What to Eat Pre- and Post-Race

Before a Race 

A bowl of pasta makes a perfect pre-race dinner

I usually eat fairly light when I’m training, but the week before a big run or race I crank up the carbs, which is fun.  The evening before a race, I always eat a pasta dinner since you are supposed to consume a lot of carbohydrates. I just have a small bowl, but I love it. I guess my pre-race pasta is part of my psychological preparation.

The morning of the run or race, I eat breakfast at least two hours beforehand. My routine meal is peanut butter on toast topped with a banana and if I’m still hungry closer to the race, I’ll have a granola bar. Then I don’t eat anything else. I get really nervous before a race so I don’t really feel like eating.

I don’t usually eat during the race although last year I started feeling light-headed around the 10th or 11th mile, so I ate a little goo I had packed in my shorts. It might have been psychological, but it got me through the final miles!

Staying Hydrated
I don’t carry a water bottle if I go on a three to five mile regular run because it’s not terribly warm in San Francisco and I’m back in 30 minutes. But I know a lot of runners who do carry water and if you run in the heat you probably should.

For races, I start early and keep well hydrated for the entire week before. I find that hydrating well the day before and just sticking to a large glass of water two hours before the race keeps you hydrated until the first water station. I make sure to drink at every water station.

After a Race
One of my favorite meals to have after a run or race is a burrito. Who doesn’t like burritos? I like vegetarian burritos: beans, cheese, rice, salsa, and guacamole. I could eat that every day, actually!


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