Pre-Race Rituals: Nutrition & Hydration

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My Christmas Run race outfit!

imgresGOTR 5k logo REV Black5This is the weekend of races. Nothing stressful though. Tomorrow a bunch of us are dressing up and running the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K. I’m going to try to run sub-7 minute miles in my HUGE Christmas tree outfit. We’ll see how it goes. I can’t really be disappointed if my branches hold me back ūüôā After the 10K we are skipping, singing and dancing through the 5K. Sunday is the¬†final Girls on the Run 5K in Playa del Rey. It is an untimed event.

I wanted¬†to share a quick pre-race rituals ¬†post (although I am not really following them today because this weekend’s runs are more for fun).¬†I started running cross-country when I was 11 years old, so I have¬†had lots of opportunities to learn what I can and cannot eat before a race.¬†In sixth grade I learned that Doritos 5 minutes before a race is a bad idea. I also discovered that being dehydrated before a race made my mouth dry and saliva thick, gross and hard to swallow. If you get this from nerves, chewing gum or sucking on a jolly rancher during the race helps tremendously. I have unfortunately learned that you CAN carbo-load too much. 2 huge servings of lasagna will actually hurt you. Likely mid-race.¬†Here is what I have learned through trial and error works for me the day before and morning of a race.

Day Before:

  • Drink more water than usual
  • Snack on pretzels¬†for longer races
  • Eliminate fibrous¬†vegetables (no big salads or roasted vegetables)
  • Stay away from really spicy foods
  • MAYBE one beer for some carbs, but generally no alcohol
  • Switch to drinking¬†nuun¬†in the evening
  • Bigger lunch than usual
  • Spaghetti¬†(white pasta) with ground turkey and marinara sauce for dinner (try to eat early and don’t overdo it)

Morning of the Race:

  • Small glass of water (too much will make my¬†stomach sloosh)
  • Sip on nuun until 30 minutes before the race
  • If I have more than 2 hours, half a cup of coffee with Silk French vanilla¬†creamer
  • TMI but try to go to the bathroom
  • Cinnamon raisin bagel (not whole wheat) with peanut butter and jelly. Mini-bagel with butter and jelly if it is a short race.¬†Just a banana¬†for¬†5K.

What are your pre-race nutrition & hydration rituals?

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