Eating before a race (Read 151 times)


    What is good to eat before a race?

      Depends on the length of the race.   You may get several different opinions on this, so I will just post what I do:


      5K:  Eat well the night before, eat 0 the morning of the race.   (Maybe a 1/2 cup of coffee a couple hours before the race for a little caffeine boost).


      Marathon or Ultra:  A couple days of heavy  carb-loading in the days prior to the race.  0 food the morning of.  (I don't want to get 2-3 hours into a run and then be looking for a restroom).   But... Nutrition is necessary for a full or longer, so the suggestion of what gelpaks / GU / M&M's / Snacks / Boosts and etc to take just prior and during a race would be a whole 'nother thread.


      The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞

      Not dead. Yet.

        I eat two 100 calorie granola bars before leaving home with a cup (or two) of coffee.  Then a shot blok a half hour before the race.

        How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

          For multi-hour races, pizza. (what's left from dinner the night before)


          Shorter races, whatever is convenient. Usually have have a peanut butter power bar about 1-2 hrs before race.

          Shorter races are usually about 3hrs after getting up.

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

            2 of my favorites:   peanut butter toast w/banana YUm   or waffle with p.butter & and an egg with syrup over the top..  usually about 2 hours before.  depending on time of race & distance to travel would also take a banana & maybe protein bar or granola bar along for the ride..  don't really do carb loading but I usually drink Accelerade for the previous 3-4 days before race  & maybe 2-3 shot bloks 1/2 hour before if 10k or longer.


              I usually eat pasta the night before for dinner, morning of i usually drink coffee  and eat an english muffin with peanut butter and a banana before i race

              Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                Eating before a run or race, and even during a race, is highly individualized. What have you been doing while training for the race? If you've eaten before runs, then do the same before a race. Don't do anything new on race day - period! Test it before to avoid stomach issues during a race.


                That said, a lot depends on time on feet, not so much the distance. For instance a 20min 5k'er will eat differently than a 36 min 5k'er like me, a 3hr marathoner differently than a 3hr half marathoner or 6hr marathoner. I'm a slow runner who always wakes up hungry. So no matter what I have something to eat before heading out, at least a banana for short 3-4 mi morning runs, banana & oatmeal with protein powder before multi-hour long runs. Will hydrate and use Gu & Shot Blocks on long runs. I ran a 10 mile race PB this past Sunday with only minor nutrition change versus training runs - had extra Gu & Shot Block. If my bladder would have cooperated I would have broken two hours.


                So, test your self first, then do the same thing on race day

                bob e v
                2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.


                Proboscis Colossus

                  +1 to all of bobev's post, with the exception of the personal stuff.  Nothing new on race day, including and especially food.


                  For all of my marathons thus far, I've eaten my normal breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, blueberries, and protein powder, two slices of toast, one with jelly.  I haven't had any problems thus far, but I am thinking of backing it off to maybe just a bagel and peanut butter for the one I have coming up.  Might help me "feel lighter," and besides, it's a lot easier to prepare away from home.


                  I also don't eat that big of a breakfast before 5K's.

                  "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                  Tar Heel Mom

                  The one drinking wine

                    I usually have a double bowl of oatmeal with bananas and skim milk at least two hours before the start.



                    an amazing likeness

                      I usually have a Coke and Snickers (small size...not that nasty huge double-up size).  Sometimes I have glazed doughnut instead. I'm trying new things lately.

                      I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)


                      Ludwig Classic Maple

                        There's nothing that catches my attention faster than a thread about food. Wink


                        My standard marathon breakfast is a large, toasted blueberry bagel with peanut butter, a large banana, and black coffee.  Yum!  I'm hungry!

                        Marathon PR: 3:25:35 Fall Classic, 2014

                        1/2 Marathon PR: 1:35:59, Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon, 2014


                        Regular ass person

                          This is where everyone is different. Everyone is an experiment of one with regards to pre-race eating.


                          For instance, if I ate anything mentioned in this thread (bagels, granola bars, etc) before a race, my guts would explode. I personally stick to date-based bars (Larabars) and fruit before a race.


                          Also, what works for you pre-race may change over time. I used to sing the praises of Poptarts (!!!!!) pre-run. Now I wouldn't go near those things.


                          Figure out what works for you.