Nutritional recommendations for your best race yet!
It’s important to eat nutritiously all the time, but imperative during the days leading up to the Monument 10K!
If you’re not used to eating well, or don’t know how, it’s a good idea to meet with a nutrition professional such as a registered dietitian somewhere in the months or weeks leading up to the race to help you get on the right track. What you fuel your body with is how you’ll preform on race day; eat poorly, race poorly, fuel with nutrient dense wholesome foods and you’ll feel superb and full of energy to finish strong on race day!
Your meals leading up to the race should be composed of lean protein like chicken or fish and some carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, fruits, rice, pasta, breads, or legumes, and consume dairy only if they agree with you. Stay away from processed foods, fats, and fried foods.
Your healthy should plate should be composed as follows:
PLATE = ½ fruits and vegetables + ¼ lean proteins + ¼ whole grains
What to eat Friday night before the Monument 10K
So here’s the typical scene: you’re 12 or so hours out from the race and you’re deciding on what dinner will be. You’re so excited because one of your favorite meals is pasta and you cannot wait to “CARBO LOAD”.
First off, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the night before your race is NOT when you want to indulge in that 2-pound spaghetti dish. While whole grain pasta dishes and complex carbohydrates are great because they will increase your glycogen stores which provides energy to the muscles, most consumers overeat and thus are left feeling overstuffed, sluggish and eventually crash from the overload! Adhere to the dietitian’s golden rule “everything in moderation” and you’ll be one step closer to getting the GOLD!
Secondly, don’t try any fancy foods while out to dinner with friends or any meals you’ve never tried before; you don’t’ want to risk something not sitting well in your stomach and coming out either end explosively on Monument Avenue.
The night before the race adjust your plate to be: 60-75% carbohydrates + 25% lean protein + a small amount of low fat, + a small amount of fruits and vegetables (salad) as these foods are high in fiber and can cause gastrointestinal distress to the racer.
Below are a few basic Pre-Monument 10K race dinner idea choices.
1 cup: whole grain pasta, brown rice, potatoes, quinoa
1 small chicken breast, ½ cup ground or shredded chicken, ½ cup ground turkey, 3 eggs, 1 can tuna, 1 piece of cod, flounder, sole, cod, red snapper, bass, perch, or halibut fish.
Olive oil on your pasta, the yolks from the eggs, or avocado.
Don't go crazy with your fluid intake
Remember 2 things when it comes to liquids:
the saying “what goes down, might come up”
the feeling of “my belly is a bucket full of sloshing juices” YUCK!
Taking in too much liquid can be just as bad as taking in too much food leading to cramping, bloating and can cause a dilution in your electrolytes. The “go-to” guide in figuring out if your drinking enough water is to take a peek at the color of your urine. If you urinate often and its pale yellow- kudos, your well hydrated’ if its bright yellow and you urinate infrequently, then you could probably up your water game.
Figuring Out What To Eat The Morning of the Race
NERVES! WHAT NERVES?! Race morning is full of them caused by excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and plenty of other things. One factor that should not contribute, is figuring out what and when to eat ensuring you’re properly fueled! The best way to determine your ideal pre-race breakfast is going to be to try a few different things such as taking a practice run at the same time the race will be fueling up with what you believe will be your race-day meal. This will allow you to know that what you’ve chosen works well for you and thus will eliminate all nerves you would potentially have regarding food on race morning.
Timing is everything!
2 hours before the race (Aim for a carbohydrate-to-protein ratio of 3:1, add a high glycogen fruit, and a little healthy fat)
Choose one item from each list below and you’ll be good to go!
Whole wheat toast or white toast (1 slice)
Plain bagel (1/2)
Oatmeal (3/4 cup)
Sweet potato (1 medium)
Coconut water (1 cup)
Almond or peanut butter (2 Tbsp)
Hummus (2 Tbsp)
Raw nuts (¼ cup)
Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
High Glycogen Fruit
Banana (1/2 medium)
Apple (1/2 medium)
Dried fruit (1 ounce)
Sliced berries (½ cup)
1 hour before the race (easy digestible carbs with a little protein):
½ slice toast with 1tbsp nut butter
½ banana and a small handful of cashews
Whole grain crackers and hummus
Small bowl of low sugar cereal
½ a fruit-and-nut bar
1 cheese stick and 4-6 baby carrots
30 minutes to an hour before the race (easy digestible carbohydrates):
1 energy gel or serving of energy chews
½ a piece of fruit (banana, applesauce, handful of raisins)
1 small granola-fruit type bar
1-2 hours before race: 15 to 20 ounces of water
15 minutes before race: Sip another eight ounces
During the race
Runners finishing the race under 40 minutes: No need to worry about refueling carbohydrates
Runners taking 45-60 minutes: Consider taking a swig of sports drink before or during the race
"Fueling benefits" don’t really kick in until you're past the 60-75 minute mark, so don’t feel freak out about stashing mad GUs or gels or sprinting for the aid stations in any race shorter than an hour!
HAPPY RACING &
GOOD LUCK RVA MONUMENT 10K RACERS!