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Old 10-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
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What do you eat while training and for races

Know this has been discussed before but can't find anything...

What do you guys eat before a race (day before and morning of) ? Morning of I don't like to eat much and I don't wake up too early to eat a meal 2-3 hours before... So what should I eat?

During? I have used sports beans and GU but how much and anything else you like better

After? For recovery... Heard chocolate milk or protein drinks... What works well?

Trying to get this worked out during training
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
Rupert B Puppenstein
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Originally Posted by r3ngels View Post
Know this has been discussed before but can't find anything...

What do you guys eat before a race (day before and morning of) ? Morning of I don't like to eat much and I don't wake up too early to eat a meal 2-3 hours before... So what should I eat?

During? I have used sports beans and GU but how much and anything else you like better

After? For recovery... Heard chocolate milk or protein drinks... What works well?

Trying to get this worked out during training
This is going to take some trial and error on your part because what works for one of us won't work for all of us. Personally, I eat oatmeal before a race. Sometimes I will add a banana, and then I just drink a little water. The night before, I stay away from Pasta which so many runners swear by. I go with Protein instead, so chicken or salmon are my go to meals. But, I have deviated from it before based on location. I had a race in West Virginia and arrived pretty late and the closest option was Taco Bell. I went for tacos and surprisingly did well. I guess it all depends on your stomach. Mine must not be so sensitive beforehand.

During...I like Gels, but I really like Accel Gel now that I have tried it. It isn't really a gel but more like a liquid so the consistency doesn't make me gag. But, I can still go with Clif Shots or Gu Roctane. Accel Gel is definitely something I won't substitute for during a Marathon. Much gentler on the stomach.

After used to be chocolate milk, and still can be, but I like Endurox R4. I have found it to be the most effective after long run/race drink.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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The night before a run, I eat normally. But my "normal" is typically more of a low carb with protein. I don't usually eat fried food...but I definitely stay away from it before doing a run. I try to do my runs in the evenings, so for breakfast and lunch, I eat something very light. A normal meal, even by my definition of normal, would be too much for me. So maybe a banana, or the Dannon Light & Fit yogurt with a bit of homemade granola....lunch might be a slice of low carb toast with a few turkey slices and sliced tomatoes. Water or hot tea throughout. During my run, I have been using glucose tablets (which I always have on hand anyway). I am going out this weekend to buy some honey stingers to see how those work. I don't always carry anything to drink with me, but when I do, it is usually Powerade or Gatorade. Last night I picked up an 8 pack of the Powerade ION4. Post run, I also stick with "lighter" drinks and maybe a plain bagel in the first hour. My stomach doesn't do well with something like chocolate milk post run...it is to heavy/harsh for me and I will feel nauseous. But I can do another Powerade without any problems. After that first hour, I typically do fine with anything.

But, as previously stated, it really takes trial and error. There aren't certain foods/drinks that are "one size fits all." It is more about knowing your own body and testing out different things with it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:25 AM   #4
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Day before: normal lunch, maybe some extra carbs. Dinner is sashimi and a side of rice. Light, easy to digest, and doesn't leave me feeling full the next day.

Morning of: Clif bar or small cup of yogurt.

During: Clif gel, Clif bloks, Sport Beans. I like a variety so I don't get bored with the same thing and not want to refuel.

After: chocolate milk and/or Powerade right away. A Guinness during my ice bath. More beer and margaritas later in the day.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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In effort for full disclosure - I have a very sensitive stomach and am a picky eater.

This is my usual plan for longer distances....

Night before - early dinner with a small bowl of plain pasta (no sauce) and grilled chicken

Morning of race - Plain bagel.

During race - red licorice, fig bars, honey packets

After race - I find most chocolate milk too strong for me, so I bring my own mix of 1/2 nesquick and 1/2 1% white milk. Plus a banana and bagel.

I am training now for my first full, so am working on adding more carbs to my diet the 2 days before long distances. It will be interesting to see how this impacts how I feel and my performance.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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I have done 5 half marathons but no marathons yet so this would probably change if I moved up to the marathon distance.

Day before the race. I just eat a normal dinner. For the first one, I did the traditional Pasta (lasagna at Olive Garden), The second one was pasta (Spaghetti at Boca de Bepo with people from a different message board), Third was Mexican (from a place similar to Chipotle but not as spice), Forth (Ham and Cheese from La Brea Bakery Disneyland). And I can't remember the last one.

Morning of the race - Oatmeal is my traditional breakfast.

During the race, Gatorade and Gu provided by the race. In the first couple, I took a Gummy style chew. On the long runs, I only take anything other than water and gatorade on a couple of the longest run.

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Old 10-04-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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The day before? Nothing new, nothing too heavy. Pasta is traditional, but I've done burger & fries too. It's just a bad time to try any food that is new to you, or anything that makes you feel "stuffed" afterwards.

Right before? Not much, and something that I know my stomach will accept. For a while, I would eat twizzlers before a race, because they were easy to digest, and didn't cause any GI issues. Training is a chance to see what works for you - some people like bagels with peanut butter, or oatmeal. You probably want something small, mostly carbs, a couple hours before running.

During? Gu or Sports beans. If the race has powerade, I have to use either water alone or bring something else. Powerade and I do not get along well.

Post-race? As soon as possible, I drink a protein drink. (Chocolate milk works too, but those protein shakes are shelf-stable, so I can keep one in my drop bag.) I generally don't want too much right after the race, so I down the drink, and try to get down a banana or something. An hour or so after the race, the refueling begins.

For something like the Goofy, I will try to have an early lunch (which may be fairly substantial), and an early dinner after the half leg. After the marathon leg, I'll be hungry, so it'll be as above, but only to tide me over until DW is done, and we are both cleaned up - then I plan on doing some serious eating over in the world showcase. (And, eating includes drinking, obviously.)

All that said - every runner is an experiment of one. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. Try different foods during the training process, and keep notes on what does and does not work for you.
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