Many of us will be running some 5ks this season. Some of us are training for marathons! No matter what race distance YOU may be doing, there is ONE thing that EVERY RUNNER needs to know: How to EAT for a good race!
Fortunately, our teammate Megan is a Registered Dietition and awesome athlete. Here are some tips from her on what to eat on race day.
START HYDRATING NOW. Sip mindfully on water, taking in about 24-48oz. Be careful not to overdo it; over-hydrating can dilute electrolytes important to muscle contraction.
EAT A BALANCED DINNER. The carb “loading” theory is a thing of the past. Instead, aim for a healthy portion of carbs (about 1/3 of your plate), lean protein, fresh veggies and small amounts of healthy fat. Stick to foods you eat often and that are easy-to- digest. Tonight is not the night to try new foods.
EXAMPLE: Grilled salmon, roasted potatoes & salad
HYDRATE AND ENERGIZE WITH SIMPLE CARBS. Wake up at least 2 hours before the race to start the morning with 16oz of fluid followed by a carb-rich breakfast.
Avoid high fiber, high fat foods, which can cause GI upset. Include a small amount of lean protein.
HAVE COFFEE IF DESIRED. Caffeine has been shown to improve performance. Drink 1-2 cups to reap the benefits and then switch to water.
TOP OFF HYDRATION. Drink another 8oz of fluid 15 min prior to starting the race.
EXAMPLE: Instant oatmeal with a banana and almonds
DURING YOUR RUN
STAY HYDRATED. Drink 6-12oz of fluid every 15 minutes, as tolerated.
REPLENISH ENERGY STORES. Aim for 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour. Kill two birds with one stone by choosing sports drinks that provide both carbs and electrolytes.
CONSIDER ADDING PROTEIN. Research now shows that protein during exercise can improve hydration and endurance.
EXAMPLE: Make your own sports drink with 3 cups water, 2 TBSP honey, 1⁄2 cup orange juice, 1⁄2 cup lemon juice, and 1⁄4 TSP salt
AFTER YOUR RUN
REPLENISH FLUID LOSS. Drink 16-24oz of water for every pound lost during exercise. Don’t worry about finding a scale - just guzzle down plenty of fluids to jumpstart the recovery process.
EAT WITHIN 30 MINUTES. Enjoy the post-race goodies while replenishing your muscles with carbs and protein.
EXAMPLE: Chocolate milk & sports bar
CONTINUE TO REFUEL. Eat every 2-3 hours for the rest of the day. Go for carbohydrates & protein and include fresh fruits & veggies to reduce inflammation.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, TREAT YOURSELF!
EXAMPLE: Veggie omelet with whole grain toast and a fresh orange
Nutrition takes our athletic performance to the next level. Well-fueled muscles can work harder for longer and recover faster. Give your body the fuel it needs to perform its best!
CHECK OUT ZEST NUTRITION
Megan & Anna offer nutrition coaching by women, for women via Zest Nutrition. Visit their website for more ideas: www.eatwithzest.com!