As a Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Endurance junkie I get asked all the time what should I eat before a race or workout? What is the answer to my ultimate race performance? Friends, as a lifelong endurance athlete, it took a lot of trial and error to determine what works best for my body. I have narrowed it down to a science for my body, what fuels me the best and what doesn’t work so well.
Key note to keep in mind, what works for my race day performance may not work for your race day performance. Keeping this in mindset when meal planning throughout your training season.
When planning for race day pre/post meals and snacks think of your Macronutrients. Your carbs, fats and proteins. Determining with the adventure you have set in front of you what you will need to fuel you, what you will be intending to burn off and what will you need to refuel and replenish you come post-race.
Be logical with what you choose. Keep it simple. Do not allow yourself to get hung up on what other athletes are consuming. Train smart. Train with the foods you are choosing to work with come race day. My number one rule, nothing new on race day. This takes the guess work out of not knowing if my stomach will or will not cooperate.
Keeping ingredients simple is key. Trust what you know works for your body and what your body is asking for. Strategize a fueling technique that works best for you whether you are running 20 miles a week, cycling 100 miles on the weekend or training in different disciplines. Listen to your body, fuel as needed. Rest and taper when your body asks for it.
6 Energy savers for the Endurance Athlete:
- Determine workload/mileage and create meal plans week by week for training sessions. Include Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and training session fuel. Snacking is key in the training season. Snacks, I suggest are scheduled between meals. Snacks will keep your blood glucose levels sustained and happy.2.
- Refuel yourself with nutrients that will make you a better athlete all around. Think Whole and fresh foods. Foods from the earth. Stray from packaged foods. Consuming packaged foods may give your athletic body more calories in than you are able to burn off. Nutrient friendly foods are whole and fresh.3.
- Eat often. I prefer the grazing method of eating throughout my day. Eating every 2-3 hours. It is best for athletes to eat at the same time each day. Preparing for optimal fueling for peak performance in training sessions. Prepping the body to stray from slumps while on the road and in your day.
- Listen to your body. Rest when you need to rest. Allow time for proper recovery between cycles. Prepare yourself when training in different disciplines with fueling strategies to overcome hunger sensations. Rest and recovery prevents our number one competitor, injuries. Stray from over training and give your body the rest it deserves.
- Don’t get hung up on what other Athletes are doing for fueling and recovery strategies. Again, what works for them, may not work for you. Trial and error what you can stomach. Nothing new on race day, remove the guess work from not knowing what will work and what will not.
- Do not restrict yourself from fear of eating too much. If you are unsure of portion amounts. I highly suggest purchasing a food scale and measuring cups and spoons. Measure your portions and write it down. Maintain a training food journal. Log and track mileage and food, track everything, track what works and doesn’t work
Example of Race day fuel at my House below:
Udi’s Plain bagel, Earth Balance Butter
1 cup Natures Path granola
1 Organic Banana
2 glasses of water
Pre-Race Snack: 1 Larabar
Post-race Snack: Banana with Almond Butter
Post-Race Breakfast: Steal cut oats with Fresh Blueberries
Snack: 1 Larabar
Dinner: Make your own pizza night! Homemade creations including my favorite sauces, fresh vegetables and lean meats.
Coach Ali is a Personal Trainer, Group fitness Instructor, Nutrition coach, and Yoga instructor. Ali loves anything with fun and adventure in it. From cycling with She rides, to thriving in her running adventures and hiking and summiting NH's 48 4,000 footers with friends and her two adventure dogs fun is top priority!
Contact coach Ali at NHEndurancelife@gmail.com
go to: www.NHEndurancelife.com
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