another 3-4 hours until your race starts? And in that time, your blood sugar will start to drop, so it's important to re-up your bloodstream with sugar before your performance.
At this point, choosing a super easy to digest form of carb is a good idea around ~30 minutes or so before the start line.
Some ideas include:
half a bagel
Ultimately, no matter what your plan is, just make sure to practice it so you're prepared come race day!
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