My Updated Race Day Nutrition Routine
When it comes to preparing for races, everyone has a different routine. Some runners swear by fruit for breakfast, others oatmeal. I guess what I'm saying by pointing this out, is that my method isn't the perfect solution to your race morning breakfast, but I hope it gives you some new ideas!
Assuming I wake up in time to eat, or if the race is a longer distance (half marathon or above) I do have a little something before running. In terms of something to drink, I always start race day off with 8oz of water mixed with my favorite pre-race preworkout drink: Athena Intense from Unico Nutrition.
I've written about it before, but seriously, if you haven't tried it, try it. Both flavors I've tried are amazing (though Watermelon Wave is my ride-or-die favorite!) and it genuinely provides the energy I need to get through most of my run, if not all of it. I can make it through about 10 miles on one scoop in 8oz of water, without needing any Gu. Perfect, right? For a half, I do one scoop of that and a Gu for the last 5k. The best thing, in my opinion, is the energy without creatine. Creatine tends to upset my stomach and makes my legs crawl, but if you want a variant with Creatine in it, Unico sells another preworkout called Adonis which does have it. If you want to give it a shot, click here! (I recommend going for a Goddess Stack, because it saves quite a bit of money.) When checking out, use code BTEMP (only one P) to get 15% off :) My favorite flavors of Athena Intense are Cherry Limeade and Watermelon Wave! My favborite Apollo protein powder flavors are the Vanilla Ice Cream, Cinnamon Roll, and Chocolate Peanut Butter, and I LOVE the Blue Frost Yumino (which is a BCAA powder)! On Page 2 of the shop, there are single servings of Apollo so you can try out flavors before you buy.
In terms of food, I have a habit of fasting before I run. It prevents stomach issues, which makes me feel better in the long run. I usually eat a carb-heavy early dinner the night before so I'm not starving in the morning. However, for longer distances (8ks or longer) I do eat a little something before I leave my apartment. My favorite race day breakfast snack is Rip van Waffles. The only redeeming quality of United Airlines flights, in my opinion, is that they have stroopwaffles as the morning snack, so you can only imagine how pumped I was to get my hands on five delicious flavors of stroopwaffle made for fueling athletes pre and post workout.
Rip van Waffles sent me all of their flavors to try for fueling pre and post run, and I have to say I'm obsessed with all of them. I had to hide the remaining five out of reach so I wouldn't eat them before I had the chance to take some pictures for you guys. That's how much I love them. In fact, I can't wait to get this post up so I can scarf the remaining five after workouts this week. I love them enough that I'm toying with signing up for a monthly subscription of them (hey, $20/month is a bargain for my obsession.)
Rip van Waffles is a high carb, delicious start to my race days. I know Keytones are all the rage for race fuel nowadays, but I'm old school and prefer carbo-loading, and these really do the trick without hurting my stomach during my runs. The last thing any of us wants in a race is the Runner's Trots, and with these, I haven't had an issue. These give the Athena preworkout something to latch onto in my stomach, which reduces any issues with Water Belly that I might have. I feel like I finally have my pre-race nutrition down thanks to this winning combo. If you'd like more information, check them out here and on Instagram at @RipVanWaffles!
Post race is easy: I eat literally anything in sight, the greasier the better, and roll out using Trigger Point balls and rollers. I love a heavy, filling meal after a race, especially if I fast beforehand. I always rehydrate with Nuun, and try to avoid more sugary drinks post-race. I know that seems weird because I love junk after a race, but by "junk" I guess I mean "steak" and "burgers;" sugars tend to upset my stomach.
Hopefully that gives you some new things to try pre-race! My post-race is a lot less specific and I kind of just wing it, but before any race, I tend to be more particular about what I consume, always keeping my stomach in mind.
What is your pre-race routine? Anything you swear by and that I should try?